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  • Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

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    Old 02-25-2009, 04:12 AM   #1
    j2006
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    Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    I was recently diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and GERD. Prilosec is working a bit with the burning so far - but am having some breathing issues. I feel tht I can't catch a full breath. Does anyone have this side effect?

     
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    Old 02-25-2009, 08:36 AM   #2
    jellebeans
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    hi,sorry cant help with your question but i was wandering what all your symptoms are of your hernia? ive loads of probs and wandering if i have one! x

     
    Old 02-25-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by j2006 View Post
    I was recently diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and GERD. Prilosec is working a bit with the burning so far - but am having some breathing issues. I feel tht I can't catch a full breath. Does anyone have this side effect?
    Hi there, I've been wondering if anyone else gets problems breathing as I do and I read your posting and was so relieved!! I have a hiatus hernia and GERD. I feel most days like I can't get a full breath which is scary and find myself pushing on my diaphragm to fulfil the breath! Thought I was going crazy as my GP says it's stress or I'm imagining it!
    I've recently had manometry test, 24ph test and upper GI endoscopy which revealed severe acid problem. Suffered for around 15 years on medication which now isn't as effective!

     
    Old 02-25-2009, 06:06 PM   #4
    j2006
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    I spoke with my doctor today and he said that he did some serching and that a chiropractor could possible help with this symptom.

    It is very frightning to me - this symptom. I am sure some of it is anxiety related but I have never had this breathing issue and I do suffer from anxiety.

    I will let you know if this helps.

    Anyone else out there have any suggestions?

     
    Old 02-25-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    I've had severe respiratory problems from reflux for years. I was able to keep it under control with treatment, diet and lifestyle changes until last year. I had to take a new approach when everything stopped working.

    My recommendations: read up on LPR. Treatments for that work the same for the reflux affecting breathing. PPI's twice a day help many. Prevacid solutabs twice a day helped me for about 3 years. I tried all the others after that, but none worked anymore. I also supplemented with Gaviscon in the evenings. Lifestyle changes include avoiding reflux triggering foods, wearing loose clothing around the waist, sleeping with my bed on a 6 inch incline, losing weight, etc... I'm also treating my asthma aggressively at the same time.

    My Pulmonologist recommended surgery when all else failed. I also worked with a GI doc also. Finally had the surgery last October. It is called a Laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication. While surgery is a very last resort, it can be effective for those with reflux that have breathing problems.

    Reflux that affects breathing can become severe. Please work with a Pulmonologist and Gastroenterologist to find treatment strategies to help get your symptoms under control. My reflux became so severe last year that I ended up needing emergency care for breathing difficulty. I've never been so scared in my life.

    Infolady, I had all of the same tests and a Modified Barium Swallow and Esophagram. The last two confirmed the acid was coming up and irritating my lungs. They also found a hiatal hernia as well. That was new. I didn't have it a couple years ago. My theory is that it developed with all of the chronic coughing I have been doing. The hernia was fixed as part of the Nissen Fundoplication. Typically though, surgery isn't recommended for the hiatal hernias.

     
    Old 02-26-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    Just wanted to say that I was diagnosed with GERD-induced asthma as I was having difficulty with breathing. The doc explained that with the acid reflux some of the acid when refluxed can get into your lungs causing the problem. I was on Symbicort before my Nissen. Now I do not need it. I no longer am on Protonix or any other PPI's most of which had quit working. The Protonix only helped the heartburn and did nothing for the reflux.

    I am happy to say that unlike a lot of the posts on here, I am "so far" having a positive experience postoperatively. I sincerely believe you cannot go to a physician who performs these infrequently. You will have much better results with an experienced thoracic surgeon. My doc at UPMC performed 4 the day I had mine. The worst was the nasogastric tube after the surgery, but that was only for 24 hours and I was on morphine during that time which puts me to sleep for the most part. I am 2 weeks postop and on a soft diet. Of the 12 pounds I initially lost, I have gained 4 back (darn, wish I could have kept it off). So far have had none of the problems expressed on the posts on this board. Good luck to you if this is the path you end up taking!

     
    Old 03-02-2009, 06:01 AM   #7
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
    I've had severe respiratory problems from reflux for years. I was able to keep it under control with treatment, diet and lifestyle changes until last year. I had to take a new approach when everything stopped working.

    My recommendations: read up on LPR. Treatments for that work the same for the reflux affecting breathing. PPI's twice a day help many. Prevacid solutabs twice a day helped me for about 3 years. I tried all the others after that, but none worked anymore. I also supplemented with Gaviscon in the evenings. Lifestyle changes include avoiding reflux triggering foods, wearing loose clothing around the waist, sleeping with my bed on a 6 inch incline, losing weight, etc... I'm also treating my asthma aggressively at the same time.

    My Pulmonologist recommended surgery when all else failed. I also worked with a GI doc also. Finally had the surgery last October. It is called a Laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication. While surgery is a very last resort, it can be effective for those with reflux that have breathing problems.

    Reflux that affects breathing can become severe. Please work with a Pulmonologist and Gastroenterologist to find treatment strategies to help get your symptoms under control. My reflux became so severe last year that I ended up needing emergency care for breathing difficulty. I've never been so scared in my life.

    Infolady, I had all of the same tests and a Modified Barium Swallow and Esophagram. The last two confirmed the acid was coming up and irritating my lungs. They also found a hiatal hernia as well. That was new. I didn't have it a couple years ago. My theory is that it developed with all of the chronic coughing I have been doing. The hernia was fixed as part of the Nissen Fundoplication. Typically though, surgery isn't recommended for the hiatal hernias.
    What emergency care did you get with the breathing? I've just today postponed my Nissen Fundoplication as I'm so scared of the after effects! I've decided to think a bit more before I go ahead. Consultant doesn't know for sure if the breathing is related to acid reflux. Did you get a full 360 degree wrap or partial? I've been told you can't vomit after the procedure or bring up any wind. Wondered how that feels! Do you have any after effects?
    My chronic cough stopped when I stopped taking my inhalers for suspected asthma. The asthma felt like it came from the top of my stomach rather than my chest and no one knew why, which was when the inhalers were stopped. My breathing hasn't changed but the awful cough and lumps produced has!

