Reflux and shortness of breath: Hi everyone, I’ve... - Thyroid UK

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Reflux and shortness of breath


Hi everyone, I’ve been experiencing reflux with no heartburn but burning in the upper oesophagus/throat region. My main symptoms were feeling food come back-up the oesophagus, coughing st night, hoarseness and a dreadful shortness of breath.

Been prescribed omeprazole 20mg a day for 28 days. Am over halfway through the course but shortness of breath is not improving. I’m not breathless as such; just can’t get a full, deep breath at all. This came on at the same time as the reflux.

I did go to A&E at first, fearing a blood clot. Lung x-ray was clear and recent FBC was fine, with everything in range.

Has anyone else experienced this dreadful inability to get enough air? The GP said my oesophagus could be pressing on the trachea. How long does oesophagitis take to heal? Any other tips to promote faster healing? I’ve ditched coffee and tomatoes and spicy food but am still drinking tea. I’m hypothyroid, so am needing tea to get going in the morning!

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

14 Replies

Sounds like you're under-medicated. Do you have a copy of your last test results?

Ihave3kids in reply to greygoose

My last blood test results are on my last post and I don’t know how to link them but Jazzw has kindly linked them below, in her reply to me, if you have time to check them over - if not, don’t worry.

I agree with greygoose totally . It would be very valuable to have your thyroid values .

Ihave3kids in reply to jgelliss

They are linked below in Jazzw’s second reply. Thank you.

greygoose in reply to Ihave3kids

I had a look but I can't add anything to what has already been said. :)

And possibly not just undermedicated for thyroid issues. Feeling like you’re unable to take a deep enough breath could be iron deficiency anaemia or Vit B12/folate deficiency. Have they been tested?

I see several things were too low when you posted this 7m ago

Did anything get addressed?

Ihave3kids in reply to Jazzw

I upped my NDT by 1/4 grain. I started on spatone and recent iron results are fine. I’ve started injecting B12 more regularly. Those are the changes I’ve implemented in recent months. Fatigue has improved a bit but reflux has appeared. Still experiencing morning stiffness and stiffness after sitting down for a while.

shortness of breath can be down to being under medicated.acid reflux can be down to food intolerances and would probably be useful to do an elimination diet to see what you are reacting to. Hope you feel better soon


You need to retest thyroid and vitamins including vitamin D

Or test just vitamin D now for £29

Post result when you get it

Low ferritin can cause breathlessness

Eating liver or liver pate once a week should help improve ferritin

Folate was low. Supplementing a good quality daily vitamin B complex, one with folate in not folic acid, may be of benefit

If you are taking vitamin B complex, or any supplements containing biotin, remember to stop these 3-5 days before any blood tests, as biotin can falsely affect test results

Thank you. I’d forgotten my folate was low. I think it’s a structural problem, in that my oesophagus is swollen and is compressing things and the acid is irritating my upper airways. I didn’t realise there was a connection between reflux and hypothyroidism though, so I’ll look into that further.

SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Ihave3kids

Many many hypothyroid people find strictly gluten free diet helps

Presumably you have Hashimoto's? Even though antibodies are now within range. Were antibodies high in the past?

Most people with Hashimoto's/hypothyroidism have low stomach acid, not high acid

Are you taking TEVA levothyroxine, these have the effect you describe on me together with palpitations.

Have you had scans or xrays?

I had this for years. It was a horrible burning feeling in my throat. I got those omeprazole too. I could hardly breathe and was diagnosed asthmatic - inhalers helped a little with this but not much.

Then I saw a GP who commented that my neck was very swollen. I was busy at the time so it took me about a year to agree to go to the hospital.

I got scans and X-rays. They found I had multi nodular goitre. It was big towards the front but huge at the back and was restricting both my swallowing and breathing.

After about another year - when the burning was constant - I agreed to have my thyroid removed.

Since I had it removed I have had none of these symptoms. I remember waking up from the operation and having a drink of water. I was amazed that I only had to swallow once for it to go down. Before that even with water I had to swallow 5 or 6 times to get it out my throat.

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