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Old 03-31-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Hello,

I am 29 years old with a slew of stomach issues. First off I have always suffered with a nervous stomach where I feel like I'm always on the verge of a panic attack. That is just how my stomach feels in general.

Last year I had a bad case of bronchitis which the gastroenterologist now thinks infected my vagus nerve. My reflux became horrible and I could not breathe well. Fast forward one year and I have had the Lap Nissen Fundoplication Wrap performed but am still refluxing with shortness of breath. I also have lost a lot of weight and was in a normal weight range to begin with. Now I am underweight.

When I went to the doctors last they found gastro paresis and gastritis. Both of these I had prior to the surgery but they are still not going away. I have had lung workups done by two pulmonologists, I have been cleared by a Cardiologist with no heart problems and an asthma/allergy doc has cleared me for any asthma. They are certain all my breathing issues stem from my stomach problems.

Does anyone else have this? Or did anyone else used to have this and if so how did you make it better? I have been short of breath for almost a year now and I am getting worried it will never go away.

Thanks!!!!

 
Old 03-31-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Hi, I know how you feel. I was shopping the other day and felt like something hit me just under where my ribs meet, and then i felt like i could'nt breath. this really frightened me, it has happened alot and if im at home ill take a puff of my daughters inhaler or ill take gaviscon, but it knock the life out of me, i get so tired from it and feel sick afterwards. its horrible, cause it causes palpitations, and i feel faint. i wish i had an answer for you but i dont, this had to be the worst illness someone could possibly get.

 
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

I think a lot of people on this board have breathing issues with either reflux or gastritis. I know that I have ended up in the ER several times because I couldn't breathe right and had chest pains. The more you stress about the problems the worse they'll get. It's a horrible cycle! Hope you find something that helps.

 
Old 04-01-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

The main symptom of my GERD/Reflux is breathing problems and chest tightness (I do have burning and reflux once in a while - but the breathing problems are daily).

I take extra strenght Pepcid twice a day (tried several PPI's and they did not work and made me feel worse - headaches, dizziness, etc.)

I do take asthma medications - they do not help with this.

I have modified my diet, I am thin and do not smoke or drink and eat a very healthy GERD friendly diet - helps a LITTLE but I still deal with it daily.

Wish I could tell you that I have found the CURE - but not yet. I keep searching, hoping, and praying. I have a hiatal hernia also which my Dr. feels is causing the majority of the chest tightness and breathing problems - but I am just not sure. I do not want surgery and mine is not bad enough yet for me to be a candidate for it.

I HATE having breathing problems daily - it drains me and my life - it is also TERRIFYING when they get intense and I am gasping for breath....

I hope we all find some answers/relief SOON!

Vanessa

Last edited by Vanessa74; 04-01-2008 at 09:42 AM.

 
Old 04-01-2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Hi Stimi,

I have had breathing difficulties, now much improved. Their cause has not been determined. There are several good possibilities, including GERD, hiatal hernia, and asthma (which I don't think likely). So, to answer your question, the shortness of breath can get better. I am sorry to hear your surgery hasn't helped with your issues. I hope your breathing gets better soon. It does happen!

Good luck,
flowergirl

 
Old 04-02-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Hi Flowergilrl2days,
I am happy your breathing problems have gotten better. If you could be of some help and let me no how. I am now dealing with it for 2 years.

 
Old 04-03-2008, 08:39 AM   #7
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Chalupa,

