Discomfort in the diaphragm region?

Is it common to have discomfort in the diaphragm region when your asthma flares up? Just wondering. I have been tight for a while and also feel tight in the diaphragm region. 


Comments 13

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, @Breatheeasy, I thought this was a good question that others might want to see and chime in on. 

    When you say discomfort in the diaphragm region, do you mean horizontally near the bottom of your rib cage? Or do you mean something else?

    Your doctor had told you not to use your rescue inhaler, right? I may have missed this, so if you have already, please forgive me, but could you circle back to your doctor and call or email through your medical portal and ask what you should do when you have these symptoms? 

    What did your doctor say about not using your rescue inhaler?

  • Breatheeasy

    Well when I questioned him about the discomfort they did an ultrasound and scanned my lungs and stomach area and they said there was nothing. He said it most likely acidity or gas. I however have some muscle cramping near the diaphragm and am actually supposed to be going for an endoscopy. Which I don’t feel very brave about right now because the doc said I would be conscious during the process. I will however make my gastro appointment once I meet my pulmo and tell him that I want to go for an endoscopy and I need a rescue in case I react during the endoscopy.

    Yes I was told to avoid the rescue inhaler – ventolin because my brochospasms got worse when I used it. But I tried some combivent  at the doctors and it seemed to work for me. So I am going to discuss that during the appointment on thursday. 

    I was wondering though if it’s common for the diaphragm to feel tight as well when the lungs are tight 

  • Wheezy Me

    Hi breatheeasy,

    I guess so. The diaphragm is one of the main muscles of respiration and it works harder during an asthma flare. Coughing a lot can cause muscular pain too.

    Is the discomfort you describe worse when you take a deep breath/cough? Did it start in parallel with the asthma flare? If so I guess it is related. If the answer is no, or it's related to food, then I agree it is more likely related to the stomach or esophagus.

  • K8sMom2002

    Breatheeasy, having any procedure for the first time can be anxiety-producing! But I can assure you that while you're "conscious" during an upper-endoscopy, they usually give you Versed, and you don't remember anything after that.

    I've had two "Upper GIs" and I can tell you that the last thing I remember about both was the nurse saying, "Okay, we're about to give you the Versed." The next thing was me waking up suddenly and asking, "Uh, when are we going to do the procedure?" only to be told, "Oh, hon, it's already done!"

    If you're having pain that is caused by GERD or reflux, it may be a trigger for your asthma. So helping that may help your asthma as well.

    I'm glad that you will be talking to your doctor about other options for a rescue inhaler since you've experienced bronchospasms from your Ventolin inhaler. It's important to have a plan in place for each of your "asthma zones." 

    I know some of our folks here have not been able to use inhalers … could you talk to your doctor to see if your doc thinks it could be something in the inhaler that might not be in a nebulizer solution? Or if there is a different kind of rescue inhaler or medication that you might try?

  • Shea

    I just had a chest CT scan _which might be a nice non-invasive way to see what is goung on for you) and I was diagnosed with a hiatial hernia–a condition in which part of the stomach bulges upward through an opening in the diaphragm. I have frequent heartburn and abdominal pain– which are likely caused by it…. And my acid reflux/heartburn can sometimes flare my breathing… And it does say in symptoms that it can cause inflammation in the eosophagus. Soooo… I have a follow-up with my doctor about what Im going to do for it (Im already on zantac and otc tums), BUT it made me think of your thread here, as a possible thing you could get checked for– they say either an endiscopy or CT can diagnose it and mine was diagnosed by CT of the chest… Which us much better in my opinion than getting an endoscopy.

  • Wheezy Me

    Shea, you're right that CT is nicer than undergoing an endoscopy; however it uses radiation, so doctors don't usually use it unless necessary, especially in young patients. (I guess you had that CT scan for other reasons?)

    Plus, an endoscopy can diagnose some other conditions more accurately. It depends on what Breatheeasy's doctor is looking for.

    Anyway, I'm glad for you that you got the diagnosis and hope that proper treatment will improve your asthma control, too!

  • Breatheeasy

    The doc said endoscopy because I have things getting stuck in the throat when eating. It could just be the asthma but want to rule out anything else. I have constant reflux too with food regurgitatation. It’s somewhat under control with the reflux meds. 

  • Shea

    Good point WheezyMe (and yes mine was for heart-related stuff). I am so used to medical tests, I forget about the risks associated with radiation! I should increase my antioxidants… 

    Im hoping to get another med to just treat the reflux part but considering the other options too. Im like you breatheasy– dont like endoscopy or surgery stuff :/ but ultimately want to know whats going on and fix the problems.

  • K8sMom2002

    Breatheeasy, I hope you can get the scope done without too much trouble. It sounds scary, but both times I've had mine done, I can't remember a thing. And if it can give your doctor some information to help you manage your symptoms, all for the better! When do you have to decide?

  • Shea
    Wheezy Me posted:

    I've never met anyone who likes endoscopy or surgery stuff😉


  • Breatheeasy

    Well the Doc’s primary concern was the regurgitatarion which has gone down since the meds. So I now it’s sonething I need to go for just to rule out any issues. I’ll go for it as soon as the cold is done. 

  • K8sMom2002

    I'm glad you have time to plan for it and prepare for it … and that it doesn't have to be done on an urgent timeline. Yay that the medication is helping!