It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Digestive Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-09-2007, 09:07 AM   #1
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Hi,

My stomach bloats out to where I easily look 8 months pregnant. This has been happening on and off for years and I just accepted there is nothing I can do about it. I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (after several tests) in 2003 or so. I do not take any medication for it.

I figured I am swallowing a lot of air, being an anxious person, and that the air builds up inside my guts til I bloat like a balloon. This is extremely uncomofortable and annoying but I tolerate it.

But, sometimes I have trouble breathing with the bloat and very distended abdoment. I had a very bad "episode" on Thursday and was near tears and also close to calling 911. Could I have died...? I dont THINK so but the trouble breathing was quite severe, I felt like I was suffocating.
I took a mild sedative, out of sheer desperation.. to calm myself down, and within a short time I could breathe pretty Ok again. I am thinking a sedative would not have helped if I was truly having severe difficutly breathing.... meaning my anxiety contributed to the breathing problem, which wasindeed difficult due to the great bloating and distended abdomen (I guess pushing onto my lungs? ).

Has anyone had any of this happen to them and if so, what did u do about it? Now I am worried of this severe an episode happening again..... already I am not leaving the house today.. out of fear I will have severe trouble breathing again along with my still distended abdomen.

I will add that I foolishly drink a lot of beer and also gained 60 pounds in the last year and a half.
I Know to lose weight, and to quit drinking.... but aside from that, I still have this serious issue. Any help, advice? ? I almost left work early Friday because I was still bloated/distended and afraid the trouble breathing would start up again too (thank God it didnt!).

Thanks,

FarmGIrl

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-09-2007, 11:05 AM   #2
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 82
Texas Tomato HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Shortness of breath has been my most debilitating symptom during my latest bout. It felt like everything was so inflamed and distended that my lungs and diaphragm didn't have room to expand.

As I've said on previous threads, this was apparently the result of a long course of antibiotics that I took in May for a sinus infection. I'm just now feeling closer to normal. In fact, the last two days have really given me a sense of hope that my nightmare is almost over! But I'm not taking anything for granted.

Here's what all I've done this summer:

1. Ate frequent very small meals and refrained from eating three hours before bed time. Got used to going to bed hungry. Lost 25 pounds because I haven't been able to eat my usual too-large portions. I'm still overweight and need to lose 50 more! I guess the weight loss is the silver lining in this whole episode.

2. Started eating yogurt, lots of it, and taking probiotics (acidophilus and FloraSmart). It's helped.

3. Went off my Nexium which had ceased to work and started taking Zegrid. I think it's working.

4. Started taking Beano before each meal. This may help you with the bloat. It seems to be working for me.

5. Started taking a fiber supplement - Benefiber, and incorporating more fiber into my diet. I think it's also helping.

My constant belching has lessened significantly and I can breathe again. Hope you feel better soon.

 
Old 09-09-2007, 11:15 AM   #3
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

TXTomato,

Thanks for the tips!!

Is it possible to die from this, to actually suffocate??

 
Old 09-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Posts: 82
Texas Tomato HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

I'm not really qualified to answer that, but I would venture to say that if you haven't died yet from it, you ain't gonna. Have you shared these concerns with your doctor?

Forgot to add that sometimes pressing on my belly helped to displace the bloat and allow me to get a good deep breath, at least enough to dispel my anxiety for a little while. The anxiety really is debilitating too! When you can't breathe, it's all you can think about.

 
Old 09-09-2007, 02:48 PM   #5
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

I havent shared them with a doctor.... no.

I did notice also, that pressing in on my belly and gut area helped.... I am wondering if the problem isnt partly a mechanical one... otherwise, why would pressing or pushing in on my gut, help me to breathe better? Like the muscles are too loose in there or something?? A true breathing prob would not get better from pushing in your gut, I wouldnt think (meaning.... trouble breathing due to pneumonia, etc).

