You have swelling, pain, and tenderness in one leg
Africa Studio/Shutterstock At first glance, this doesn’t seem like it would be among the symptoms of lung disease. But these leg problems could be a sign that you have deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in your leg, says Andrea McKee, MD, chairman of radiation oncology at the Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Sophia Gordon Cancer Center in Burlington, Massachusetts. McKee also sits on the American Lung Association’s (ALA) Lung Cancer Expert Medical Advisory Panel and works with the ALA’s LUNG FORCE initiative to help raise awareness and educate women about lung cancer.
The risk here is that the blood clot could break off and get into your lung, a condition called a pulmonary embolism. A clot in your lung can block blood flow and cause serious damage. Other clues include shortness of breath, problems breathing, and chest pain. (But you may also have no lung symptoms.) It’s important to get help as soon as you can because 30 percent of patients with this condition die, reports the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Try these 11 lung exercises to help you build lung power.
You’re short of breath
BENCHAMAT/Shutterstock A cold or flu can really do a number on you. “If you have an underlying lung issue or if you’re under a lot of stress or dealing with a significant life event, you’re more prone to developing a bacterial infection on top of your cold,” says Dr. McKee. And compromised lung function can become bacterial pneumonia or bronchitis. You’ll need a medical evaluation to determine the problem and antibiotics to recover.