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Does anyone's breathing get so bad...

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:16 PM   #1
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Does anyone's breathing get so bad...

that you think you should go to the hospital or something? Right now my breathing is really bad and I debate whether I should be going to the ER. Can they do anything anyway if this is all from acid? What would they give me? Do any of you feel this bad? I know this may sound stupid, but is this dangerous or life threatening? My ENT gave me the impression it wasn't and so did my doctor. I guess this has been what has kept me from utterly panicking when it happens. But now I'm not so sure. What tests should I ask for to reassure me? I'm scheduled for the 18th to go in, but I'm thinking I need asap. I know I will not sleep tonight. This ailment is debilitating!! I find no one understands either. How could they, when we don't, our doctors don't fully, and there is no definite treatment!
Took prilosec in a.m and zantac in evening, doesn't seem to be doing a thing. I know
I should go get it checked but then when it goes away and I feel semi ok, I say to myself it was just a bad flare up from the lpr. I haven't even been diagnosed formally , but I sure have the all the symptoms.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: Does anyone's breathing get so bad...

YES!!!! It isn't very common for it to get that severe with acid reflux, but it can absolutely happen!!! I had it happen to me and it scared me to death. I was literally turning purple and couldn't talk at all by the time I got treatment. I was moments from passing out.

With acid reflux triggered breathing problems, they not only treat the acid reflux, they will treat the lung inflammation as well. It may be with steroids, breathing treatments, inhalers, etc... Mine was so bad that they gave me a shot of epinephrine to open my airways.

If you are having trouble breathing, seek out treatment before the 18th. If it is severe, I'd go to the ER. If you think it can wait until tomorrow, then go in tomorrow. Breathing issues are nothing to mess with though.

For your information, my acid reflux irritated my lungs and throat so much that I had to work with my primary care doctor, a Pulmonologist, a Gastroenterologist and an ENT to find a good treatment balance.

As for testing, I had a whole series of tests over the course of several years. The tests I found most "telling" for my issues were:
-Modified Barium Swallow and Esophagram: This test showed my acid coming up to irritate my lungs and being aspirated. It also confirmed the reflux coming up past my LES.
-Manometry: This test showed my LES function getting worse over several years. (I had 3 done during that time.)
-24 hr pH testing: This test confirmed my reflux. It confirmed I had extremely severe reflux.
-upper 24 hr pH testing by Restech: I had this test at my ENT. It showed I had gaseous acid coming up past my upper esophageal sphincter. My results for this also came back extremely severe and they even had me on PPI's for the test. (It isn't typical to be on PPI's for testing.)
-Upper endoscopy w/ biopsies: Ironically, this showed I didn't have any damage from all that extremely severe reflux. It reassured me though.
-Lots of bloodwork. (Watch your iron levels. I developed anemia with my acid reflux issues.)
-Chest x-rays: These were taken to monitor my lungs issues.
-Chest CT: Again taken because of my breathing issues.
-TB test: Ruling out additional triggers for breathing issues.
-Pulmonary Function Testing: Testing from my Pulmonologist.
-Overnight oximetry monitoring at home: Checking for breathing issues while sleeping. Mine came back with some issues.
-Overnight Sleep Study: Ironically showed no issues, but I had this after my Nissen Fundoplication. I was also wearing a sleep splint. I would have been interested to have seen the results prior to my NF since my pH tests all showed severe refluxing from about 2-4 a.m.

Please don't take your breathing issues lightly and seek assistance if it is needed!!

Wishing you well,
Asthma, Allergies, Dry Eye, severe LPR/GERD, TMJD, Hearing Loss, Ulnar Impaction Syndrome, Shoulder Impingement, Ankle ligament repair, arthritis, Joint Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder

Last edited by MountainReader; 08-30-2012 at 08:46 PM.

Old 08-30-2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Does anyone's breathing get so bad...

With me, I had acid reflux AND mild allergic asthma. The combination did sometimes leave me with potentially serious trouble breathing, and I needed both asthma medicines and reflux medicines to manage it. (Since my reflux surgery, my asthma is almost always fine!)

So, if it's just uncomfortable, don't worry. But if, say, you're trying to talk and have to pause for breath in mid-sentence, or you're so winded it's tough to walk, then seek immediate treatment. A reflux-induced bronchospasm is still a bronchospasm, and it should respond to medicines.

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