Persistent Cough and Back Pains in Overweight Individuals
Q: Can being overweight cause a persistent cough with a right sided pain in the chest and back? Some months ago, it began with a throat pain and later with bronchitis like symptoms. After many weeks, the pain is now felt even while taking a deep breath. I have never smoked. Antibiotics for ten days and an expectorant did not help. Thanking you in anticipation.
– By M. G., Female 65 years.
You need to get evaluated for your cough. Being overweight can be a factor behind your cough, but this needs to be confirmed after examination by a doctor.
Obesity and Persistent Cough
One of the ways obesity causes cough is that it leads to loosening of the esophageal sphincter.
In obese people, excess fat is deposited around most of the tissues. The sphincter (gate) between the food pipe (esophagus) and the stomach is muscular in nature. Due to deposition of fat on it, it becomes loose. So food stored in the stomach slips back into the food pipe. This causes cough.
Such type of cough is observed when the patient lies down after meals.
Another way obesity may lead to cough is in allergic coughs. In coughs caused by some kind of allergy like asthma, etc. excess fat of the body adds to their effect. So cough is more. Treatment comprises of treating the underlying cause. So anti-allergic medication is given.
Another cause of cough which cannot be ignored in your case is due to any heart problem. Excess weight is a contributing factor in heart diseases. It would be advisable to visit a doctor for cardiac evaluation.
Obesity and Backache
Being overweight definitely leads to back ache. This is because your spine has to carry more weight. The muscles of the back have to work more.
Also, excess weight may be a factor behind degenerative bone diseases like osteoarthritis.