Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a term used to describe lung diseases like acute bronchitis, emphysema and non-reversible asthma. It is characterized with increased breathlessness. It may also cause wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.

While these are the common symptoms of COPD, some people also experience constant gas and bloating with it. You will constantly feel like your stomach is sticking out and it feels tight and uncomfortable. Almost 85% of people with COPD suffer from some kind of stomach problem.

Bloating usually may happen after every meal. You may also feel full quickly and thus may not get the required dietary nutrition. It happens more in elderly and women.

Also Read: Here’s Bursting These 5 Myths Around COPD

Possible causes

  • Those suffering with COPD have difficulty in swallowing. They swallow while they breathe and this can cause them to gulp down air. That can contribute to gas and bloating.
  • Bloating can be caused by anxiety or having Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Another cause can be sleep apnea. Almost 15% of people with COPD suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnoea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing for several seconds while you are asleep. CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), a treatment for sleep apnea, can also cause bloating as air pushed from the device can end up in your stomach.


Here are a few steps you can take to manage bloating in COPD:

  • Avoid sodas and fried food as they can cause more gas
  • Stay away from gassy foods like beans and cabbage
  • Chew your food slowly and have liquids only at the end of the meal
  • Mild physical activity can help you pass trapped gas and relieve discomfort
  • If all else fails, ask your doctor for a medication to relieve bloating

Also Read: Common Respiratory Illnesses in Seniors

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