British Lung Foundation
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Arthiritis, Hiatus Hernia, Reflux, Lung Problems are they linked?

I have been on here for some time now and have noticed time again that people are suffering the same group of problems?

My Question is are they Linked? or Triggers?

I have rare occasions of Gout but as soon as it flairs up my breathing gets a lot worse and gooey lungs.

To help things along I have Atrial Fibrillation and I have noticed Reflux, Hiatus Hernia is also common with that?

Be Well

27 Replies
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I get the reflux Offcut, and I think most of us do as a side effect of inhalers, but don't have arthritis, gout or the hernia.

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My last rheumy told me bronchiectasis and inflam arthritis go together. He also mentioned crohns too, although you would be very unlucky indeed to have all three. Reflux often goes with lung disease too.

cx

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I must be the unlucky one as I have them all and a Paralysed Diaphragm to help things along :)

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Awe sweet I am so sorry you all three +, it must be such a struggle. I hope most are controlled well.

I only mentioned crohns as they told me this when they thought with all the gi probs I have had they once thought I had this also.

Good luck Offcutt.

love cx

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Iv never heard of a paralysed diaphragm,what happens exactly, I have hiatus hernia and asthma

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The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities and is controlled by the phrenic nerve. Diaphragmatic paralysis, whether it occurs in one or both sides of the diaphragm, is uncommon. In patients where one side of the diaphragm is paralyzed, the paralysis occurs in the left and right side with equal frequency. Whether the paralysis occurs in one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) sides of the diaphragm, all patients will experience some amount of reduction in lung capacity, particularly noticeable when lying down.

This happens to me if I bend over to tie shoe laces or put socks on I stop breathing. So I have to do this in stages and mainly wear slip on shoes. If I swim I am out of breath because of the action of swimming stops me breathing. I went to the dentist this week and had to sit up while they were fiddling as I could not breath.

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Good question Offcut. Pete has several of the things you mention and had a nasty attack of reflux at the weekend. I do think things can be linked or triggered because so many drugs are taken and if a person is unwell anyway then lots can go wrong. Pete often says that he just stumbles along from one thing to another. Hope you are doing ok anyway. Take care. xxx

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I just have emphysema and nothing else. No reflux or anything.

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I don't know about arthritis Offcut, but the others are definitely linked. All the coughing we do puts pressure on the diaphragm which can give you a hiatus hernia, and you are much more likely to have reflux with a damaged diaphragm. Plus as has been said, the medications cause reflux as a side effect. Can't win :(

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I too have reflux and had a hernia. For a long time the docs insisted my cough was reflux, but finally admitted bronchiectasis after CT scan. But I can add another one; thyroid nodules. I have to have a biopsy on these. I'd love to know if they are linked. I have found that watching my diet - less carbohydrate/fat rich foods like cake, biscuits and crisps, more fruit and veg etc.. Helps

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Another thought; I wonder if the docs are just too specialised to see the whole picture? I have three different consultants who each just look at their one little area of specialism. When I mentioned to both my chest consultant and thyroid one that I sometimes have trouble swallowing, their immediate response was a referral to ENT. The neck, throat and chest are all pretty close together, and they can't think of them as a system, so I'm sure they don't look at arthritis or gout at all. The GP's may be ok but they just don't have the specialist knowledge (and are almost impossible to get an appointment with anyway)

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I think there is a lot of truth in that. However it has been my cardiologist that wanted my breathing looked into more, but my GP's kept on insisting it was all my heart problems but were treating me for reflux and HH and knew I had a Paralysed Diaphragm and had lung failure in 2008. My Cardiologist also put me in for test to see if I had Anderson Farby Disease as most my problems ticked 95% of the boxes for it. I did not have it but there is a treatment for it with regular infusions but more or less a cure!

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Yep, I'm another one in the same boat, Offcut, get a lot of reflux and have a umbilical hernia through straining too hard to cough up the muck, also serious bloating which restricts breathing.

