ZocdocAnswersIs my shortness of breath caused by a vitamin deficiency?

Question

Is my shortness of breath caused by a vitamin deficiency?

Could I have a vitamin deficiency? I've been having shortness of breath and I can't figure out any other cause. How do you get a vitamin deficiency?

Answer

Shortness of breath is a very common symptom that can have many different causes. In the United States, shortness of breath is almost never caused by a vitamin deficiency. The only exception (which I assure you does not apply to you), is a deficiency in vitamin B1 that can cause beriberi, a condition that is associated with heart failure (which can cause shortness of breath). Otherwise shortness of breath can be divided into conditions that effect the lungs and conditions that effect the heart. Lung conditions that cause shortness of breath asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and many more. If you are a smoker, the last two conditions on that list are a very real possibility. Heart conditions that can cause shortness of breath include heart failure, heart valve problems, and coronary artery disease. If you have a history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, these are likely possible causes of your shortness of breath. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of your symptoms and perform a thorough cardiovascular and lung exam. Depending on what is found, your doctor may send you for more heart or lung testing. Good luck.

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