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Chest tightness & breathing problem, indigestion, reflux. Had short spasm in chest that makes to cough & breathlessness. Symptoms of asthma / heart problem / hiatal hernia?

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Practicing since : 2003
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When I carry something heavy - such as a suitcase, garbage bag, etc - my chest tightens like someone deflated a balloon and it is hard to breathe. It goes away shortly after I stop carrying the item. Sometimes this happens just by walking up a hill, or if I am walking in very cold air outside. Is this indication of asthma, heart problem, hiatal hernia - or what? It really scares me. I have also had a problem with some kind of short spasm in my chest for the last few years, that feels like a small balloon expands and then deflates for just a second or two, and it makes me feel like I have to cough - and kind of takes my breath away. It feels like it's in my diaphram. Could this be related to the issue above? I do get indigestion often, and might have reflux at times.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You are currently having complaint of chest discomfort and exertional dyspnea along with occasional cough.

2. You seem to have been evaluated for cardiac and lung problems.
However the following evaluation will be required:
- Clinical Evaluation: including assessment of Body mass index
- Cardiac status: Fresh ECG, 2D Echo, Serum lipid profile
-Lung status: Chest Xray, Pulmonary Function Test, Sputum Examination

3. Once the above have been investigated to rule out any major disease involvement, then proceed further.

4. Considering the type of chest discomfort and your symptoms suggestive of reflux, all your chest symptoms can explained by GERD(Gastroesophageal reflux disease). You need to visit a gastroenterologist and get your gastroscopy done to confirm the diagnosis. GERD does cause such discomforts and you need to start on antacid medication along with lifestyle & dietary modifications for GERD.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer any follow up queries.

Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.


Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
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