Oh yes, the anxiety is bad...! I used to have severe panic disorder from around 1993 - 1998 or so.... I dont get the monster panic attacks and havent for years but I do still tend to be an "anxious personality"... worrying a lot, lots of "what iffing" etc. But even a non-phobic person would freak, at least a little, if they were having trouble breathing!

Thank u very much for your posts!!

Yes, I do tend to think if I havent died from it yet, that Im not going to. It is VERY VERY distressing though.... gosh. I havent suffered like that in a reallly long time (what happened this past Thursday). ((The thought came to me, "This would be a horrible way to die!!").

Peace,

FarmGIrl

 
Old 11-11-2007, 08:40 AM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

UPdate:

I went to the ER on Friday due to the stomach distress and trouble breathing. I think what happened is that I started hyperventilating... over-breathing, in a vain attempt I guess, at getting more air in. Since my stomach gets so full of air, I feel like I cant take a deep breathe (or get to the "top" of my breathe) and I get scared and start chest breathing.

They took blood, urine and did a chest x-ray in the ER and all was normal. I am to follow-up with my gastro doc tomorrow (I had already made the apptmet with him before this ER visit).

I am discouraged and upset... I think I have an ulcer maybe, on top of the Gastroparesis and GERD.... the trouble breathing thing is driving me nuts though.... I Just cant help it, i start gasping for breathe and struggling hard to breathe. Taking a tranquilizer relaxes me and then I feel pretty good actually, can breathe or at least that i Cant take a deep breathe doesnt FREAK me out anymore. But I hate the idea of taking such meds (anti anxiety). Because I am desperate feeling, its what im doing now.

Ive lost 5 pounds because im afraid to eat.... for fear my stomach will blow up like it did one time and render me nearly unable to breathe. The ER person said she thinks a lot of this is anxiety and I think shes right, but theres no question something is going on to CAUSE me to get all anxious in the first place.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Just wanted to bump this up..... Im set to have an endoscopy next month... Ive already had two (2) of those, the last one four years ago or so...

I was prescribed a PPI and some new med called Amitiza.

Now I am getting where I cannot take a deep breathe and there is tightness in my stomach... and I am short of breathe due to this. I dont know why it is happened but its never happened before. Doesnt seem to matter if Ive eaten or not. Taking tranquilizers eases it up. I hate gasping for breathe tho!! Its also frightening..... I Am praying God heals me completely of all of this.
I had to leave somewhere early due to the breathing thing/stomach tightness/inability to take a deep breathe acting up. I cant hide it when it happens, just have to talk very little or else its noticeable that Im gasping for each breathe. This is so upsetting to me. :

 
Old 11-19-2007, 11:28 PM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,171
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Farmgirl,

there's hope. I had it for months. It got very bad. I could barely walk a few steps to my car. My shortness of breath was connected to my stomach somehow. I could always feel a wave of nausea and stomach discomfort immediately prior to my breathing difficulties. The pulmonary function tests showed there was a problem, so of course they said it's asthma. It was not. The asthma meds did nothing for me. Anyway, what seemed to help a lot was the PPI I was put on, Nexium. I became much better over a period of several weeks. The only problem is that my GERD (I also have a hiatal hernia) got quickly worse. I just wanted you to know things will get better for you. I know how it feels not to be able to breathe.

Good luck and take care,
flowergirl

 
Old 11-20-2007, 08:47 AM   #9
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Oh WOW, it is such a relief to hear from a single person who understands and can relate what I am talking about! I can never find anyone who experiences this problem! I mean they believe me (people online, etc) but just have not had it happen like this to them.

Did you have any stomach tests done, an ultrasound or CT scan? Endoscopy? GI series? Anything like that?
I don’t think it is asthma either, because I don’t feel any lung involvement, no coughing or wheezing or chest tightness… it is all STOMACH feeling.
What would u do when you got severe bouts (of trouble breathing)? I was so scared, and would panic, and would take 1 mg. of an anti-anxiety med like Klonopin. It was just so frightening when it would happen severely… and I had to leave wherever I was.
I used to get bad panic attacks in my life but not in many years and this just hasn’t felt like a real panic attack. I think anxiety and panic comes but only AFTER the stomach thing has acted up, in response to it. And I think most people would get freaked out if they were having trouble breathing!