I am so sorry you've had to live with it for two years now. Not being able to breathe is my number one fear. As anyone who's had these types of problems knows, it worsens the quality of life to such an extent one hardly has any life at all.
I am able to function normally if I don't exert myself too much. I slow down as soon as I start feeling short of breath to avoid pain in the lungs and further problems. I noticed recently that sometimes it hurts to draw a breath. I usually take deep breaths in order to get enough air in.
I wish I had an advice to give that could prove useful. I don't think I did anything on my part to get better. I got off a high dose of an alpha/beta blocker, believing this medication to be the main reason for my breathing problems. Things got better for a couple of weeks and then returned to ""normal" - meaning the same old breathing problems. I started seeing an improvement in my breathing after my doctor put me on Nexium. This was given because of my nausea, in hopes that it might help. I had no other symptoms of a stomach problem. As a result, my breathing got slowly better (which could have been a coincidence), and the GERD symptoms started to appear. Then the LPR symptoms. My breathing has remained improved (thank goodness!). I have no explanation for this.
I have researched the causes of shortness of breath. There are so many! Since you've had many tests, most of the obvious can be excluded. Look toward the less known ones. I don't know the reason for my problems and am still looking into this issue. I learned some things I didn't know - about the vocal cords causing SOB, for instance, or a kidney failure or certain kidney diseases causing breathing problems. Like you, I am still looking. I think I mentioned previously that nothing scares me more than the thought of the SOB coming back. My main reason for looking for answers.

Stomach problems - GERD and a hiatal hernia - cause breathing problems for many people. There's a certain type of asthma that is attributed to GERD. Of course, lung conditions and diseases cause the SOB also. Medications can affect our breathing. There are many other possibilities. If I find anything that relates to this and stomach problems, I will post it.

I hope you will find some relief, Chalupa.
take care,

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 04-03-2008 at 08:43 AM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 04-03-2008, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Ok everyone....it has been A-W-F-U-L these past few days with the breathing. I had my gastric emptying test and failed so badly they are putting me in for an EGD upper endoscopy tomorrow morning. My geometric mean for the solids was 208 and the norm is 60 to a 100. Not good at all.

I keep waking up short of breath and have to arch my back to take some of the pressure off of my lungs. It is getting really bad. Why can't they find a cure for this? Why does the inflammation of the stomach cause this?

I also get worried even though the gastroenterologist told me I will not die from this that eventually I will. And again I am underweight so it is not like that would solve my problem to just lose a few pounds.

I am just so scared and tired. I miss enjoying life.

 
Old 04-03-2008, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Stimi3ak,

I am so sorry for your long-term suffering - that is terrible. I hope your Drs. find a way to help you find some relief soon.

What are your breathing problems like? Do you cough or wheeze? Are you just short of breath - do you get chest tightness?

I also have breathing problems - the main symptoms of my GERD - and have been looking for relief for 6 months now

Vanessa

 
Old 04-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #10
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Thanks Vanessa. I am both short of breath and I have chest tightness. I hyperventilate at least once a day. It is all GERD related because my vagus nerve got infected. I am praying it eventually goes away and that this is all a distant memory soon.

Have you been to many gastroenterologists and had many tests done? I have been on Nexium, Protonix and Zegerid. I am now on Zegerid again with Reglan for the gastroparesis.

Are you short of breath all day long or just periods of the day? I started out being just short of breath during brief periods of the day but now it is all day long. That is what scares me......I don't want it to get any worse.

 
Old 04-03-2008, 06:25 PM   #11
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

For me to it started out once a week or so, then a couple of times a daily and now all day long.

I don't cough of wheeze - but I get severe chest tightness and shortness of breath.

I tried several PPI's and had many bad side effects (headaches, dizziness, naseous, etc.) - and they did not help the breathing. I tried modifying my diet, propering my bed, and on and on.

I tried asthma meds, changing HBP meds, etc. - nothing has helped. I hate HATE always being worreid about my breathing and never breathing right - and always scared that I will suddenly get worse and not make it to the hospital in time. It is a daily battle that has worn me down.

My Dr. won't approve the tests (HMO) - because he says that he knows its GERD and Hiatal Hernia because he has done tests to rule out everything else ??? I do believe him though - because so many people here suffer just like I do.

You say that your Vagus Nerve is infected? - how did that happen to you? How did they find out that's what it was? Can they treat it?

I am so sorry for your suffering - this GERD stuff is AWFUL....

