How to distinguish cough cause by fluid overload and cough cause by lung infection


Hi Guys ,

How to distinguish cough cause by fluid overload and cough cause by lung infection.

I have experienced fluid overloaded caused cough, and I was able to take out the exceed fluid easily, but for some patient , same symptoms ,but is very difficult to take out fluid because symptomatic low bp

Thank you


1 Post

I've been in dialysis for 2 years now. In my experience if it's fluid overload they will exhibit other symptoms like sob, swollen ankles, peri-orbital edema, puffy face. Their blood pressure may be low due to a weak heart, like CHF patients, and it doesn't mean they are not fluid overloaded. Ask them if they need to sleep with their head elevated on multiple pillows. If yes, that likely means fluid excess. During treatment you can try putting them on a profile (that changes the rate at which fluid gets removed). It works for some and helps the body adjust to the removal better. At my clinic we also give Midodrine. It's a short acting vasoconstrictor and helps maintain BP during treatment. If it's an infection they will likely have elevated temperature, the phlegn may be green/yellow tinged, they will report feeling lousy and they may even be on dehydrated side (no appetite, nausea etc.), so will likely not look swollen and puffy. I hope that helps :).


91 Posts

Good answer, Malgos. Also, if you have gotten all the fluid off and they are symptomatic, then you need to suggest they be checked out by their family doctor pulmonologist or cardiologist too. We can only do so much and sometimes other areas need to be looked at if you have done all the interventions that Malgos has suggested.

I've also found that with CHF'ers sometimes (not always), as the fluid goes and the heart can pump more efficiently, their BP actually goes up


57 Posts

Thank you very much ,Malgos and Verdeacres !!, the case I confused whether she is fluid overloaded or lung problem , was diagnosed asthma [emoji422]️