I have a scrip right now for a med similar to yours, Aciphex or however you spell it. Only problem is, I cant swallow pills, and u cant chew it! Ug! That it has helped u so much (an acid reflux med) with the breathing must mean this is rooted in the stomach….. I still want to know the root cause of it though. I feel I am still not out of the woods with it and do live in fear and worry of another “episode.”
Thank yoU SO much for your post!!!!

God bless,

FG

 
Old 11-20-2007, 09:31 AM   #10
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Flowergirl -- do u think the hiatal hernia had anything to do with this??

How was that diagnosed in you?

I was wondering about that with myself and my stomach and breathing issues...if the thing pops out or something and interferes with breathing...?? But then if that were the case, a tranquilizer wouldnt have eased up the breathing trouble... or would it??

 
Old 11-20-2007, 06:49 PM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,171
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Farmgirl,

I am not out of the woods completely. Just better. I feel the shortness of breath lurking and know that it could return. I sincerely hope it does not. It totally wrecks my life. I was off work for ten months with a severe, drug resistant hypertension and related problems. Getting my old life back seemed like a distant dream, impossible and hopeless.

I have been back at work for six weeks now only because I can breathe better. I am not able to do anything when I can't breathe. Any physical activity leaves me breathless. I get short of breath whether or not I am doing anything; talking, eating, sitting down. It's more or less constant with me.
My internist has not had a chance to look into it. He did not know about any of my problems until recently. I had not seen him for six months. As soon as I mentioned the pulmonary function tests and the SOB, he called the hospital & ordered the results sent to his office. He also told me that my hernia or GERD (which he had also just found out about) could be fully responsible for the breathing problems. I will be seeing him in a few weeks. I need thorough testing done. The hernia and GERD were found a couple of months ago during an upper GI x-ray (barium swallow). I suffer from really bad nausea, which, besides some stomach discomfort, was the main reason for the test.
There were times I had to leave wherever I was and go home to bed. In the middle of grocery shopping with the cart half full, while enjoying (or trying to) a cup of coffee at Starbucks with a friend, while walking...I guess you know all about that as well! I too would like to know what's REALLY causing it. I did a lot of research and found that voice box dysfunction is a very frequent reason for it (I had no idea! Do some reading. "Can't breathe? Suspect vocal cord dysfunction" I printed this article out, over 50 pages. It describes me to a T! It is absolutely fascinating. Some kidney diseases cause breathing problems (RTA-renal tubular acidosis). I have an undiagnosed kidney disease, so there's a chance the SOB could be related. I have a gut feeling though the stomach is behind my breathing problems.

Good luck with your reading! Lets' keep in touch...

flowergirl

 
Old 11-21-2007, 05:55 AM   #12
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Flowergirl, (Farmgirl and Flowergirl.... aw shux ).

Wow, it sounds like you have really suffered a lot with all this! I didnt realize it was an almost consant thing for you (it isnt with me, it comes and goes....).

Were u ever tested for Gastroparesis? I have that and it can cause nausea although interestingly, I dont get nausea. But some people do really badly with that. I am sorry to hear how bad things have been :

I have never had a barium swallow but I am due to have an endoscopy next month. Can that tell if u have a hiatal hernia, do u know? I think so but am not sure.

When the breathing/stomach thing has happened, I take 1 mg. of an anti-anxiety and it relaxes me enough so I dont feel the need to gasp and struggle for air. It feels like my stomach is "tight" and I cannot get to the "top" of my breathe... I cannot take a deep breathe (but I can breathe). Then I start breathing faster... which just makes the problem worse. Is it like this for you? Can you describe exactly what you experience when it happens in more detail? What did the ER do for u when u went in for this (if u did, I dont remember...).

