Joe Biden’s physical explains ‘unusual’ health conditions

Former US vice-president Biden’s physical has been released, explaining his frequent throat clearing and stiff walk.

Biden, 74, underwent two procedures to clear his voice following a stint in the hospital last month for viral pneumonia. His office released a description of the state of his throat after a physical last month.

The summary, which comes with a few typographical errors, says Biden’s condition was stable but “thinner and dryer than normal”, and added that the former vice-president’s cold and pneumonia had affected his breathing in the hospital.

“For the past two weeks, Dr Allen Reid has been making minor adjustments to Joe’s throat,” it says. “Dr Reid has examined Joe twice in the lab, and he feels that, as with many mild conditions, he is slowly improving and is expected to make a full recovery.”

The office added that Biden’s “throat is receiving sufficient fluid to expand and contract in accordance with normal sinus function, and Dr Reid thinks this is making it easier for his throat to clear up”.

Biden has reportedly been told by doctors to limit his alcohol intake. His doctor, Lawrence Zindler, told the Daily Caller in February that Biden had developed a cough and wheezing and had had difficulty breathing and talking after taking antibiotics. Zindler also said that Biden was undergoing tests for “other undiagnosed diseases”.

The health exams and speech testing “revealed changes to Joe’s overactive thyroid and lymphatic system,” the summary said.

It added: “Joe takes thyroid medication and must continue to take that to complete his radiation and chemotherapy treatment for his melanoma. He has also received several tests to determine if he has any lymph nodes that could be malignant.”

Biden has been open about his past battle with cancer, first diagnosed more than 20 years ago. He received a clean bill of health at his last medical check-up in 2013.

The former vice-president, a Democrat, has been moving towards a presidential run, taking part in mock debates and releasing a book last year. He said during the health exams he would not be able to travel to Australia or Asia as planned if he were elected president.

This week, Biden, who served as US vice-president under Barack Obama for six years, announced he was leaving the board of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.

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