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What do spasms in the diaphragm indicate?

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Posted on Fri, 4 Dec 2020
Question: I am a female 55 and am having spasms in my diaphragm when I relax they are not painful what is this?
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Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin (54 minutes later)
Brief Answer:

The spasms may not be in diaphragm but intestine peristalsis

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Based on the history you have shared, it can be due to abdominal spasms or increased intestinal movements or peristaltic activity which you may be feeling like a diaphragmatic spasm as you have shared.

But diaphragm spasm is a potentially life-threatening condition associated with severe respiratory compromise or impaired lungs functions.

But still for reassurance get yourself reviewed by your primary care physician for detailed chest examination and respiratory rate comparison along with abdominal auscultation for bowel sounds.

If such suspicion persists, Pulmonary function tests may be needed along with arterial blood gases.

Meanwhile, antispasmodic meds like drotaverine can be taken if the origin appears to be from the gut. Also, supplements for calcium, B12, folic acid and D3 can be started.

An X-ray erect abdomen and ultrasound abdomen may be needed as well.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin (20 hours later)
I'm sure it's coming from the diaphragm as I used to sing and know where it is and how to use it. The last time I went to the doc he just hit my knee looking for reflex and told me it was gas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to go to a different doc but no other docs here are accepting accepting pain mgt patients
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Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:

Neurologist opinion may be sought rather than pain management doctor

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

Even if the diaphragm is involved it may not be spasms and may be irritation due to stomach flatulence or other cause of phrenic nerve irritation which supplies the diaphragm.

But complete spasms in between aren't possible as it would have caused significant respiratory problems to carry out daily life routine.

Still, a neurologist opinion can be sought to carefully examine for whole bodies motor and sensory systems and look for any spinal level or issue with the diaphragm.

Pulmonary function tests are also a good way of assessing musculoskeletal issues relating to respiratory musculature especially diaphragm.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Saddiq Ulabidin, General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 3941 Questions

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What do spasms in the diaphragm indicate?

Brief Answer: The spasms may not be in diaphragm but intestine peristalsis Detailed Answer: Hi, Based on the history you have shared, it can be due to abdominal spasms or increased intestinal movements or peristaltic activity which you may be feeling like a diaphragmatic spasm as you have shared. But diaphragm spasm is a potentially life-threatening condition associated with severe respiratory compromise or impaired lungs functions. But still for reassurance get yourself reviewed by your primary care physician for detailed chest examination and respiratory rate comparison along with abdominal auscultation for bowel sounds. If such suspicion persists, Pulmonary function tests may be needed along with arterial blood gases. Meanwhile, antispasmodic meds like drotaverine can be taken if the origin appears to be from the gut. Also, supplements for calcium, B12, folic acid and D3 can be started. An X-ray erect abdomen and ultrasound abdomen may be needed as well. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.