Undiagnosed stomach issue with bad breathing problems

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Hi, brand new to the forum and as i'm sure most people when they first come here are, I'm feeling a little exasperated at a lack of diagnosis. I can understand it because there's multiple symptoms and of course they all seem to overlap.

Firstly, in 2011 at the age of 24 I weighed in at 21st 2lbs and had a lot of problems with acid heartburn and regurgitating undigested food. The doctors put me on Lansoprazole which I found useful because it took the acid edge of the regurgitating of food. I changed my diet and began exercising more, which made me even more determined to lose weight because I was looking a hell of a lot better too!

By the time the Endoscopy and Barium X Rays came around, I'd already lost 4 stone so all the symptoms had gone. I'd stopped taking the Lansoprazole because I wasn't regurgitating food anymore. I went on to lose 7 stone and have had no symptoms for 3 years. 

Moving on to Ocotober 2014 and I had sort of a gnawing pain in the stomach, a mix between pain and hunger. I managed to sleep through, but in the morning the stomach ache had got worse and whilst at work was coming on in waves. Around midday one of the waves of pain from my stomach went all the way up my throat, into my chest and in my back. It worried me because i'd never felt such a weird sensation, so with the chest tightness and arms tingling my dad instantly rang an ambulance.

They took me to hospital and despite reassurance i'd done the right thing, I felt like I was taking the mick because I was clearly in a lot better condition than most of the people in A&E.

They tested my heart and did a few bloods. Everything seemed ok and I felt much better so they released me and I went home.

I went to see my GP about a week later because for that week i'd experienced tightness across the chest, stomach ache and regurgitation of food. No heartburn this time, but I put that down to be at a healthy weight. The GP said she suspected the incident was a panic attack and that the other symptoms i'd had since were anxiety. I'm an alpha male in some ways but would completely buy into the whole stress/anxiety issue because i've had friends suffer from stress. 

Since then i've developed significant breathing problems where my breathing is now laboured  100% of the time.

The breathing is by far the worst symptom of all which I need rectifying as soon as I possibly can, but alongside the breathing i've got the following symptoms

- Food & Drink just sat in stomach for hours (Not for 3 weeks)

- Stomach Ache (constant for 2 months)

- Difficulty Swallowing (once or twice a day for the past 2 months)

- Tight Chest (Not for 6 weeks)

- Acid Regurgitating when bending over or when over eating. (constant)

- Breathing Difficulties (constant)

- Lots of Belching

- Feeling of trapped wind. having to wriggle around to burp for relief.

- Bad acidic taste when brushing back of teeth

- Burning sensation in top of mouth and nose when breathing in through nose.

I had an endoscopy 2 weeks ago which found 'nothing serious' but i'm awaiting my next visit to see the stomach specialist for a follow up.

In the meantime i've been on Lansoprazole for the acid which has taken the acidic edge off the regurgitation, although the regurtitation still occurs along with all the other symptoms

I also got sent by a GP to a therapist for anxiety and after an initial assesment they said they didn't think I was anxious at all and to pursue the medical route. i'm not an anxiou person at all but I have had a lot of changes recently. House Move, Bigger Mortgage, I'm a newish dad (11 months now), Having to live away from my GF & son whilst my new house is being sorted, a lot of work to do on the new house, very busy and understaffed at work whilst living with my boss (& dad!). So I'd buy into stress, but it seem every route I go down is a dead end.

Any help would be massively appreciated.

Also, I don't drink or smoke at all. Starting to think I should drink to chill out! But with the stomach problems i'd rather not exacerbate them!

 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Breathless

    Breathing problems are quite common with gastric issues. I have been down the same route as you. Nearly 3 years of going round in circles like a hamster and not getting to the bottom of anything. I get more of a pressure feeling mid chest. I was told it was esophagal spasms. I too seem to suffer with breating issues most of the time. I had a hiatus hernia which was fixed a few months ago (along with the delightful nissen op). This didn't cure me. I am now seeing an ENT who has confirmed inflammation in the throat. Reflux can also cause vcd which can affect breathing a lot.

    Have you had any tests done?

    It could also be slow stomach emptying - this causes pressure on the diaphragm and reflux.

    Food intolerances and bad bacteria can also pay havoc with your digestive system. You could try some heavy duty probiotics for a while and see how you go.

    Good luck and keep posting

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  • Posted

    Hi just to say you have my sympathy, and it's great to hear from others who suffer from similar symptons because it sometimes feels very lonely when you feel so unwell, and you fear of boring family and friends with it...

    i have suffered fron oesophogitus acid reflux and small hiatus hetnia for years .  I try to come off lansoprazole every now and again and it's fine for a couple of weeks but then starts up again, worse than before so it's best to just stay on it I thunk...my symptons are feeling unwell, burning throat keeping me awake at night, dreadful sharp pains in breast area and under shoukder blade, swallowing gets awkward, then burping follows, all horrible and not nice, feels like your going for a heart attavk at its worst, and so embarrassing when again at a and e it's just acid again...so I have sworn to just take the blasted pills I hate taking meds but with this it seems the only wZy,  my breathing has been affected a lot this last time, left ribs feel like they won't move to take deep breath, after all tests they say it is down to avid andvhavevupped the dose for a while,,, deepest sympathy with it, try get it under control with thecmeds they have given you as tedious as it is, seems once you suffer from it you have it forever, it is debilitating to say the least and can make you very irritable and snappy, because it's uncomfortable and because your not sleeping well,   Kind regards g

