Discussions By Condition: Repiratory conditions

Shortness of Breath, Sternum.

Posted In: Repiratory conditions 14 Replies
  • Posted By: janmarbol
  • July 2, 2008
  • 04:27 PM

I searched everywhere to see what organ/bone/muscle is in the area affecting me, and found that it might be xiphoid process.

There are times it takes my breath away as it seems to swell. Most of the time it worsens after eating or late in the day. There is no comfortable position and pressing on it seems to alleviate it while applying the pressure, or changing positions may help temporarily (even an inch can sometimes do the trick).

It goes from bothersome to almost painful, and it's hard to breath!! I have never injured the area either. If I wear a tight bra, it feels like someone is punching me. It becomes like a round ball; you can't see it, but you can definitely feel it.

Does anyone know if there an organ in the digestive tract behind the sternum and/or xiphoid process (lower sternum) that tends to swell and therefore apply pressure to the xiphoid process and make it seem like that's what's swelling?

I can't believe a cartilage/bone would swell from eating. I don't eat much either.

Help! What is this???

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14 Replies:

  • I justed posted today about a similar issue. I have posted in the I can't get a diagnosis board.Briefly, I feel as though I cannot breathe and it comes in episodes. It is exactly as you say, from a swelling under the sternum. This has been going on for four years. Hot weather(I live in Florida) and eating salty snacks can bring on an epidsode that can last for weeks. Lasix can allieviate the symptoms, but they can come right back. Usually taking oxygen and IV lasix work better. The swelling seems to be fluid that accumulates after eating. If I eat little or no salt for a period of time, the episode will eventually improve, but in the hot weather it is always present to some degree, salt just jump starts it.I don't know if you've experienced any of this or if yours is much different. Do you notice any foods that set it off? Is there a particular time of day or year that makes it worse? Are you in good condition or more of a couch potato? Give some more info...
    toybug2 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • thanks so much for your post! i live in FL as well! hmmm... but is it the heat? I've lived in other places that were hot but never had this. I try to eat things w/little or no salt (as I bloat easily) My fingers swell and my legs too. I can gain 7 lbs from morning to evening barely eating! Then lose it right back the next day. I haven't noticed any particular food trigger it though, I will have to check. Thanks again!
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • oh, and lately i do not get much exercise
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well...we both live in Florida...that IS interesting! Try to think if you have symptoms more in the summer or in the winter. Do you live in south, central or north Florida? My symptoms got worse when I moved from central Florida(Lived there for almost twenty years) to South Florida. At the same time that I moved there were several other changes...trying to figure out if they are related or not.1) began working outside doing landscaping work2) exposure to chemicals from landscaping work3) had gained weight a few years prior but had lost almost all by that time4) onset of menopauseI have some ideas of how I want to proceed as the medical doctors don't have a clue....spent plenty of time and money trying. I am going to the health food/alternative medicine route. We have a very good store here that is part of a network and seems to have more information than the medical doctors. For now I've started a natural remedy from Nature's Bounty simply called "Water Pill" and it states on it that is supports fluid balance and contains postassim. I began it yesterday and took it twice(according to instructions) and already today the fullness is lessened and in turn, my breathing has eased up some.Next week I will be adding digestive enzymes and Floradix with Herbs Iron Supplement. I will be avoiding all salty foods, eating fewer meals, consuming fewer liquids until I get this epidsode under control, then I will try to find a balance of foods/liquids to prevent another episode... Also, I think I will add soy to my diet as that quickly quelled my hot flashes.I'll keep posting with results. Let me know how things are with you.. Sorry this is so long....hope you feel better soon.
    toybug2 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • thank you. I live in Central Fl. Now, I haven't had it in a few weeks. Weird. After I posted this, it subsided, but I will check and let you know. Meanwhile, you can tell me how it went for you. I don't do gardening so it can't be chemicals of that sort, no drugs either of any kind. I have gained weight, no menopause yet though. We'll see. Thanks SO much!
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • Well, I am glad that your episode is over! I have been posting on the air hunger site, have you been over there to check it out? They are just starting up and have quite a few people that also share our symptoms. The page is at airhunger.co.uk. My episode isn't over yet but at least I am feeling better. The last three days I have only been eating one or two meals a day and having a slice of whole wheat bread and butter for the other meals and no snacks. I've cut down my fluid intake to one glass of water with the meal that I actually eat, and a few sips with the bread when that's my meal. I have a half cup coffee in the am, and a half cup in the pm. (I don't work outside on THUR, FRI, & SAT)Does coffee affect your breathing? It has ALWAYS bothered mine, the only thing that's different is the quantity of caffeine that I can have is much less before I feel that ol' can't breathe stuff starting.
    toybug2 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • do you happen to get it more when you eat quickly?
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • oh, and thanks for the website!
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've not noticed getting it more when I eat quickly. I will try to see if that happens tomorrow. I know that it still happens when I eat slowly. Trying some new regimens to see if anything else works. Did some research online last night. Seems that menopause, perimenopause, etc. HORMONES basically can cause the bloating which can cause some fullness in the abdomen and interfere with breathing. There were two sites that recommened that if this is the situation, then only one quart of water should be consumed as the kidneys are not excreting enough water and drinking more that that will over tax them, plus make you feel worse.Hope this helps. I plan to do more research but don't have time this week.Hope things are good with you.
    toybug2 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • interesting! i am 46, still no signs of missing periods though, but i was always stick thin and have gained lately. I am vegetarian (for about a year now) I think eating fast makes it worse.... like the diaphragm swells maybe (?) I dunno, I eat less and less and gain weight and feel bloated. I think i also may have fibromyalgia, so who knows. Age! Blegh LOL Thanks for all your info!!! Hope you're doing better.
    janmarbol 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • i have the same problem but i live up here in pennsylvania. i get the weird breathing attacks and discomfort in the Xiphoid process region often. i have to press on it kinda hard for a while to make the feeling go away and to help me get my breath. its real annoying.i go for chest x-rays soon but i am sure that will help none. i have had this problem forever now. ever since i was little. hope to get some feedback, thank you
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 28, 2008
    • 05:25 PM
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  • i am wondering if everyone else thinks we eat while nervous, or possibly contract our muscles without noticing it- just wondering. I have not gone to the doc for this, so i don;t know what it can be but i have been stressed out lately
    janmarbol 11 Replies
    • September 28, 2008
    • 09:37 PM
    • 0
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  • I .Does anyone know if there an organ in the digestive tract behind the sternum and/or xiphoid process (lower sternum) that tends to swell and therefore apply pressure to the xiphoid process and make it seem like that's what's swelling?Help! What is this???try doing some research on the gallbladder :)
    carnivore 23 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 03:49 PM
    • 0
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  • thanks, yes, I looked into that as well- thanks for your response :)
    janmarbol 11 Replies
    • October 5, 2008
    • 03:52 PM
    • 0
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