What is it?

The diaphragm is a muscular barrier between the chest and the abdominal cavity. Disorders of the diaphragm often interfere with breathing. There are a number of disorders that can impact the diaphragm, including:
* Congenital (present at birth) diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
* Acquired diaphragmatic hernia (ADH)
* Hiatal hernia
* Diaphragmatic tumor
* Paralysis of the diaphragm

18 Alikes with Disorders of diaphragm

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Disorders of diaphragm.

Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Paralysis of diaphragm
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
- Acquired diaphragmatic hernia (ADH)
- Diaphragmatic tumor

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of diaphragm disorders vary depending on the type of disorder, but they can range from shortness of breath to dangerously low oxygen levels. Symptoms may include:
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH):
* Underdeveloped lungs
* Reduced number of alveoli (air sacs) required for normal breathing
* Low oxygen levels
* Pulmonary hypertension

Acquired diaphragmatic hernia (ADH):
* Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
* Cyanosis (a bluish tinge to the skin, especially around the mouth, eyes and nails)
* Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
* Bowel sounds in the chest
* Diminished breath sounds

Hiatal hernia:
* Heartburn
* Chest pain
* Burping
* A bitter taste in the mouth
* Dysphagia (trouble swallowing)
* Regurgitation (the return of partially digested food from the stomach to the mouth)
* Feeling nauseated
* Feeling full after a small amount of food
* Abdominal pain
* Abdominal bleeding/blood loss
* Gastric torsion (twisting of the stomach, cutting off the blood supply)

Diaphragmatic tumor:
* Difficulty breathing
* Chest, shoulder or abdominal pain
* Decreased breath sounds
* Low oxygen levels
* Paralysis of the diaphragm:
* Shortness of breath, especially when you are: Lying down, Walking
* Low oxygen levels


Diagnosis of a diaphragm disorder will begin with a physical exam and discussion of your symptoms. Tests may include:
* X-ray: A chest X-ray can identify the presence of blockages or fluids creating pressure.
* Computed tomography (CT) scan
* Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
* Ultrasound
Pulmonary function tests while upright and lying down, including:
* Spirometry: This test measures the quantity and speed of air you exhale to estimate how much your bronchial tubes are inflamed and narrowed.
* Peak flow meter: This device measures how hard you can exhale. Peak flow meters can be used at home to monitor your condition.
* Exercise oximetry: This checks the oxygen level in your blood during moments of exertion with a sensor that’s clipped onto your finger.
* Arterial blood gas: This blood test checks the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood and measures your blood’s acidity.
* Phrenic nerve stimulation test: This test uses electric or magnetic stimulation to the neck to measure the response of the phrenic nerve.
* Electromyography (EMG): This test measures the electrical potential of muscle fibers stimulated by electrical impulses.


Treatments for disorders of the diaphragm vary depending on the type of disorder, but they can include a variety of surgical options. Treatments for each type of disorder include:
Congenital (present at birth) diaphragmatic hernia (CDH):
* Emergency surgery to place the abdominal organs back in the abdomen and repair the diaphragm

Acquired diaphragmatic hernia (ADH):
* Emergency surgery to repair the diaphragm

Hiatal hernia:
* Lifestyle changes, including avoiding certain foods, losing weight, raising the head of the bed and avoiding tight-fitting clothes
* Medications, including antacids and proton pump inhibitors
* Surgery to retract the stomach and make the opening in your diaphragm smaller, reconstruct the esophageal sphincter or remove the hernia

Diaphragmatic tumor:
* Surgical resection (removal)
* Chemotherapy or radiation therapy, if it is cancerous

Paralysis of the diaphragm:
* Watchful waiting, if symptoms are not severe
* Supplemental oxygen
* Surgically implanted diaphragmatic pacemaker
* Tracheostomy and mechanical ventilator

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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