Trouble Breathing + Stomach issues
I wanted to share my story in case there are others like me lurking out there. If it helps one person- then great!
I have had issues both with my stomach and with breathing. I have allergies and asthma and assure you that what I have experienced as of late is NOT asthma. I saw two different pulmonologists who said there was nothing wrong with me. Also saw an allergist who put me on a daily low dose steroid inhaler and was surprised when he didn't see any long term improvement. Had breathing function tests that were normal, but I still had a very real issue breathing that didn't seem to be helped with my rescue inhaler.
Meanwhile, I was diagnosed with GERD by my family physician. I had an issue with feeling like things were getting stuck on their way down, pain in the sternum/chest area, irritation in the back of my throat, and pains on both sides of the rib cage. I was on medication steadily since 2006. Every so often, the meds would seemingly no longer work and I would try something stronger to help. The new meds always seemed to help at first, but would fail me in the long run. At one point I was on Nexium AND zantac AND carofate to help with the pain I felt. I should also mention that I was nuts about what I ate at this time as well- I ate nothing under a 4 PH level. I was still having breathing issues on the regular, which I attributed to the GERD as it can trigger asthma symptoms.
While on those three meds, I had an endoscopy and the GI doc found nothing at all. Didn't even look like I had acid reflux and he said that I must be really sensitive. End of story with that guy. I continued to have issues and was put on Nexium twice a day- yikes! Needed special authorization from my health insurance for that dosage. Still had issues. I pushed to see another doctor in a larger metro area and she did swallowing tests as well as a 24 hr ph probe. When I was in her office and she told me nothing was wrong with me- I totally lost it. This prompted her to take me off the meds completely and test again for GERD. She took another endoscope with a 48 hr bravo (PH level test) and while she was down there tested for Celiac disease- bless her heart.
Very long story (6 years) short, I have Celiacs disease and never had acid reflux even though I was on meds for 6 years straight. I can tell you that when I am "glutened" my stomach swells and I have shortness of breath- as the previous thread mentioned because my diaphragm seemingly cannot expand due to my gut being so inflamed. Albuterol does nothing. I was aware of the swelling before, but just though it was transient and coupled with PMS bloating. Other immediate glutening symptoms of mine include severe nasal stuffiness, an overall feeling of anxiousness, a tight feeling in the back of my throat, and a foggy head. A lot of people have diarrhea and more issues with the digestive tract than I do (mine slows to a crawl), but this disease is very hard to pin down because everyone seems to present differently. Other issues I encountered due to malabsorption since my small intestine was compromised were loss of hair, sinus issues, eye issues including dry eye, dryness of skin in patches, horizontal ridges in my nails, and many other little irritants. I felt as though I was falling apart. There were also times when I was so hungry, but felt as though I couldn't eat because I knew it would only cause me trouble (trouble breathing and chest pain).
If I hadn't been diagnosed, I would surely be on anti-anxiety meds by now. I was always anxious and was actually seeing a therapist because of it- trying to avoid the meds. I can tell you that my anxiety is directly connected to the reaction to gluten. I though I was losing my mind at times and it made me so angry to see doctors treat me as though I was inventing these symptoms. I saw a LOT of doctors for many different things during the worst of it.
I guess this is just another possibility of several others out there. I wanted to add my story in case others are searching.
Last edited by Administrator; 10-11-2012 at 12:18 AM.