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Shortness of Breath - seeming to stem from eating
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Shortness of Breath - seeming to stem from eating

My husband is a recent non-smoker and has suffered from morning coughing spells associated with smoking. (Coughing overall has lessened since he quit.)  Last evening before going to bed he ate a bowl of cereal, within minutes he was short of breath, which became worse when he lay down. He described this as if his chest felt like it instantly filled up with fluid.  He coughed, had to sit up, took shallow breathes for about an hour and then it finally passed and his breathing eased.  Could this have been caused by the milk?  Somehow connected to smoking? He has gained weight since he quit smoking, perhaps a connection between stomach and lungs?  Thank you for your help. Wendy
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Hello,
I don't want to alarm you as I'm sure you're really worried. I'm not a doctor, but it sounds like he could have congestive heart failure. This isn't as bad as it sounds, it's not fatal, and in fact it can be treated. Fluid build up in the lungs and coughing is characteristic, and breathing becomes difficult when lying down. When you listen to the breathing through a stethoscope you can hear a crackling sound (rales). I would have him checked by a doctor as soon as possible, if this is the problem he needs prompt treatment, usually with diuretics and oxygen. In my opinion this doesn't sound food related at all, unless he has a severe food allergy which can cause trouble breathing from swelling in the throat. If you suspect food allergy and he has trouble breathing after eating once again, I would take him to the ER because it can be serious (anaphylactic shock). Best of luck to you and your husband.
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Avatar_n_tn
This sounds to me like a case of bronchitis. Most ex- smokers have a bit of fluid in their lungs. It's best to check it out with your family physician. Most things are simple.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
no one can say what your husband has but
you might want to check out GERD
Acid reflux
I myself have Gerd and I had those symptoms at first
Good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with Christine.  My husband is a 38 year old diabetic and has recently been diagnosed with early congestive heart failure. Symptoms sound the same.  He has shortness of breath, turns very pale, general weakness and has a lot of fluid retention.  Diet and duiretics have helped. There is not much to do at this point and he seems to be fine. Please see a physician for diagnosis.  Just to be safe.
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It sounds like acid reflux to me.  Sometimes things like nutrasweet and other artificial sweeteners can cause this.  Sometimes also too much fat in the diet can cause this.  i have experienced both.  If you have any questions you can contact me by email.  My address is ***@****,
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Wow, I never thought I would see this.  I too have had problems after eating with a very overwhelming full sensation that makes deep breaths difficult.  After every meal I swear I won't eat again.  Sitting is difficult and lying down impossible.  At night when lying down to sleep it automatically becomes more difficult to breathe and I make a raspy gurgling sound breathing out.  I have asthma and it has been bad lately but this has never happened before and I don't know if it's related.  My husband says my breathing sounds while sleeping are very disturbing and not wheezing.  I've been hoping to "get over it".
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This condition definetely sounds like laryngo-pharyngo-reflux which is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux) taken up to the level of the larynx (voice box).  There is quite a bit of recent research that shows that acid reflux can come up to the level of the larynx and and cause problems in that area, which can include laryngospasm (closure of the larynx in response to stomach acid), asthma, irritation of the larynx and even larynx cancer.  The fact that this breathing event occurs when lying down after eating a meal goes along with this as many people reflux after meals.  Also being overweight increases your risk of suffering from reflux.  

Do a Medline search on laryngopharyngoreflux as read.  Dr. Jamie Koufman (I'm not exactly sure if this is the correct spelling) is widely published in this area as well.  See if this fits.  And go ask your MD about it (bring articles along if he is not a GI or ENT specialist).  Treatment includes reducing some of the behavioral factors that can increase reflux (like obesity, eating right before bedtime, eating spicy foods, fatty foods, etc) and medications to control reflux if it is a more chronic event (Prilosec, Previcid).

I am not a physician, but I work in an ENT practice and perform 24 hour pH probe studies on patients which detect reflux at the level of the larynx and I see alot of this.
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