Thanks for the great response.
My bowel movements have been a little irregular, but no diarrhea or constipation. I would say not too much out of the ordinary. Lots of burping, though, and probably more gas than usual. When I saw my GI doc, he pressed on my stomach and it was very tender but I don't have pain there. Only when he pushed it.
My wife mentioned the allergies too, but I've never been allergic to anything. I can't believe it would start all of a sudden like this... but maybe it's worth checking in to. An allergy can cause a shortness of breath or tightness in the chest?
Also, this all began after I had a cold in October. Had a bad cold for about a week and then it went away but I felt this small shortness of breath lingering. Went to my internest who gave me antibiotics, which didn't help. Ended up going to a pulmonologist, who gave me an inhaler and steroids. Neither worked. But I've always wondered if the cold had anything to do with this...
Thanks again. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Yes, that was our first diagnosis, but I took a PPI med, Protonix, and it has not worked, so my GI doc says it might be esophageal spasms, and has put me on an anti-spasm med, to see if that helps.
I don't think it's IBS, in that I don't have irregular bowel movements. But I assume the doc is categorizing the esophageal spasms, if that's what it is, as a form of IBS.
Thanks for the tip on probiotics. I'm very happy to try some non-prescription meds to get a handle on this. I've heard that my anti-spasm meds can have side effects... and I'm very sensitive to side effects. Even though it's a very low dose, I'm concerned about that.
Can these spasms, if that's what it is, cause burping? So weird... I get up in the morning and I have 2-3 little burps, and then everytime after I eat I burp some more. Very unlike me. What else could cause burping... besides trapped air, which is the usual reason?