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Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

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Old 02-26-2007, 12:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Posts: 3
yandoit2000 HB User
Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

Hello, I'm new here and hoping that someone can shed some light on my agony. I have had shortness of breath since September of 2006. It became constant in November and has been that way ever since. I am a 41 year old female with no known health risks prior to this other than controlled high blood pressure. Have also lost 65 lbs. over the past year due to GI problems.
In Jan.2006 I was diagnosed with a small stomach ulcer after two weeks of stomach gnawing and churning, along with nausea and headaches. The ulcer was not caused by H. pylori. Was put on Protonix and continued to have trouble. My GI doctor also prescribed Carafate which I took for several months. During the summer I did fairly well and then in early Sept. the stomach problems came back along with headaches. The middle of Sept. I noticed I was short of breath. I went to my PCP who did a pulmonary function test and an EKG. All was normal. I also made numerous trips to the ER because of the shortness of breath. Even had a heart catherization done because my breathlessness was so severe.
I have had numerous test performed as well as X-rays and a manometrics test of my esophagus. My GI doc did another endoscopy in Dec. and found a small hital hernia and imflammation of my stomach and ulcer, etc.. Said it was GERD and took me off Prontonix and on Nexium twice daily.
I continue to have CONSTANT shortness of breath and at times I feel like a elephant is sitting on my diaphram. My quality of life is horrible. I have even been treated for anxiety but I know this is not the problem. I am at my wit's end and wondering if anyone has had the constant shortness of breath. I feel pain in my tongue...under the tongue actually at times and feel like my system from my diaphram upward is like a car without power steering...running on manual instead of automatic....labored sensation of trying to breath. I feel like I have a dog collar around my neck much of the time and the sensation that something is stuck in my throat. Eating actually helps this sensation, but the shortness of breath is always there.
Can anyone relate and/or offer any advice?? Please help!! Thanks and God bless.

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Old 02-26-2007, 12:22 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 599
neddy HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

The acid from your stomach is coming up (probably when you sleep but maybe at other times) and burning your throat causing these symptoms. Stress is making it worse. I know the feeling, you feel like your not going to be able to breath as lump gets worse and worse. It takes about 2-3 days for this lump to back off. I stopped eating chocolate which was a big help to me. Also even though it feels like it's effecting your breathing it's really not, your nervousness or anxiety it making it feel that way. Try taking a Pepcid Complete before you go to sleep, see if that helps.

Old 02-26-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
Shirley M
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 43
Shirley M HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

Have you been checked for Asthma? I have allergy enduced Asthma and I also have acid reflux. I am on Singulair and that is helping me some. It would be worth it, to have your Dr check you for that.
Hugs Shirley

Old 02-27-2007, 05:43 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 560
alex12 HB Useralex12 HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

I have the same exact started in NOV and has ruined my quality of life. I feel as if my throat is so tight...I also have asthma but this feels different, it feel like I cannot get the breath through my throat. I see a specialist in NY and do breathing exercises, I also take Aciphex. I take Klonopin for hte anxiety this has caused me. I have also been to the ER and everything checked ok. I hope that eventually I get relief from this because It's killing me...I've been to more doctors this year then I have in my whole life! With no help yet.
I do steer clear of certain foods like Chocolate...I take enzymes, sleep with a humidifier, anything that can help.
Part of it int he begining was I would throw myself into such panic attacks thinking I was going to stop's so scary. Now I try not to panic as much about it, but it's still very uncomfortable.

Old 02-27-2007, 12:03 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Posts: 3
yandoit2000 HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

Thanks for the insight. I was thinking that I was the only person in the world with this problem!! I, too have been to more doctors in the past year than ever in my life. I have also taken anxiety meds but they have not helped me at all. The only thing that has helped me a little has been a drug called Elavil. It's a anti-depressant that is also used to help relax muscles. My GI doctor thought I may be having spasms in my esophagus. I had a manometrics test of my esophagus and that was normal. The Elavil does help me sleep now. Before I was not able to sleep because everytime I tried laying down I felt like I was choking.
Feeling short of breath all the time and feeling like I have a dog collar around my neck is miserable. I pray we both will get over this agony. Thanks for your post and God bless. If you have anymore suggestions, please let me know. Thanks!

Old 02-27-2007, 12:34 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 84
Trish17 HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

I can identify with what you're saying! I was diagnosed with GERD (esophogitis) about 5 years ago, and have been on and off of prevacid. (It's expensive w/o insurance coverage!) I was put on xanax last year. I've had throat swellings which required stretching my esophagus numerous times. But difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath has gotten really bad this time. I saw a dr. this morning, and the throat swelling, burning and shortness of breath are being caused by a goiter on my thyroid gland. I have been hypothyroid for years, and the throat problems have been partially due to the goiter. I will be having an US on my goiter next week. It was a shock! Perhaps you have a thyroid problem? Good luck!


Old 03-04-2007, 03:34 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 303
tooanxious HB User
Re: Constant shortness of breath with GERD??

I have this problem very bad at times. It feels like I cant breathe but Im actually able to breathe just find. Its like a pressure feeling and I have to catch my breath to make it go away but of course it comes back. Its reallly annoying. In fact this is the only symptom of all the GERD symptoms that is really causing me problems. What makes me really mad is that all PPIs havent helped this. All the DRs. are comletely worthless for GERD. Controlling the anxiety is the only thing that helps in managing the shortness of breath feeling.

Last edited by tooanxious; 03-04-2007 at 03:36 PM.

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