Breathing problems, cause, and is it reversible?

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For those of you with problems with breathing - feeling like you can't get breath enough air in - were you able to get a diagnosis as to what the problem was? ie esophagus scarring, inflammation, hiatal hernia

Were you able to eventually get rid of this problem once you got your acid reflux under control, or is the breathing issue a permanent condition? I'm new to this and my doctor hasn't been much help and I ended up in the ER last night where they ruled out heart and lung issues, but didn't seem to know anything about GERD and shortness of breath. 

I can't imagine being like this for the rest of my life. I'm fine if I sit still all day, but once I start moving around I get the breathing issue back again. It doesn't have to be anything very active; just making a sandwich causes me to feel like I'm not getting enough air. 

Also, do any of you find that when you have this breathing problem, that you feel tired all of the time?

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Anne,

    I had a breathing problem, tiredness  and GERD.  Bought an oximeter on amazon. My oxygen level was 88.  I messaged Dr,  he said come in now.  Was diagnosed with bronchitis.  Didn’t get better, was referred to pulmonologist.  CT scan showed benign lung nodules. Pulmonary test said maybe copd. Pulmo said copd, use inhaler and get a echocardiogram.  Will have Echo in June. Meanwhile GERD under control. Breathing ok right now,  but on inhaler. 

    Was your O2 level low?  Under 88 dangerous. 

    • Posted

      My O2 levels were checked yesterday and were 98 which is good. I also had an ECG and chest x-ray and both were clear of any problems. So now that heart and lung issues have been eliminated I need to get my esophagus checked. 
  • Posted

    98 o2 levels!  Very good. I had a clear chest X-ray before CT scan.  I’m anxious for the echo, my heart may not be pumping up to par.  

    Maybe you have a hiatal hernia.  Sounds like you’ll be having an endoscopy!

  • Posted

    Hi Anne,

    My O2 levels are 98% during the day but when I slept they were not much more than 40%. It only takes a few minutes to change from one state to the other.  I had daytime sleepiness, tired all the time which is the best indicator of Sleep Apnea. .  Research Sleep Apnea. It might change your life. Sleep Apnea turns lower esophagus reflux into upper esophagus reflux.

    After treatment for Sleep Apnea, I have no more uncontrollable symptoms.

    It won't fix a faulty stomach valve but your reflux will become manageable.

    The recovery breathing gasping of sleep apnea help the reflux move up your esophagus possibly related to your symptoms.

    Ask your doc for a sleep study or you can get a non-medical indication of sleep apnea via your iPhone. Either just record the audio as you sleep or use one of the many sleep/snore app available for the purpose. 

    An example of what to look for:

    You may hear silence most of the time (= not breathing) and then a period of breathing which can even be a bit noisy or even snoring. A person might breathe for 5 to 10 seconds and then stop breathing for 50 seconds, then breathe again for 5 - 10 seconds then stop again for 50 seconds  etc. etc. hundreds of time per night.  Look for a pattern.  The person has no idea that they stop breathing. The effect on their body is traumatic.

    10 years of untreated SA does more damage than 10 years of heavy chain smoking.

    I have no idea whether SA is related to your problem but it could be worth an investigation as you have eliminated heart and lungs.

    - John


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