I did find and real the vocal chord article.... I think I may have issues with mine due to LP reflux and years of not taking care of my body and drinking tons of beer (whicH i still do but I have cut way down since this stomach and breathing thing!). But I dont feel it in the throat at all, it feels totally centered in my stomach. But certainly cant be a bad idea to rule it out and also for peace of mind, too.

I had the SOB/trouble breathing/stomach last Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday and it was really discouraging to me. I was pretty upset about it.... I took Klonopin and I was able to be "ok"... but i hate doing that, taking something just to be able to cope with the issue.

Yes, lets stay in touch! I am glad to have met you.

Oh, have u ever had a scan or ultrasound done of your stomach/adbominal cavity? I am going to ask my primary doctor to order that test for me when I see her the first week of Dec. This issue is really stressing me out, though I am thankful I havent had any "episodes" since Friday. Still I live in worry of them.... like you do.

What can cause the inability to take a deep breath?? I dont think its anxiety either though I do think it comes as a secondary thing and makes everything just worse.

Best wishes to you,


FarmGirl

 
Old 11-21-2007, 07:19 PM   #13
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,171
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Hello,

Quote:
(Farmgirl and Flowergirl.... aw shux )
Very funny!

To answer your question, upper GI series (barium swallow) and gastroscopy (endoscopy) are both used to diagnose a hiatal hernia.

To answer your second question, I'd say when not in motion or exerting myself, the shortness of breath was moderate. With exertion it became severe. This is what is feels like: a tight feeling in the stomach preceeds a wave of nausea. Then there's stomach discomfort and it begins to ache. Next, I start gasping for air. I can't take in enough air, no matter how hard and deep I try to breathe. It feels like I am sucking the air through the straw and getting hardly any. I take as deep a breath as I can, time after time, while feeling completely starved for oxygen. As a result, there's tightness and discomfort bordering on pain in the chest. Sometimes this discomfort evolves into a real pain and the lungs/chest remain achy all day. The shortness of breath is severe with exertion, present but bearable when at rest. In spite of these difficulties, I used to walk two hours every day at a reasonably fast pace, stopping to catch my breath for a few seconds as needed before continuing on my way. Once I think I had gone without enough air for too long. After I stopped my legs became paralyzed. I could not move them in any way or lift either of my feet the tiniest bit. That was very scary. Of course I thought I'd remain paralyzed for life. I am so very glad I don't have to deal with this now. It seems that one thing has gone only to be replaced with another. Oh well.
I was not in the ER with the hernia or GERD, as they are both fairly recent developments. I spent two weeks in the hospital with other, much more serious issues. I had a myriad of tests done, including abdominal and renal scans, ultrasounds, renal and cardiac catherization etc. but no gastrointestinal tests. The recent upper GI series is the only gastric test I've had to date. I need more testing done, I am sure. I've never heard about Gastroparesis until I saw it mentioned on this board. I don't know anything about it and am sorry you have it. I'll do some reading tonight!

I wish you the best of luck with the upcoming test. You are lucky it's being done. I wish I could have one tomorrow.


flowergirl

 
Old 11-22-2007, 08:20 AM   #14
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 171
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Hi Flowergirl,

Wow... that does sound bad, and a little different from what I experience. Do u think your trouble breathing/stomach stuff could be related to these other serious health problems you have mentioend having? The legs becoming paralyzed does sound truly frightening. I cant help but think, as I read your posts, that there is something -- a ROOT cause -- going on inside yourbody that is causing all this distress and upsetting symptoms. That it isnt by itself a stomach problem but rather that those issues are just other symptoms of some underlying disorder.

Some of your breathing stuff sounded like asthma. Not the stomach part, no, but the breathing thru a straw part. Ive heard that that is how an asthma attack feels, like you are breathing thru a straw and then chest tightness may or may not be present. Hmmm. Maybe u have something with the stomach but also asthma? I know though, u said u were given the asthma diagnosis but didnt feel it fit. Does anything help when youre having any of these symptoms? Like for me when I take some anti-anxiety medication (something similar to Xanax), it relaxes me so I dont start over-breathing (hyperventilating) and getting all panicky becasue i am having trouble breathing, etc.

