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Avatar universal

Stomach bloating and shortness of breath

Can anyone tell me why I get so bloated and short of breath after eating even small meals? No gas, naseau or anything. Have severe mid upper abdomin pain but not daily or regularly and it doesn't seem to be related to eating. Also, I eat very little yet I've gained 15 lbs. since GB removed 9/07! Any ideas? I'm miserable! Thanks
32 Responses
Avatar universal
The pain is in your navel? Appears not shortly after the meal but few hours later? You have occasional heartburn? You burp?

If yes, then it's probably gastritis, caused by Helycobacter pylori. Diagnosis is by BREATH TEST.
Avatar universal
The pain is right under my sternum (Under ribs) and always hurts straight up into my neck and jaw on right side. It can occur at anytime whether I haven't eaten all day or not. No I never (seldom) burp. I try to burp and everything to help the pain. Have also tried to throw up and nothing helps. The bloating does happen right after eating though. Even before I finish. I can't figure it out. Any ideas?
Avatar universal
How old are you and are you male or female?
Avatar universal
I am a 41 yr. old female. In otherwise pretty good health.
Avatar universal
You say "bloating" but no gas or burping. So what is bloating for you?

Your troubles seem to come from the stomach.
You can ask for:
1. Breath test for H. pylori
2. Gastric emptying test (it could be gastroparesis).

You can experiment with the food. Drop all animal food (proteins) for let's say a week. Then try with dropping all sweets (sugar).
Avatar universal
It's just like my stomach (abdomin) all the way up to my breast bone swells. It doesn't growl, rumble or anything.
Avatar universal
So what do you think about some food experiments?
Avatar universal
I've already tried. I've tried eating only a couple of foods for a week or so and haven't came up with anything. It all has the same results. I also now keep a record of every food I eat. It's just so aggravating. I'm gonna make an appt. with my Gastro. soon. There's no use putting it off I guess.
Avatar universal
Does bloating go away after bowel movement?
Avatar universal
That doesn't seem related either! All of my problems usually start late in the afternoon and last until bedtime and are completely gone by morning. I feel so much lighter in the morning!! I have other gastro issues going on and I'm beginning to think its all related. I've researched everything I can think of and believe that SOD could be one of my problems. Do you know whether that could cause the bloating and if it is something that causes pain daily or only occasionally (as in once a week maybe)?
Avatar universal
What are these other gastro issues?

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction could cause bloating, I'm only curious how you say there is no gas.

When your gb was removed, something was found in it - stones? After that your symptoms improved? When there are stones in gb, after gb removal, stones may still develop in the biliary tract.
Avatar universal
About four yrs. ago I had an esophageal dilation. Now, just within the past few weeks I've been feeling the 'lump' in my throat again. I assume that it probably needs stretched again?
The path. report showed stones, sludge, diseased gb. The day of surgery, the surgeon told my husband that my gb was attached to my lung. When I went back for post-op I asked him about that but didn't really get an answer. He did say that when they see them like that it proves that it needs removed. Make any sense?  
Avatar universal
Esophagus was dilated from some reason - maybe from *systemic sclerosis? This is a connective tisue disorder, where a lot of connective tissue is in the skin and other organs, especially in the gut. Can you get some detailed documentation about what was the underlying cause?

Gallbladder attached to the lung again speaks for adhesions (connective tissue) which grew up after gb inflammation.

And SOD could also originate from connective tissue disease.

And bacteria often overgrow in the small intestine, when gut motility is depressed (like in systemic sclerosis). Bacteria produce gas.
Avatar universal
Dr. said that esophageal stricture was caused by years of heartburn, GERD. Have been taking Prilosec for three or four yrs. and don't have any issues with heartburn anymore. Thank goodness.  
Avatar universal
GERD may be due to anatomical change which may be due to conective tissue disease. Have you ever found anything unusual after a skin wound healing?

