What is the cause for breathlessness and tiredness?
Q: I have noticed that for the last fortnight that everytime I drink one or two glasses of water or any liquid I experience a strange feeling of breathlessness or tiredness and there is a feeling of heavy breathing. I was admitted to Lilavati Hospital as I am a renal transplant patient having had the transplant three months ago. As my haemoglobin was 18.3 g/dl, blood was removed. After the pulmonary function tests (PFT), the chest expert said that Spinmetry and F-V loop indicate mild restriction of natural total lung capacity; disproportonately high residual volume indicating air trapping; moderate reduction in diffusion capacity of the lung; no significant change after inhalation of salbutamol. I want to know why I get breathlessness? Is it temporary and how do I overcome it?
A:Air-trapping is a common pulmonary function finding - even in the absence of symptoms- in people with emphysematous changes. These affect lungs after many years of damage caused by smoking, air pollution, frequent lung infections, or resulting from exposure to harmful chemicals or other lung irritants. Symptoms of breathlessness can result from stress (physical or emotional), and are more likely to occur if there are underlying diseases such as emphysema, heart failure, kidney failure, or obesity. Salt retention and fluid overload respond to diuretic therapy and dietary modification, including salt reduction. If renal failure is a factor, regular, or more frequent dialysis may be required. Avoiding large meals and gas-producing foods or carbonated drinks may help reduce breathlessness. One other factor is where one lives. Thus, breathlessness in a mountain location will be reduced by relocating to a lower level.