I am not positive but i think an abdominal scan would have shown something..... I just dont know what to make of your symptoms. Mine are all limited to the stomach area (plus I have the GERD and Gastroparesis) and I think worsened by anxiety. It sounds like your whole body is being attacked by something..... and I am really sorry to hear of this, it sounds so distressing.

That your SOB is severe with exertion..... yeah, I just think something else is going on there. What if any, diagnoses have the doctors made on u so far? I know u mentioned a hypertensive episode that was pretty bad..... and it sounds like this new doc you are seeing is taking you seriously and hopefully will lead u to the right tests and real diagnoses.

And u are able to take a deep breathe? Hmmm. See, when it happens to me bad, I cant get a deep one.. then i think i freak a little and start breathing more and harder .... worsening it all. I think i get spasms in my stomach and maybe intestines too.... i just know i feel noticeably better after i take the anti-anxiety med, that something calms down in me due to it.... though I am still severely bloated and uncomfortable, the breathing thing calms down.

I dont get nausea at all.... just this heaviness in my stomach with grotesque bloating. I think the Gastroparesis makes that worse.... I swallow air a lot, from nervousness, and the air just stays in my belly instead of passing thru like in a normal person. I feel so full of bloat and air and/or junk, that i cant breathe well, but its bad.... not like the average person who eats way too much and is like, "Oh wow, im stuffed and can hardly breathe!" Its A LOT worse than that sensation.

Please keep me posted on your test results, meds tried, etc. I wil keep you posted on mine. I think a hiatal hernia and even the GERD can cause trouble breathing stuff.... did u say u had the herni, or no?

I had a chest x-ray in the ER 2 weeks ago and they said it was fine. I thought a hiatal hernia might show on that... but maybe not necessarily??

I will go for now... i do tend to ramble, what a mess here
I will pray for God to heal you completely. Have a happy Thanksgiving if u can!

-FG

 
Old 11-22-2007, 09:09 PM   #15
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
flowergirl2day's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 3,171
flowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB Userflowergirl2day HB User
Re: Abdominal Distention and trouble breathing

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

I didn't mean to get into all this. The main thing is that it is not bothering me now. Maybe I do have asthma AND another disorder that makes breathing even worse. I think my medications were also contributing to the SOB. I cannot take deep breaths either during the SOB, just shallow ones. Enough about that. I don't think the doctors would give me medication specifically for anxiety. I am on a beta blocker and those are also used for anxiety. I'd had a headache lasting 6 weeks and a neurologist refused to give me any medication for it, saying I was on enough of them already.

I read that a long-term use of antacids can result in altered calcium metabolism and buildup of magnesium in the body. I was told to take one before any physical activity. (I don't.) I wonder about the PPIs and their long term side effects. I would like to know whether they can make things worse for some people.

Have a nice Thanksgiving, Farmgirl!
Greetings, Flowergirl

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
weird abdominal pains.. MOLD? help! SMA2008 General Health 0 08-19-2008 01:34 PM
Upper abdominal hardness xastur7 Digestive Disorders 3 05-01-2008 07:09 AM
Severe abdominal distention even after just drinking water jumpie Digestive Disorders 9 04-20-2005 03:52 PM
Abdominal Distention HyperMan125 Digestive Disorders 0 05-02-2004 08:23 PM
Abdominal and Chest Pain Leafs Digestive Disorders 5 01-25-2004 06:15 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



janewhite1 (20), bluepumkin (18), solofelix (15), Harry (13), Titchou (8), flipfleury (8), MountainReader (7), ladybud (7), jmarple (6), rufous57 (5)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1136), MSJayhawk (941), Apollo123 (856), janewhite1 (823), Titchou (771), Gabriel (743), ladybud (667), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (655), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:45 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Copyright and Terms of Use 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!