Lower Stomach Pain When Breathing Deeply for 6 Obvious Reasons

Your yoga instructor has asked you to do the breathing exercise. You take a deep breath and observe that your stomach hurts. Have you thought about why that happens to you?

Many people do yoga to relax. Deep breathing is an effective step in yoga. But, some complaints of lower stomach pain when breathing deeply is not uncommon.

At the time of breathing, the diaphragm moves upwards or downwards. In case of any obstruction to breathing, it may cause the lower left side of abdomen hurts when taking deep breaths.

One such is stomach pain after taking deep breaths.

Hiatal Hernia, internal injuries, gastrointestinal disorders, congenital anomalies, lung infections, pregnancies are good reasons why your stomach hurts. You could have any of it. Or even not. 

Below is an article on what causes these and how to get rid of them.

lower stomach pain when breathing deeply

Symptoms

General lower stomach pain when breathing deeply can be an underlying symptom of something serious. The pain in this area may vary according to severity.

Observe the kind of pain you have. Mainly, gas-related pain relieves as soon as you take a deep breath. On the other hand, pain related to GERD or Hernia can stay longer and won’t go away like gas pain when breathing in.

In such cases, the Omeprazole group of medicines does not effectively treat stomach and chest pain together. This is when you identify your red flag and must visit a doctor soon.

Along with the typical symptoms of pain and discomfort, look out for the following symptoms to know whether your problem is serious:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramp
  • Breathlessness
  • Pain while pending
  • Stomach pain while doing yoga
  • Stomach pain while walking
  • Hardness on the surface of the abdomen
  • Tenderness on the abdomen
  • Diarrhea

Kinds of Pain

Every pain is mainly four types – nociceptive, inflammation, functional and neuropathic.

On the other hand, it can also be of a visceral or somatic kind.

Irrespective of the origin, stomach pain is fascinating. It is mainly described as a sharp, striking pain. Commonly it is related to underlying visceral injuries like Hiatal Hernia or somatic injury like a muscle cramp. When someone says I feel sharp pain in upper abdomen when I take a deep breath, cramp can be the primary evil.

Identifying the pattern of your pain is necessary. This way, your diagnosis will be a lot easier for your doctor. He can tell you if you need any surgical intervention or only medicines will be fine.

Causes of Lower Stomach Pain When Breathing Deeply

Not necessarily all of your pains are grave and life-threatening. A huge possibility of your lower stomach pain when breathing deeply can be due to a muscle cramp. Continuous cardio exercises may cramp your muscles and start to hurt. As quickly as it appears, it gets better with a bit of rest too.

Besides a significant cramp, below are some vital reasons why you are hurting as you breathe:

Injury

The diaphragm acts as a divider between the organs of the upper and lower body. Above the diaphragm, we have the heart and lungs. Below it, we have the abdominal organs.

The diaphragm is the primary muscle of respiration. For its ability to contract and relax, we breathe. Any injury or trauma can cause pain to over or underlying structures while breathing. Some commonly found reasons are severe coughing, constipation, blow on the chest, accident, surgical error, etc.

Any injury to the diaphragm has a very initial symptom of producing lower stomach pain when breathing deeply. Along with that, breathlessness, nausea, and vomiting are commonly found.

GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causes stomach acid release and flows back to the esophagus. This causes heartburn and painful sensations during breathing. The pain also encompasses the stomach region. 

Many of my friends come up asking why does my stomach hurts when I breathe in the morning. My first guess is GERD. You can develop GERD if you have the following physical conditions:

  • Overweight
  • Pregnant
  • Hernia
  • On NSAIDS or calcium channel blockers
  • Smoking
  • Lung infections etc.

As GERD is a stomach-related health emergency, it can also be a reason for lower stomach pain when breathing deeply.

Food like chocolate, coffee, peppermint, oily foods, etc., seems to trigger the pain. Therefore, these are often suggested to be kept off the diet. According to the severity of the situation, surgery can be recommended.

Hiatal Hernia

The term “Hiatus” means any sort of opening. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach tends to push the tender part of the diaphragm. It happens to people irrespective of age. Most symptoms are similar to that of GERD.

But a very distinctive feature is stomach pain as you breathe deeply.

The leading cause of Hiatal Hernia is increased abdominal pressure. This is dependent on external or internal causes.

The diaphragm may weaken due to any external injury or repetitive coughing and sneezing. The opening has created a passage for the underlying organs to peep out. Thus Hernia occurs.

A potential sign of a hiatal hernia is lower stomach pain when breathing deeply. The other symptoms are mostly related to it are:

Pleurisy

The human lung is covered by a thin layer of fibrous sheath called the Pleura. This layer protects the whole lung, both front, and back. Due to inflammation, it can cause sharp, stabbing pain at the time of breathing. The pain intensifies with deep breaths or coughs. It also relieves with small shallow breaths.

Other symptoms like shortness of breath, severe unexplained weight loss, fever with chills and rigor, and continuous cough are often prevalent.

