Asthma UK community forum


Its good to see everyone is still being helpful to each other on this website. After twenty four years of asthma i am slowly giving up on myself lately. I am down to 18 per cent lung function but feel so bloated all time, consultant told me today its AIR SWALLOWING thats causing be to be so bloated and causes more breathlessness. Its worse pain than the breathing. I was curious if i am the only one or are they just guessing. If i could get the stomach to go down, i feel i would be able to breath better. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thanks

7 Replies

Hi ken, I've never heard of air swallowing before. Do you have ibs? I suffer with ibs which makes my stomach really bloat up, some days I look 5 months pregnant and it's very painful where as when I'm not bloated I have a totally flat stomach. I've suffered with it for yrs and my gp told me that my asthma and ibs are indirectly linked if I have a flare up with one then the other will flare up too. Maybe something you could look into?

Hope this helps

smithy x


I've heard of something, not sure if it's the same, but it's more that asthmatics tend to over breath, taking in huge breaths, when they don't need to. Yoga style, breathing may help, many claim it does, and is generally slower, that how most breath.


Hi Ken,

I too have terrible trouble with bloating and look 9 months pregnant when it's at it's worst. It even happens when I just drink water. I've mentioned it to my doctors on numerous times and said that it makes my asthma worse but they look at me as if I'm talking another language! But it pushes up onto my lungs making it harder to breathe. The only solution I have found which helps is not to eat or drink anything but this is ridiculous because we have to eat and drink, although eating small frequent meals does seem to make a difference. Hope this helps

Take care



air swallowing

My son has had a very bloated tummy for the last week, which coincides with him trying montelukast for the second time (the first time it made him so nauseous he only lasted 5 days). The aching seems to be worse than his breathing and has made him miss school for the last three days. My GP seemed perplexed, saying she had never seen side effects like this, but I see great similarities between his case and my elder daughter who has IBS as part of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Sam, my son, has never had tummy problems before, but the last three months I have heard him frequently complain of nausea and cramps. Until now the asthma has been my major concern as he was newly diagnosed and we've been struggling to get his medication right (still struggling). It seems a remarkable coincidence that these two conditions have emerged together and I can only surmise that the drugs he has been on, especially predisolone and montelukast, in addition to a standard childhood tummy bug a few weeks ago, have sensitised his gut so that it is reacting adversely to normal food. Hence I am trying what has really helped my daughter - a lactose and gluten free diet with simple food, small meals, slow eating and probiotics. I hope this will turn out to be a short lived experience!


air swallowing - IBS?


What I also meant to say in addition to my rather long case history was that the air swallowing possibility had been mentioned to me but seems rather unlikely. I notice no significant over breathing in either son or daughter, but have discovered that bloating is a key sympton of food intolerances or allergies, especially of lactose intolerance. There must surely be a link as well between sensitivity to asthma triggers and sensitivity to foods. I really am not a neurotic mother or fussy about food, more an eat-everything-on-your-plate-don't-listen-to-mumbo-jumbo mum, however the last year's experiences have shown me the objective reality of these problems. i would be interested to hear of anyone else who has linked symptoms.


Well everyone seems to have said what i was going to say is it IBS? I know that in the past when i used to eat eggs or things with egg in my stomach balloons visably so i look pregnant, it called being bloated and is very painful and my asthma always flares up, i personally think it is because the stomach squashes longs (not medical thing just personal thought) but is sounds similar to what you are describing.



Thanks for your replies, so many varioius solutions. IBS sounds ok, but i wake up feeling bloated and full. So that confuses me. It feels like i have got a full xmas dinner in my stomach thats not digested fully. If i had willpower and know how to handle the hunger pains i feel i dont need to eat for at least a week, to ease this bloated feeling. Lungs pushing diaphragm down wards is the latest advice i got. Does that make sense. Thanks once again.


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