Asthma issue, or something else?


Q: Why is there a tightness in my chest when I breathe? (It is more complicated than that. Explained in symptoms)

Symptoms:  Ok so this is a long story, and is more involved than the question seems. Let me start by saying I do have asthma, and have my whole life. About 2 and a half months ago I began feeling a tightness all the time. At the bottom of my chest, right above my stomach. Eventually I was not able to lay on my stomach or left side anymore, as it would seem to completely cut off my breathing. I went to my lung doctor first, hoping the usual dose of steroids would solve the issue, but it didn't. After the 5 days of prednizone I was still having these symptoms. So I went to the ER for it, and they did xrays and blood tests and everything was fine. About a week later I was no longer able to lay on my right side, or back now, in addition to previous symptoms. I went back to the ER, and they did a CT scan this time. Again, nothing. They told me I should go and have an echo cardiograph. Which also said I was fine. More time went by and I went back to the ER again, this time, I was called a liar, and told I needed to see a specialist (which I had already done before.) I see my pulmonary doctor regularly. But regardless I went to see him, and he said my BMI was high, as I am a bit overweight. So I started walking 2-3 miles every day, and have been since. This also has not helped me. It has gotten to the point where standing is nearly impossible for more then a few minutes. Also when I'm standing a very specific spot under my left shoulder blade goes numb. Sort of like the feeling when you've sat on your foot for too long. It's never in a different spot, always the same. I'm a bit embarrassed to say it, but for the last month I burp.. A LOT. I'm thinking maybe it ties into the breathing problem. But there is no pain in my stomach. I cannot sleep laying down, I sleep sitting up in a chair, and it is horrible. I can't live like this anymore. It's affecting everything and I just want to find out what is going on. I've done a lot of research, but I can't find anything. I'm hoping for some sort of answer as to what this might be, or what my next step should be.

A:   Hello,
Thank you for your query at

I understand your concern.
You obviously have some lung pathology causing the symptoms. The tightness could be due to asthma itself. Even anxiety can lead to such symptoms. Anxiety can further increase stress levels leading to GIT manifestations like bloating, nausea, burping, etc

I will advise you to see a different Pulmonologist and get your pulmonary function tests checked. This will give a clue on how much difficulty you have breathing. You can also get a CT Thorax additionally.

I will also advise you to try a course of Tab. Montelukast 10 mg once daily at bedtime for 2 weeks.

Hope this was helpful,

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