As a result of all these, the heart rate remains increased. The individual may feel tired, anxious and may even die out of respiratory shutdown.

Pregnancy

At the time of pregnancy, a woman’s uterus expands up to nine times the normal. For this expansion of the uterus, the abdominal content is compressed upwards.

The diaphragm is compressed. And a woman feels difficulty while breathing. According to the exerted pressure, they might feel a dull or sharp pain in the stomach when breathing in while pregnant.

lower stomach pain when breathing deeply

Moreover, as the oxygen requirement of the mother is more for the fetus, it is also difficult to breathe. Heaviness while breathing, respiratory distress, pain in the abdominal region while breathing are everyday observations at this crucial time.

Gas

Oily food produces stomach acidity and forms gas inside it. It initiates an uncomfortable feeling and a glim pain around the stomach region. While bending or slight movements, the pain may aggravate. As such, while breathing, the pain may also trigger.

What to Do if Your Stomach Hurts While Breathing Deeply?

As you know by now, pain in your stomach while breathing deeply can be of many causes. You must be looking out for some quick home remedies for this problem.

You must identify the gravity of the pain. Without knowing the root cause of your pain, try not to test and trial things around.

Diaphragmatic Breathing Can Be a Good Way to Start Your Methods of Relief

Try to do this by using the following suggestions:

  1. Lie down on a flat surface. It should be comfortable and well ventilated.
  2. Put one hand on your chest. Another on your abdomen.
  3. Breathe in through your nose for 3-4 seconds and let your abdomen expand. 
  4. Take a break for 2 seconds.
  5. Breathe out the air slowly by your mouth for 5 to 6 seconds.

Watch Out What You Eat

Health issues arise from the diet you take. You pick the right foods, you make the right choices, and so your body remains safe.

There can be plenty of causes behind lower stomach pain when breathing deeply. Few such are related to the gastrointestinal system. The gastrointestinal system depicts such symptoms when a person is suffering from conditions like Hiatal Hernia, GERD.

lower stomach pain when breathing deeply

In both cases, a fat-free and protein-based food intake with a significant amount of vegetables is highly recommended. Processed foods should not be applauded and instead avoided for the time being. The risk of ulceration increases, and therefore, be prudent in terms of what you eat.

Don’t Pressurize Your Abdomen

Any sort of Hernia can occur from pressuring your abdomen. The internal organs rupture the covering membrane and tend to move out.

Under such cases, you must not pressurize it by doing heavy exercises or doing lifts. If you are having constipation, shift to a laxative under a doctor’s prescription.

Know When You Have an Emergency

Let’s assume you have ignored your stomach pain for too long, and now it’s getting worse. Without treatment, it might not get any better and rather worsen.

If you have recurring episodes of severe, intolerable pain, this is when you know you have to visit your doctor.

Look out for the following signs and rush to the hospital if you have to:

  • Gasping
  • Sharp, striking, chest pain
  • Dizziness for a long time
  • Mental confusion
  • Continuously vomiting

FAQs

  1. My Stomach Hurts While Breathing Deeply. Do I Have a Heart Attack?

Honestly, I do not think your stomach hurts because of a heart attack. Logically thinking, as you breathe the most of the involvement of organs is lungs related. The diaphragm is also included here. Any injury to it may be a better reason behind it. But to be completely sure and confident about it, it is always wiser to pay a visit to your doctor. 

  1. Is My Stomach Hurting Because of a Hiatal Hernia?

Hiatal Hernia has been a significant cause of lower stomach pain when breathing deeply. As the hiatus is a weak point of the diaphragm, it is a weak link. So when you breathe, you feel additional pressure on your abdomen. With coughing or sneezing, this pain worsens. There is a huge possibility why your stomach aches because of a hiatal hernia.

  1. Why Do I Have Pelvic Pain if I Breathe Deeply?

In pregnant women, pelvic pain occurs as there is pressure from the uterus. It is associated with breathing. Sometimes the pain also appears in the upper abdominal region, like the stomach.  Uterine or ovarian cancer may also show such symptoms, but it is highly unlikely to do so. 

  1. Does Pleurisy Go Away on Its Own?

In most cases, pleurisy tends to leave on its own. Pleurisy is the inflammation of the pleura. When attacked by a viral infection, pleurisy goes away quickly.

Final Words

There are so many variations of stomach pain out there. Some are related to our food habits, and some are according to our movements. Nevertheless, one thing is common here: the suffering of pain.

Building up a healthy lifestyle and habit has become an essential component in our daily life. Practice habits like cardio, yoga, freehand exercises to stay fit. These not only help to eliminate your ongoing physical limitations but also boosts you mentally.

It would help if you did not ignore lower stomach pain when breathing deeply. You must know when you have a red sign to get this checked. It can be a deadly indicator if not paid heed to.

Live healthily, stay fresh!

Nuha Adila

I am a health enthusiast who finds fitness as a top priority in life. I like to keep a track of what I eat despite my profound attachment to any spicy food. Being a medical student, looking out for healthier food and lifestyle options has become a habit. And music inspires me while I write.

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