I am sending this question on behalf of my dad. He quite smoking his pipe about 8 months ago which was wonderful! However since then he has started having problems with Bronchitis, swollen ankles and feet and shortness of breath. I am quite worried about him and although he has gone to see a doctor his symptoms seem to be getting worse. He was diagnosed with Bronchitis, however they have not said anything about his shortness of breath or his swollen ankles.
Is it simply that he has bronchitis and the shortness of breath and swollen ankles are symptoms of it or could this be an indication of something else such as cancer, etc.?
I would appreciate any advice that you could give me.
Acute or chronic bronchitis can result in shortness of breath and swollen ankles and feet. The swollen ankles and feet are a sign of right-sided heart failure. Yet, he might well have bronchitis and, at the same time, a different cause of shortness of breath and swelling of the ankles and feet. To sort out the causes and effects of these relationships will, in all likelihood, require consultation with a lung specialist, also called a pulmonologist. One should not simply assume that bronchitis is the cause of the other two conditions. It is not uncommon for a person to experience an increase in cough and sputum production, sometimes for a year or more, after smoking cessation. Furthermore, the excess sputum may be difficult for him to completely expel, resulting in low blood oxygen levels which would contribute to both the swelling and his shortness of breath and lead to heart failure. One of the first things that should be done is a chest x-ray and determination of his blood oxygen level.
Your father should consult with a physician, familiar with chronic lung disease and right-sided heart failure, but also acutely aware of other causes of his symptoms such as congestive heart failure and blood clots to the lung.
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