Unexplained dyspnoea and fatigue

What could be the real cause for these symptoms?

Fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. It is common to be tired if you have the flu, a cold or viral infection, but when tiredness lingers with no identifiable cause, chronic fatigue can affect daily functioning and productivity and may be a symptom of an underlying condition. In addition, shortness of breath (or dyspnoea) is a common symptom that can result from a wide variety of causes.

When coupled with fatigue, dyspnoea may indicate a serious health condition such as anaemia, depression, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnoea, diabetes, hypothyroidism, heart or lung disease. In two-thirds of cases, these symptoms are related to a pulmonary or cardiac disorder such as heart failure, coronary artery disease (CAD), asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

What may diagnostic tests be done?

To identify the cause of your fatigue and shortness of breath and make a diagnosis, he may need to take your medical history into account while doing a physical examination and basic laboratory tests. These tests may include:

  • A blood test
  • An ECG, stress ECG & 24 hour Holter ECG
  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Echocardiography

Those who suffer from constant lack of energy, ongoing fatigue, in addition to chronic coughing and shortness of breath, must see Dr Mothilal. As a physician and specialist pulmonologist, he has the expertise to diagnose the full range of conditions that may be causing these symptoms.

Schedule an appointment

Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

Suite 1613, 16th floor, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cnr DF Malan Street and Rua Bartholemeu Dias Plain, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001