Vanessa

 
Old 04-03-2008, 06:50 PM   #12
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

i get very severe chest tightness too with my shortness of breath. sometimes i can't swallow my food and i have lost 35 pounds in the past year. i am now underweight and yet i feel like my problems have become worse.

i am having an EGD for the 3rd time tomorrow morning so here's hoping they find the root of all this and put me on the right medicine.

i injured my vagus nerve when i had bronchitis really bad twice last december of 06 and february 07. the infection went into the nerve and that is how this whole mess started. i am seeing a neurologist next week to see how i repair it so i will let you all know as soon as i know something.

i am also very sorry for your suffering. i have quit going to the hospital when my breathing gets bad. instead i got on anti-anxiety meds which has helped me to not panic when the breathing gets bad. before i would panic so much it would just make it worse. now i ride it out knowing it will let up eventually and i will be fine. i just hate not being as energetic as i once was.

i'm glad there is someone else to talk with!

Last edited by stimi3ak; 04-03-2008 at 06:57 PM.

 
Old 04-04-2008, 07:30 AM   #13
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

I had bronchitis bad about a month ago - and my breathing has been worse since

I hope your EGD goes well and they get you some answers.

I have (2) boys and I feel HORRIBLE that I cannot be the mom I used to be - I am constantly worrying about my breathing. They are so great and understanding - but I still feel so GUILTY.....

I have lost over 20 pounds since this started. My breathing lately has seemed MUCH WORSE at night - especially when I try to sleep (even though I sleep almost completely sitting up) - it also seems worse when I am driving in car ???? What is THAT all about???

I had my gallbladder removed a couple years ago - it took A LONG time to heal and does not feel like it healed correctly - I still get a LOT of pain in that area. I think it caused my hiatal hernia - and that makes my breathing worse.

I hate it that we are both suffering - but am so glad to have someone to share with.

I will pray for you today - please let me know how it goes.

Vanessa

 
Old 04-04-2008, 08:39 AM   #14
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

Hi,

Quote:
My breathing lately has seemed MUCH WORSE at night - especially when I try to sleep (even though I sleep almost completely sitting up) - it also seems worse when I am driving in car ???? What is THAT all about???
I am sorry I don't have any answers. I, as most of us, am still looking for them. I find it strange that driving a car should affect you so. On the other hand, when I think of all of my symptoms, I should not be surprised. They are also weird and vary so much. I often get choking attacks when driving home from work. This makes me think that simply being in that position - sitting up - in a confined space while being in motion affects our HERNIA and thus the breathing. Instead of your SOB episodes, I seem to get reflux and choke when driving.
Is your breathing noisy? Labored or wheezing> Since Beerzoids brought it up, I can't stop wondering how other people breathe and whether they make the same noise I do. I do not wheeze, but I breathe very loudly while I never did prior to my breathing problems. I don't think I can breathe quietly at all anymore. I just tried it. I have to suck in the air, which makes a noise.

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 04-04-2008 at 08:39 AM.

 
Old 04-04-2008, 09:21 AM   #15
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Re: Stomach Issues/GERD & Shortness Of Breath

I agree with the driving thing - it must be the postions our bodies are in and the limited room available to move around. Thats what I guess anyway

My breathing is kind of quiet I guess - I do not wheeze or anything - but I have to consciously try to take deep breaths - and when I do it hurts sometimes??? I guess I must shallow breath most of the time. My breathing can get louder at night -or maybe I just hear it more because its quiet? My lungs almost ALWAYS hurt when I get up in the morning. My mouth is always really dry in the morning - like I have been doing MAJOR mouth breathing -I used to be able to breath easily through my nose when I slept - not anymore

The tightness will start around my lower chest and back - like a belt tightening and then goes straight up the middle of my chest like a PULLING type of feeling that goes straight through to my back right between my shoulder blades until I am struggling to get a breath in and out.

Strange how this is all the same disease but the symptoms vary so greatly from person to person.

At least we have each other.

Vanessa

 
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