What’s Really Causing My Abdominal Bloating and of Breaths

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Abdominal bloating occurs when the abdomen feels tight or full. This may cause the area to appear visually larger. The abdomen may feel hard or tight to the touch, and can cause discomfort and pain.

Shortness of breath is difficulty breathing. It’s the feeling that you can’t catch your breath, and that you are not taking in enough air. It can cause feelings of faintness and panic if it continues for long periods.

Possible causes of abdominal bloating and shortness of breath
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
anxiety or panic disorder
lactose intolerance
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
hiatal hernia
ovarian cancer
pancreatic insufficiency
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
cystic fibrosis
peripheral neuropathy
Legionnaires’ disease
celiac disease
Other causes of abdominal bloating and shortness of breath
Abdominal bloating has many causes. It is more common in people who experience functional gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or gastroparesis. Bloating can be due to the buildup of gas, fluids, or food in the stomach.

Overeating or eating foods known to contribute to bloating and gas, such as cabbage, beans, and lentils, may cause bloating.

Abdominal bloating can affect the diaphragm, a muscular partition between the chest and abdomen. The diaphragm assists in breathing, which means bloating can lead to shortness of breath. This happens if the pressure in the abdomen is enough to restrict the movement of the diaphragm.

Being short of breath can cause you to take small, short breaths. This can lead to swallowing air, which is known as aerophagia. Difficulty breathing can be brought on by anxiety or panic attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and asthma attacks.

There are conditions that can result in both abdominal bloating and shortness of breath.

Any condition that leads to the buildup of air or foodstuffs could cause both bloating and shortness of breath. Also, stool inside the intestines, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, constipation, ileus, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis could cause bloating and shortness of breath.

If bloating or shortness of breath is severe, seek immediate medical treatment.

Remember that the above list is not exhaustive but contains some of the more common conditions that may cause shortness of breath and abdominal pain.

When to seek medical help
Most abdominal bloating should resolve itself with time when the excess gases, liquids, or food can move through the stomach and intestines. However, if your abdominal bloating and shortness of breath last longer than a day, seek medical attention.

Also seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with shortness of breath and abdominal bloating:

blood in your stool
chest pain
dark, bloody, or tarry-looking stools
uncontrollable vomiting
loss of control over bladder or bowel movements
severe abdominal pain
vomiting that does not cease after one day
any worsening symptoms
How are abdominal bloating and shortness of breath treated?
Medical treatments for abdominal bloating and shortness of breath will address the underlying condition. For example, over-the-counter medications may help resolve abdominal bloating. Bronchodilators can help to open the airways and improve breathing.

Home care
When you experience abdominal bloating, drinking more water may help to reduce symptoms. Walking also helps to relieve gas, but this may not be possible if you are experiencing shortness of breath.

If anxiety is causing your symptoms, taking slow, deep breaths, and thinking calm, peaceful thoughts might help relieve your symptoms.

Taking over-the-counter medications to reduce gas, such as simethicone drops, digestive enzymes, and activated charcoal may help abdominal bloating. Find a great selection of digestive enzymes here and activated charcoal here.

How can I prevent abdominal bloating and shortness of breath?
Avoiding foods known to cause abdominal bloating can help reduce your risk for experiencing symptoms. Also avoiding carbonated beverages can help.

Refraining from smoking can also help to reduce shortness of breath, and lessen the risk of potentially fatal lung disorders.

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2 Replies to “What’s Really Causing My Abdominal Bloating and of Breaths”

  1. Thank you for this informative article. I’m just wondering whether you’ve heard about the Keto diet and whether that might be a way to go about reducing bloating? It basically means you’re eating a lot less carbs in a day, but it also has quite a lot of cabbage in it as far as I can tell. Would be interesting to hear your opinion on it. 

    What products would you recommend the most for bloating? 

    1. Hi, petra,

      If your abdominal bloating is due to the type of food you eat going keto will be best. But if the bloating is due to intestinal malfunction, the cause must be dealt with first before going keto. If the cause is due to pregnancy you can take mist magnesium trisilicate palliatively to help you remove air till you deliver your baby. As I observe that most people who complain of abdominal bloating take Gaviscon which gives them relieve. But if your abdominal bloat causes you severe breathlessness. Please consult your doctor.

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