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I have put an extra 2 " on my belly with bloating :( Which will go down in time

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I should be so lucky. I start off flat every morning, can eat hot, spicy foods with little effect, but if I stoop to get things out of a cupboard or leave eating a little too long I instantly blow up from 40” to 46”. Have started to use ‘Deflatine’ which helps after an hour or so, don’t know if it is the ‘Meds’ or the hernia but I now use braces instead of belt !

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Although I have hiatus hernia, reflux problems and quite severe IBS and have been on Omeprazole 3 times daily for about 6 years now, no doc has mentioned that there may be any connection between those and my emphysema and bronchchietasis. You've got me wondering now!

All the best Offcut

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I am an avid reader of posts and it seems to pop up all the time. I saw an artical about reflux acid causing fibrosis?

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Ditto Offcut! I have also read that acid reflux can cause breathing problems. Look up GERD. Interesting!

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Hi Offcut, I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and a few years on was told I needed a CT Scan to check my lungs. It turned out I now have Pulmonary Fibrosis and bonchiectstatis, apparently the Arthritis affects all the body organs. I am having terrible problems with my eyes at the moment. My acid reflux is also very bad at the moment, I am going through an awful lot of Peptac liquid. I was reading the other day that reflux can bring stomach acid up and it gets into the lungs which makes them worse. Another side effect of the steroids I'm afraid. The Gout comes from the Arthritis too I believe. Also I do not use inhalers, with PF the lungs are different to Copd and the inhalers do not work, I just have to sit for 10 mins to get my breath back. Actually breathing so bad just now they sending me for a 6 min walk test next week to see if I need oxygen. Cheryl

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When I had my spiro at my gp's salbutamol made no difference to me on the second test. Which probably why they did not give me any at my hospital lung function test. My doctor said it was Restrictive Lung Disease due to scaring.

Do you have bouts of coughing and bring up clear slime?

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Just got over 3 chest infections in 3 months. Now I have been left with a dry cough, most of the time I bring up white slime but not clear. The coughing seems to come on on exertion. Cheryl

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Looking back it is more a white/opaque but defo slimey

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LOL when I looked at mine today after your reply I noticed that mine was more clear than white, its actually a mixture of both. Its probably coming from the bonchiectstatis mucus. Don't know what will clear this up.

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Hiatus Hernia & reflux is definitely connected and well documented as it interferes with the efficiency of the sphincter at the top of the stomach allowing acid to rise into oesophagous - causing reflux (heartburn, but 'silent' in lot of people).

Bloating can add to the problem putting pressure on diaphragm/stomach/lungs.

If you take statins, wind & bloating is a common side effect.

Spiriva, amongst other bronco dilators, relaxes the smooth (involuntary) muscle in the lung airways allowing improved breathing. However, in some people, it can also affect other involuntary muscle - the diaphragm and parts of the intestine (Illeus).. so these things are connected and exacerbated or even caused by the meds.

I came off atorvastatin (20mg) end of Sept '14 and felt feel so much better after a month off, bloating, belching and nausea gone completely!

I need to see Dr this week (Nov '14) to try a lower dose or an alternative (Ezetimibe).

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Hiatus Hernia is common in someone that coughs a lot too. I bloat by as much as 2" at times as for pressure on the diaphragm I have a paralysed one so that does not help at all. Interesting you mentioned statins I have been on them a long time. I had a reading or 3.5 before and still have a reading of 3.5 but they refuse to take me off them but have never given me a reason why?

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Taking you off them is a risk for them - you sue in the event of a heart attack. You could try coming off them for time and you'll see if they are causing or adding to the problem. You'll improve in a week if it was like me, but takes longer for the innerds to get subside completely.

If so you'll take a stronger line with your GP... he may offer a reduced dose or an alternative.

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it took me 2 years to get a test on my lungs even though I have had breathing problems most of my life? They have blamed it all on my PH and heart conditions?

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