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Breathlessness and large stomach

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  • Ellie
    replied
    Originally posted by Rosemary6NT View Post
    Unfortunately I do get a bit stressed when I'm feeling breathless so wondered if there is a psychosomatic element ...
    We all get stressed with breathlessness, so don't feel bad about that, it's a normal reaction... Relaxing your breathing helps to calm that 'panic breathing', the shallow, upper chest breathing, and it can also be helpful to put a hand on the tummy (if it doesn't slide down 😉) and focus on trying to breathe from under your hand, if that makes sense.

    Breath Stacking might help you maintain lung volume for longer, which you could also ask about next week. (I don't mean to do it when breathless) I do it with the LVR bag, as my muscles are too weak to do it unassisted. This 11min video explains all:

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  • Rosemary6NT
    replied
    Thanks Ellie , you are such a mine of information.

    "...a bigger stomach and/or belly does make it even harder for the diaphragm to function effectively..."

    The breathlessness has got worse since I've been stuck in a wheelchair and now my stomach has grown so big and my appetite has suddenly fallen off a cliff. When I've mentioned the breathlessness recently it has been put down to weakening muscles but it feels like a "volume" problem to me. I'm breathing mostly with the upper half of my chest and it is worse after eating a meal. (When I referred to exercise, I just meant moving about in daily living, not fitness exercise as I'm sitting/lying down all the time now)

    Yes, I've been having regular LFT tests when necessary and have had my booster plus flu jab.
    I don't think it's an infection as no temperature or fever and no discolouration of sputum. I've had many chest infections throughout my life and this doesn't feel like one. The cough has been with me for a few years now, prior to obvious ALS onset, and has been investigated. The only suggestion that came up was silent reflux. So I've taken medication on and off for that.

    Unfortunately I do get a bit stressed when I'm feeling breathless so wondered if there is a psychosomatic element ...

    I'm seeing my Neurological Conditions Clinical Specialist later this week, I'll run it by her too.
    Thanks xx

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  • Ellie
    replied
    Presumably you've taken a Covid test, first off.

    Originally posted by Rosemary6NT View Post
    I am experiencing periods of breathlessness, particularly [...] after exercise
    Rosemary, of everything you wote, that part worries me the most 😟

    Who am I to tell you what to do, but I wouldn't think that exercising when it results in breathlessness is necessarily achieving much.

    If this came on abruptly, getting checked out for a chest infection is a wise move, just to be sure - actually, even if it didn't come on abruptly, get it checked out. You'll be getting checked out for the hernia anyway 😉

    But yes, a bigger stomach and/or belly does make it even harder for the diaphragm to function effectively so, once the GP can find no obvious reason for your breathlessness, I'd be inclined to get a respiratory appointment/assessment through your clinic/consultant.

    The cough could be a sign that your swallow is affected, could be, not is, and is struggling to keep pace with saliva production. xx

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  • Rosemary6NT
    started a topic Breathlessness and large stomach

    Breathlessness and large stomach

    I am experiencing periods of breathlessness, particularly after eating or lying flat or after exercise and I have a persistent irritating dry cough which then produces phlegm. My O2 sat is satisfactory at 93-95% even when I feel breathless. I just get the feeling that my stomach has grown so large that it is impacting my diaphragm function. Is this all in my mind or have other people experienced this?
    My mind has been wandering in the direction of hiatus hernia....
    Last edited by Rosemary6NT; 22 November 2021, 16:47.
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