Systemic sclerosis and consequent small intestinal bacterial overgrowth - this is what we are talking about.
Avatar universal
I'd never heard of systemic sclerosis so I looked it up. It's scary how many of my problems are listed. First of all, all of this stuff started about four yrs ago (I think it's been that long). Only the heartburn I'd had for years. I saw a dr. for the same pain I have now and he did an ekg? and chest xray. He said I had a scar on my lung and emphysema. (Long time smoker-not nearly so much now) I've had about four follow up CT scans and it show it as a calcified nodule. Then had the esophageal stricture/dilation. Then my eyesight got so bad I couldn't see well at all and went for eye exam. Showed glaucoma which we're still watching. Had to get trifocals of all things. This for someone who had always had 20-20 vision. I blamed it on some of the meds. I'm on. Then as for joint and muscle pain, I can hardly get my socks on first thing of the morning! I had lately been wondering if I have hypothyroidism because of the weight gain and alot of the other symptoms. I haven't had it checked though. My family dr. is about useless that's why I never go. He told me that my abdomen pain is in my head! So now that I've put all of this together, what does it mean? And is it serious (if that's what it is)?
Avatar universal
Another thing, I don't know if it's the same as peripheral neuropathy but I just had a Morton's neuroma removed 12/28/07.
Avatar universal
You are woman of ...age? I suggest you write down your complete medical history from the birth. What symptoms you ever had, investigations, any treatment. Glaucoma, the nodule in lungs and Morton's neuroma may be all connected, but eventual additional symptom can clear the picture a bit more.
Avatar universal
First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to talk about this. I appreciate it.
I am a 41 yr. old female. I don't have a very remarkable medical history. Have smoked for 20 yrs. about a pk a day. Last three yrs. smoke less than 1/2 pk a day. Had an appendectomy at 19, had a child (naturally) at 24, miscarriage at 26, tubal ligation at 28, had a stress test, chest xrays, ct scans, abdominal ultrasound, & upper endoscopy (esophageal dilation) at 38, bunionectomy at 40, ultrasound & cholecystectomy at 41 and MN removal (and hardware removal from bunionectomy) at 41. I am 5'4 and weigh 154 lbs. Until last six months I always weighed 135 or below. Blood pressure has always been good. Cholesterol good also last time checked about 3 yrs ago. I've never had any serious illnesses, and still consider myself fairly healthy except for these abdominal issues. I'm pretty active (don't sit still very much) & no more stressed than anyone else! The only meds. I take are Spiriva, prilosec otc, wellbutrin xl, vit. a & vit. b-complex. Oh yeah, the eye exam also showed that I have calcium build-up in the arteries in my eyes. I have been taking these meds. for 3 or 4 yrs. Also, I can't remember anything!! But I blame that on old age, and usually not paying attention. So, that's about it.  I'll probably think of more after I post this. Thanks again for your help.
Avatar universal
So, it's this:
- appendix, gallbladder out, miscarriage
- GERD, esopageal tightness, MN, glaucoma and calcified retinal arteries, calcified lung node, emphysema.
- bloating from late afternoon to middle of the night, no gas or burping, pain radiating in the neck and right jaw.
drugs: Spiriva, Prilosec, Wellbutrin

Practically all of your physical changes speak for some connective tisue disease. That calcified node in lungs could be enlarged lymph node as occurs in sarcoidosis.

Bloating could be from decreased absorption or motility of your bowel (due to eventual connective tissue changes), or to bacterial overgrowth. Wellbutrin can add to constipation or lowered gut motility.

Lung emphysema and calcified retinal arteries may again be from connective tissue disorder, but they are surely aggravated by smoking. Having emphysema to extent you need Spiriva at 41 means that smoking is, please, extremely harmful for you.

Calcification - atherosclerosis could be also in intestinal arteries, causing lowerd intestinal absorption.

BREATH TEST can reveal bacterial overgrowth in small intestine (and H. pylori and bowel transit time at the same time - if proper breath test is performed). This is for bloating.

Then SOME TEST (*) to determine suspected connective tissue disease (sarcoidosis...).
I'm not sure about the nature of conn.tissue disease. It may be loose connective tissue (emphysema, foot joint, right jaw pain - could be from "TMJ"...). Anyone had discus hernia in your family?...
Avatar universal
My dad had a herniated disc and two of my brothers now have. Is that what you mean? In the back?
Avatar universal
Yes. Now you have three more reasons to believe that your problem is with connective tissue.  It is some disorder of the collagen fibers - which are present everywhere - in the skin, bones (your toe joint), nerves (MN), eye (glaucoma), lungs (emphysema), esophagus...and the rest of the bowel. So, connective tissue made of this fibers may be loose, weak or it overgrows after irritation. At this moment I'm not sure, if the common name for all these conditions exist.

So, any other problems with eyes, skin, bowel, joints in your relatives?
Avatar universal
On my dad's side, everyone had some sort of arthritis or other. He had arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis (are these different?) also. A couple of my brothers have back problems and three of my sisters also have been dx with arthritis in back and knees. I guess you can tell I have a large family! Four brothers and four sisters.
Avatar universal
Nice sample of family you have to help you with diagnosis.

Atherosclerosis (atheroma = calcified plaque on the inside of the arterial wall) is basicaly the same as arteriosclerosis. Sclerosis = hardening.

Atherosclerosis and connective tissue problems may ar may not be related. But you have obviously inherited the predisposition to both. As said, atherosclerosis in intestinal arteries may contribute to your problems. I personally think it's early for this, but atherosclerosis develops with time.

You have mentioned SOD - this may be due to the same tightenning process like your esophagus. This can be checked and repaired - via upper endoscopy (gastroduodenoscopy).  
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