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  • Posted

    Hi Breathless H,

    I've been suffering with breathlessness (on inhalation primarily) for 5 months, along with severe voice hoarsness and constant blocked/stuffy sinuses with occasional earache.  I also share your "burning" sensation on inhalation in the back of my throat.  I also find that my breathing when I'm lying down in bed becomes quite shallow, as when I wake up I need a few deep long breaths to feel remotely normal to get up, during which my windpipe and bronchus feel tight.  I purchased a reflux sleeping wedge 6 weeks ago; jury is still out on its usefulness.  I also had an 8 week persistent dry cough over August & September, and even now I still feel my throat is on the precipice of entering another coughing fit, it feels so tender.  Finally, I also have right sided chest pain (front pectoral area extending toward armpit, and right shoulder blade which can be severe, like a burning pain).  

    After 2 months of trial & error on asthma & antihistamine med's through my GP and a lot of sick leave from work, it was a trip to A&E with severe breathlessness that a Doctor first suggested that it may be acid reflux, or to be more specific as it's harming my airways - Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. I also had bloods (thyroid, liver, kidney, anaemia), an ECG and chest X-ray done, all of which were OK. I've had paramedics at my work and another A&E visit ontop of this. I was put on omeprazole for 2 weeks by the A&E Doc, which was extended to 2 months following an ENT referral for a laryngoscopy (throat inflammation and granuloma on voice box found).  I was on 2 x 20mg per day, along with Gaviscon Advance 4 times a day per ENT's recommendation.  

    I've recently come off omeprazole having suffered bouts of sickness & diarrhoea which have taken my weight down from 15st to 13st in 5 weeks.  I'm 29, male, and 6' 2" and generally in good shape.  PPI's may work for a lot of people, but combined with Gaviscon Advance (which bungs you up), it was destroying me. I also felt severely fatigued and spaced out for much of these 2 months on omeprazole.  Heartburn was never an issue (symptoms were always silent).  I've done the "Dropping Acid" Dr Kaufmann Indiction & Maintenance Diet. I also only drink alkaline water.  I've read about the PepTest which analyses your saliva for traces of pepsin as a form of diagnostic test for reflux, though there are research papers from institutions who have investigated this which conclude that it's not guaranteed as they could replicate positive results on known "heavy" refluxer's who'd had oesophageal endoscopies.  On this basis I've not opted for the PepTest, but I guess if you're willing to part with £71, it's an option for getting closer I a diagnosis.  

    I haven't had caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, spicy/fried/fatty food, dairy, etc for 3 months now. Weight loss can be apportioned to my diet change, but not 2st in 5 weeks and certainly not the bouts of illness which only commenced once I was on omeprazole.  I'm now on Ranitidine 2 x 150mg.

    Despite all of this, I'm still breathless, with an out of tune digestive system.  I can only describe the breathless feeling as being akin to when you've mistakingly inhaled smoke (from a BBQ or passive smoke, etc), and there's a lingering feeling of rawness in the windpipe and lungs.  My opinion of GP's is that this condition is poorly understood and the symptoms are rarely taken seriously, and there is a general reluctance to provide a referral to a GI/ENT/pulmonary specialist because they'd rather prescribe PPI medication.  The breathlessness is incredibly debilitating, as I'm sure you can appreciate. I do have asthma, but my peak flow readings are 600+ (in other words, healthy) and as I say it's on inhalation that I feel the tightness and raw feeling.  I have been taking a steroid inhaler (Seretide 100), but I can't say for certain if this has helped.  I've observed that for no apparent reason - and at any time of the day or night - I have considerable bouts of breathlessness which I can't relieve using inhalers or actual tablet-based steroids (the latter which my GP gave me as a contingency).  

    I've got a chest referral coming up in early January where I'll be pushing for a CT scan to see exactly what's going on, as my ENT follow up concluded that, after 2 months on omeprazole and Gaviscon Advance, my throat has healed from inflammation and granulomas, although I'm still hoarse and sore in this region, and I'm still breathless which is my main concern.  Although my GP has anecdotally given me a diagnosis from the laryngoscopy results, I'm not convinced as I'd not long stopped coughing prior to the laryngoscopy, so in my ignorant opinion I wasn't surprised that damage was found. 

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  • Posted

    This seems fairly standard. I could relate to this long history of developments. The breathlessness and tightness of the chest are also typical. Seems lansoprazole is not really a great idea as drug. Dizziness, weakness and hunger are among symptoms. I know this from personal experience. I feel best when I cheat the dosage. Only the heartburn comes tumbling back.. GORD is at the extreme end of the digestive spectrum beaten only by cancer. The worst part is the long waiting period to see gastrointestinal experts in the UK. My take is to embrace Nissan fundoplication which is a syrgical operation that live practically held up like this.
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