Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Stomach Bloating
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Stomach Bloating

I get stomach bloating 3 or 4 hours after meals - usually each afternoon and evenings.

I have suffered for many years.

NB: As soon as I become bloated it affects my breathing - I get tight chested, mucus forms on my lungs(or becomes more evident)and I usually get a cough.

I do NOT believe the breathing problem is GERD/ acid reflux related, since I seem to have this old acid problem well under control now with good diet, weight loss and medication.

Q1: Any suggestions why there appears to be a close connection between my stomach suddenly bloating and the daily onset of breathing distress?

[I feel the abdominal distension impinges upwards on my diaphragm/lower lungs - could that result in having lung discomfort ?]

Q2: Any helpful tips to reduce my stomach bloating and avoid the breathing disorder.

Thanks !

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I think I have answered similar questions from you regarding this.  If it has been shown that GERD is not a problem (i.e. via a 24-hr pH study), there are other possibilities.

One would be gallbladder disease, where the symptoms after eating may cause some respiratory problems (this is an atypical presentation).  You may want to consider an ultrasound and liver function tests to evaluate this.

Another would be gastroparesis, or delayed gastric emptying.  This can cause bloating leading to breathing problems (again, this is an atypical presentation).  A gastric emptying scan would be the test of choice if this is suspected.  

Irritable bowel syndrome would also increase bloating.  Antispasmodic agents or increasing fiber intake would be considered if this is suspected.

As to tips to reduce bloating, it would depend on what is found during the tests.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Thanks,
Kevin, M.D.
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same thing happen to me alot, but i kept a food diary and tried to pin point what the cause was, mostly dairy but some spices like  garlic do the same thing also.  I hate when it happens i feel like i can't get a full breath and i know that its just bloating but none the less its still scary.  I hope you get some answers soon.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had the very same problem. Mine flared up the worst on a business trip where I felt I could barely take a few steps without losing my breath. I was bloated and felt a pressure under my lungs. The symptoms were so bad one night after eating pizza that I considered going to the emergency room because I felt I couldn't breathe properly. I got better over the next few days but had another attack of bloating and shortness of breath after eating lunch a few days later. I laid down and suddenly it dawned on me that every time I had eaten dairy I was having these difficulties (I had cheese sandwich and milk for lunch). My stomach was so bloated that it looked as if I had swallowed a balloon and the breathing difficulties kicked in about 30 minutes after eating. Don't know why it took so long for me to realize I may be lactose intolerant. Guess I just never considered it although it seems so obvious to me now. It just so happens that during the business trip I had been drinking milk because I figured I needed to "live more healthy". I usually never drank milk at home.

I'm now using two pills of Lactaid Ultra before every meal and have had no further episodes. I feel much better, less sluggish, and the bloating had disappeared. The breathing difficulties are also much better. Funny how things work out.
By the way, I went to a pulmonologist during the time I was having problems and everything checked out. He stated that the bloating was what was causing the breathing discomfort.
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Avatar_n_tn
I used to have very similar symptons.  Garlic is the main culprit for me, but also try dairy free and eating little but often.  Worked for me.  Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel theres excess gas stuck in my stomach. Most of the time when I feel like belching, the gas goes back to my stomach before I can get it out. As a result I eat very little. There is NO acid reflux or pain at all, but the bloating really irritates me.I have been having the problem for a year now, been to 4 doctors and tried antacid which did not help at all. Can anyone tell me what could be the problem?
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, same here was started.
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