     
    Old 03-02-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    Hi infolady,

    I actually have asthma with environmental and some allergic triggers in addition to the reflux problems. I have a chronic cough as my symptom for both the true asthma and the reflux.

    My emergency: A year ago I had a really bad breathing day. I woke up with some symptoms of an asthma attack. I used my Albuterol upon waking. I also used it again before I left home because it was cold outside. About half way to work, on the highway, I started having trouble breathing. I couldn't put two words together, was breathing shallowly and started hyperventilating. By the time I got to the doctors, my lips and fingers were tingling and starting to turn purple and I was getting light headed. The doctor gave me an epinephren shot to help get my breathing under control. I also started on a short round of Prednisone. (I was already on Advair 500/50, Singulair, Albuterol and Tessalon Perle.) I was so close to losing my ability to breathe that it scared me to death. I immediately scheduled to see a Pulmonologist. After listening to my history and doing some tests, he called me up and told me that despite my lifestyle changes and twice a day PPI's, my reflux was out of control and was triggering my asthma attacks. He recommended the Nissen last April. I actually spent from April to October working with my GI doc to try all of the PPI's on the market to see if any non-surgical options would work. It was the most miserable summer ever. I spent the entire summer coughing and feeling horrible from the medication side effects. I was actually excited when it came time for my surgery in October.

    The surgery is a big step and certainly one to take seriously. If you have it, it needs to be right for you. Testing confirmed my reflux (and hernia) and that it was affecting my lungs. (24hr pH, Modified Barium Swallow, Esophagram, PFT, EGD, Manometry, chest x-rays) I worked in tandem with my Pulmonologist and Gastroenterologist to try all non-surgical options first. In addition to what I tried this past summer, I had been treating reflux for about 6 years prior. The treatments just stopped working for me all together last year. I opted to have the Laproscsopic Nissen Fundoplication when nothing else worked anymore. I really needed to get my breathing under control. It was about 10 months of being out of control when I actually had the surgery. I was more comfortable accepting the surgery since it was available laproscopically. (I have 6 small scars and had a shorter healing time with fewer surgical side effects.) I also had a surgeon who had a lot of experience with this procedure. I had a full wrap done. My coughing was gone from the minute I woke up after the surgery. With the exception of a few environmentally triggered attacks, my asthma has been good. The chronic coughing still hasn't returned. I am extremely happy that I had this procedure done. From what I had read on the internet on medical websites, people with breathing related reflux problems are good candidates for successful fundoplications.

    As for how I've been post-op. I'm not able to vomit, but I do have standing prescriptions for nausea medication in case I need it. (Zofran is great for this.) I have had some occassional nausea. I had one day where I would have thrown up, but I wasn't able. It was kind of like "dry heaves" but a bit different. I could feel my stomach contents bouncing around a bit before I got it settled. I've been belching since right after the surgery. The surgeon said that it is air that isn't making it past the fundoplication, but at this point, I'm not convinced of that. I have had some gas bloating issues since the surgery, but I believe that the bloating is also influenced from the IBS I developed when I was on Nexium last summer. (The Nexium totally messed up my guts.) I'm still careful with what I eat so as to not cause any worse bloating issues. I also still take twice a day PPI's also. That is to help with the IBS as much as it is for the reflux though. My GI doc is worried that the additional acid in my digestive system when I go off of them may make the IBS worse.

    As for long-term side effects. I will always have to take small bites and be careful to chew all food well. I also can't gain any weight past what I was at when I had the procedure. That isn't a current concern though because I am about 20 lbs down currently. I don't get sick all that often so I really am not worried about the inability to vomit.

    So far for me, thumbs up for the effectivness of the Nissen Fundoplication.

    Hope I answered all your questions.

     
    Old 09-19-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    Yes I also have a hiatus hernia.On an ex ray at the hospital for something else it showed up and I was told it was the biggest the doc had ever seen (well thats me all over) I dont have any acid refl;ux what so ever i cant understand why but am not complaining,I do have the inability to take a full breath though as you do too.Its like the kind of feeling you get at the end of a good yawn.It feels as though you have to relieve a bit of pressure and I usually get it when out walking.It feels quite horridble as if you cant breathe sometimes. i really need to get exercise walking but am finding it hard.

     
    Old 12-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    j2006--I have the exact same breathing problems. Had every possible cardiac/breathing test. A couple of cardiologists and pulmonologists said stress. A few other said deconditioned. My GP (now former GP) put me on an assortment of anti depressants. It made me a zombie who couldn't breath. My acid reflux was taking a back seat. When I read that acid reflux and breathing are sometimes related, I decided to go to a gastro guy to see if getting the acid reflux under control might help my breathing. It took many years and two gastro guys, every conceivable gastro test, every conceivable medication and I ended up with a nissen fundoplication with a hernia repair. I have mixed results from that and STILL can't breath. Back to a third pulmonologist and he said to get a personal trainer. Been doing on an exercise program for three months and still get that feeling that I have to raise my shoulders to breath. It's been 15 years and I really don't think anyone knows what causes the feeling that you can't catch your breath and having low exercise tolerance.

     
    Old 04-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #11
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    Re: Hiatal Hernia, GERD and breathing

    doctors say they don't think so. Hate walking up stairs and bending.

     
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