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Bloating causing no relief

My bloating is causing a tightness in the upper chest. Which feels like my throat is restricted… very wheezy and I get very little relief from using the nebulizer or the rescue inhaler. I thought it was albuterol but changing to a Atrovent didn’t help. I can’t stand the bloating. I never had it until I had a falafel with bronchitis in December of 2015. Since then my COPD has been the cause of this bloating. Does anyone suffer from this that think it’s the nebulizer? I was on advair and albuteral for years and didn’t have the bloating. I was able to walk about a mile and now in about 18 months I can barely walk at all. The tightness feels like I have a scarf around my neck tied too tight or a T shirt on backwards. I also have wheezing. The rescue inhaler doesn’t relieve it.

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  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Kathykuder –

    I’m so sorry you’re having such a miserable time with bloating. There is no question it can be a big problem when you have COPD because when the stomach bloats it raises the diaphragm, which in turn pushes up into your lung space. People describe experiencing everything from a mild feeling of chest restriction to severe shortness of breath. It sounds like you fall into the latter category.

    Chances are it’s not your nebulizer. However, I would certainly bring the subject up with your doctor to be sure.

    There are many foods that don’t mix well with COPD. There’s a good chance one or more are contributing to your bloating.

    Here’s a few to watch out for:

    – Carbonated beverages
    – Fried foods
    – Meats with Nitrates; bacon, processed lunch meat, and hot dogs
    – salt; causes you to retain water which can also lead to bloating
    – Cruciferous vegetables; broccoli, cauliflower, and others rich in fiber.
    – Dairy products such as ice cream, butter, and cheese.
    – Foods with sulfites; shrimp and wine

    The list is certainly not comprehensive, but it’s a start. You may want to keep a food log and note everything you eat for a week or two and whether or not you experienced bloating. It may help you eliminate the food items that you’re particularly sensitive to.

    Lastly, as I’m sure you know, it’s often better to eat many small meals throughout the day rather than one or two big meals. Many people with COPD have found this to be very helpful in controlling shortness of breath that comes from eating too much at one time.


    Lyn (moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Kathykudder and thanks for your post. I see that Lyn has provided a very thorough and comprehensive reply to all your concerns.

    I would underscore the importance of bringing your current symptoms to the attention of your physician. For you to be wheezing (as you describe) with no relief from your nebulized medication or rescue inhaler speaks to a worsening or persistent symptom. I would suggest you contact your physician for a further evaluation.
    Please check back with us and let us know how you’re doing.
    All the best,
    Leon (site moderator)

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