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Werid Gurgling/Bubbling In Chest When Getting Up After Laying Down?
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Werid Gurgling/Bubbling In Chest When Getting Up After Laying Down?

Not sure where to post this question, but I'm totally at the end of my rope & clueless as to what's wrong with me! For about a month, I've been having these dull sensations from my left rear chest, like towards the bottom of ribcage. First they felt like a vague bubbling sensation if I moved a certain way, and when I'd wake up especially after sleeping on my back or on my left side I'd feel sore on that side. I went to the ER they did a chest x-ray and said it was normal and EKG was normal and said it was Costochondritis (muscular). But about two weeks ago, I had a singing lesson where I got into it, and after that I noticed definate shortness of breath and some pain on my left side if I breathed deeply. A couple days after that I felt heaviness on my left side, along my collar bone, and felt like I couldn't quite get a deep breath on that side. And I started waking up in the morning for a couple of days feeling like a brick on my left upper chest, very unpleasant. I went to my regular doctor, he did another chest x-ray at my request, said it was normal to my surprise. The extreme heaviness has gone away mostly now but in the past few days I have been waking up with this gurgling/bubbling sensation in my left middle back after I have been laying on my back. I take a couple of breaths and it goes away.

I went to the ER again yesterday and they did a chest CT scan and said it was normal. Not even a slight pneumothorax, which I was worried about. The ER doc said he thought my symptoms are caused by lung secretions or allergies which pool at night when I'm at rest. he didn't give me any medicine or anything, just advised I take allergy meds if needed. My mind was eased somewhat by the CT results, because don't they show anything wrong in the chest? I do have allergies but they've always been in my nasal and throat areas not my chest unless I had a bad cold which I don't.

My other thought was a heart issue like mitral valve prolapse or regurgitation, but wouldn't the  recent x-rays and ct-scan have shown that too? So what is it, just drainage? And if so is there no treatment for it? I'm just tired of waking up with this gurgling and the doctors all say nothing is wrong. The ER doc yesterday did tell me to see a pulmonologist. I will, but what is causing this?  I used to smoke, but I quit three years ago. Also, along with the gurgling symptoms in my middle back when I wake up, during the day, I feel this weird pressure sensation in my lower left back area if I move a certain way. I am only 31, 5'11, and 170. I'm fairly fit, I do have a bit of a belly but I have a tall slim frame. I did have a pneumothroax on my left side many years ago but the x-rays and ct-scan all said I had none. I have had heart tests, echocardiograms, but the last one was like 2 years ago because I had a routine screening due to some family history of heart problems. But wouldn't the CT pick up anything heart or lung related? Should I request another echocardiogram? My gut is that this is a lung issue. But all the tests came back clear.

So basically wouldn't the CT-scan yesterday have shown any lung fluid/heart problems? Why am I having the gurgling when I breathe in when I wake up and get out of bed in the morning? I hate to go yet again to the ER, but if it doesn't go away I don't know what else to do. Maybe it is just drainage in the lung. But does it just have to go away itself? I do have a window air conditioner in my window that blows constantly, I'm sure the inside has mold in it, maybe that could be it? I just don't know.
5 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi, a CT scan would have picked up any structural abnormalities. An ECHO can help to study the heart valves more clearly. Your symptoms of gurgling could be due to GERD, (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), where the acid contents of the stomach came up into the esophagus.  There are other entities like a pharyngeal pouch, which  is a bulging pocket occurring at the top of the oesophagus, which can cause the gurgling noise. I suggest you consult a gastroenterologist, who will help evaluate these conditions. Regards.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the reply doctor, my doctors assured me the CT scan and chest x-rays all being clear should make me not pay this issue much attention. They told me even a small pneumothorax would show up on a CT scan. And I asked if a small leak in the lung would only manifest at night when laying down causing the gurgling sensation, the doctors said it would not.

I never thought about this being a gastro problem, maybe I will talk to my doctor about it! I did have an ECHO done about two years ago, but since the recent CT showed nothing wrong, there would be little point to having another ECHO, because nothing major would change in just two years? Doctors said there's no indication of the bubbling sensation being anything heart related.

They told me it may be lung secretions which pool at night, but is there a remedy for this? Will it go away, if it is lung secretions?  Thanks for the very helpful response. I'll follow up with my doctor.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi, lung secretions are usually due to an infection. They can also be due to an allergic manifestation like asthma. But when there are secretions, you should have cough as this is a protective mechanism to remove them, in the absence of cough it’s unlikely that there are any secretions. Besides the secretions can be heard during a physical examination of the lungs and they are termed as ‘crepitation’. So, check with your doctor regarding this.

In the meantime you try life style measures to help with GERD.  Take frequent small meals. Eat dinner about two hours before sleeping. Elevate the head end of the bed. Keep a food diary and note down what aggravates your symptoms and avoid them. Ensure to maintain optimum weight by regular exercise. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications NSAID's, quit smoking, eliminate alcohol and reduce stress levels. These measures need to be practiced long term for results. Hope this helps!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Dr, I told the doctors who evaluated me that I had no cough, just the feeling of gurgles & soreness on my left side when getting up in the morning. They listened to my heart & EKG and x-rays & Ct scan were all normal. They said it could be pooling due to allergies in the lungs. But why do I not feel the need to cough & why is it just my left side? I will try & do the things you suggested. Do you think based on all of this that it's probably not heart-related? Like I mentioned I had an echocardiogram done about a year and a half ago, & it was normal. The doctors in the ER said nothing would change that quickly, and that the CT would have showed something. I just want to rule out mitral valve regurgitation or something bad. I think it may be allergies, but going to follow up with my doc to be sure.
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976897_tn?1379171202
Sounds like this is impacting on your life, especially mentally, so they need to get to the bottom of it. My recommendation would be to have a camera exploration of your digestive system. There is no better method than getting inside and looking around.
Just as an insight, I can't see it being your valves. Gurgling sounds require air to be present, and believe me, if you had air in your heart you would not be around.
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