How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Ryan Your Own Question
Dr. Ryan
Dr. Ryan, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  Bachelor in Nursing, 3+ years nursing experience, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Ryan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I can't sleep comfortably on my stomach. My solar plexus

This answer was rated:

I can't sleep comfortably on my stomach. My solar plexus region feels like it contains a sensitive bubble. I'm having a little shortness of breath -- perhaps related to a cold I'm having. Chest/upper stomach discomfort has lasted a week or two. I'm 6'-0" and 205 lbs.

Hello, and sorry to hear about your difficulties. Hopefully I'll be able to give you some advice that will help you out. I do have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind that will help me.

1. Can you describe the symptoms more specifically, is it the difficulty lying on your stomach or the bubble that bothers you most?

2. Is your shortness of breath all of the time, or just laying down?

3. How old are you, and any other health issues?

4. What cold symptoms are you having?

I'll look forward to your reply, thanks

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
1. I'm concerned about the feeling of a bubble, but it doesn't really limit my activities during the day. My sleep pattern is disrupted because I wake often during the night with discomfort and then have to get off my stomach and adopt a new sleeping position, so that is where the situation bothers me most.

2. Shortness of breath is mostly mild. When i'm awake, it's not a big deal (feels like my cold is limiting my lung capacity). At night I've had to gasp for breath a few times. I have mild sleep apnea and this could be related, though the apnea (in the past) usually wakes me as an episode of stopped breathing, rather than a series of gasps to make up (what feels like) a depreivation of oxygen.

3. 48, high blood pressure (treated with nifedical and atenelol). A little overweight, otherise OK.

4. Sinus pressure/headarche. sore throat, runny nose, mild cough. I had a throat culture and was negative for strep.

Thanks for the quick reply. It sounds like you've gotten stuck with a virus, and all of the fun that comes along with it.

First of all, I would suspect that you are right in that your sleep apnea is probably slightly worsened with this extra stuffiness and sinus drainage, along with the cough.

A lot of times what happens as well is that at night the sinuses drain down your throat and this leads to mucus in your stomach which can give you that upset/full stomach feeling. This may be at least partially leading to that "bubble" feeling you speak of. It also may help if you drink some vernors (just like mom always said), or take some tums to get any extra gas out of your stomach a while before sleep, both of these may help, and neither will hurt.

This being said, unfortunately the only resolution to your situation is going to come through getting over the cold as fast as possible. This will be expedited by drinking plenty of water, and keeping your sinuses draining to prevent any buildup and potential infection. I usually also recommend using a nasal saline wash, you can buy cheap at any drug store and use as often as you want. Also try to take a hot shower and breathe in the steam at least once a day, plus you can put your head over a boiling pot of water (not too close...) to breathe it in.

I hope this helps some, I wish I could supply a fix all for you, but you're stuck for a bit. If you have any further questions, by all means let me know, best of luck...

Please ask if you need clarification/more information.

POSITIVE feedback & a BONUS are greatly appreciated.
Please note that answers are for information only, do not take the place of an assessment by your doctor, and does not establish a patient-physician relationship

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't want to be a hypochondriac, but do you think there's any chance that my feeling of discomfort in the region of my solar plexus could be related to my heart? I think it may pre-date my cold symptoms. If my symptoms sound to be all cold-related, then that's actually pretty good, and I'll go with that -- but I wanted to double check on the possibility of a more serious cause.

I totally understand your concern, so no worries. When you say that you have the solar plexus symptoms, what do they feel like? Is it a pressure, or pain? Does it shoot or radiate anywhere? Can you reproduce it with a deep breath, or by pushing on the area? Is it constant, or does it come and go?

I'll be waiting.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
It's lingered for a couple weeks, so I'm pretty sure it's not a heart attack. No shooting or radiating! It's reasonably constant so there's not much question of "reproducing it". I have no noticed that if I do anything strenuous and elevate my heart, the feeling actually diminishes (not what I would have expected, so that seemed interesting to me).

I don't think I have any visible swelling at my soalr plexus, but it does feel like a bubble (maybe it feels like 4 or 5 inches in diameter -- but that's an emotional feeling, not a physical metric).

I can push on the area without the feeling changing (though sleeping on it will wake me up). Getting punched in the solar plexus would never be a good thing, but I have a vague feeling that a strong blow there at this point would basically make me "pop".

I never seems to increase or decrease, it's pretty much always there for a coupel weeks and it's pretty much always the same feeling.

Okay, well based on this description, I would really have a hard time placing any blame on your heart. I apologize because beyond this, it's really difficult for me to narrow down much of a diagnosis without a proper exam(the limits of the computer).

It's possible that it could be something with your gastrointestinal system such as gas, or esophageal reflux. However these would most likely change with eating, either worsen the symptoms or lessen them. Another possibly would be pain in your diaphragm from all of the coughing, however this shouldn't have pre-dated your cold.

It may not be a bad idea to go get checked out, any "mysterious" feeling that's gone on for a couple weeks might warrant further workup, but it doesn't sound like an emergency to me. However if your symptoms change for the worse, it might be worth an emergency visit. I wish I could help more, and if you think of any additional info that might help let me know..

Please ask if you need clarification/more information.

POSITIVE feedback & a BONUS are greatly appreciated.
Please note that answers are for information only, do not take the place of an assessment by your doctor, and does not establish a patient-physician relationship

Dr. Ryan and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks very much! This is a great service!
You are very welcome, sorry I couldn't totally live up to your name as I couldn't make a "clear cut" answer out of everything.