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Had episodes, severe constipation,enema and laxatives. Had an echocardiogram. Could it be an impacted or semi-blocked intestine or liver problems?

For about 2 weeks now I have had episodes where it feels like I can't get enough air- that I have to take really full, deep breaths not to suffocate. It feels like I just ate a giant meal. Five days ago I had severe constipation and it took an enema and laxatives to get things started. That seemed to bring relief to my breathing, but it soon feels like something pressing against my lungs, When at my PA's office my O2 stats are 96-100 %, even though it feels like I'm suffocating. I have had an echocardiogram that showed no big problems and X-rays that show fecal matter.(Whether the amount present is normal or not I don't know). I am a 57 year woman, and was told 4 years ago I have Crohn's , but have it under control. I'm a non-smoker. I can't sleep because when my breath is labored when I drift off to sleep or even relax,I have too shallow breathes and wake up gasping.My PA suggests drinking plenty of water and to keep taking stool softeners. I am going crazy from tiredness and panic of breathlessness. Could it be an impacted or semi-blocked intestine or even my liver? (My hands are beet red- not from dryness- and I've read that could be a symptom of liver problems. What tests do you suggest? This is asmall town in Kansas with no local specialists.

Asked On : Sat, 6 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  28
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Pediatrician 's  Response

Thank you for your query.

Though you have mentioned a lot of things in detail you have not mentioned your weight which can be one of the reasons where you may have a feeling of suffocation.

You mentioned that your x-ray abdomen showed fecal matter. I suggest that you get an ultrasound of your whole abdomen which will give a better picture of your liver, gall bladder and your intestines. In case constipation is the reason then you need to modify your diet to check constipation. You would like to refer to my article at to have a better perspective.

I hope I have answered your query to your satisfaction.

Wishing you all the best.


Rajiv K Khandelwal
Answered: Sat, 6 Jul 2013
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