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Chest Pain/GERD

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  • Chest Pain/GERD

    I know there have been some posts in the past....
    A few questions though:

    I am 32/male and developed on going chest pains about 8 months ago. I had been diagnosed with GERD previously and have been on PPI's. Previous symptoms were heartburn--burning in upper chest and throat. Chest pains were new, I actually had a stress test, echocardiogram, an EBT scan (on my own), and a nuclear stress test, all negative. Chest pains continue, GERD has been suggested as possible cause. However, my previos symptoms were just heartburn, not chest pain, and the pain is off to the sides, not where you would think GERD pain should be. By that I mean the pain is usually over my left breast/collar bone area, and left side, and is occasionally present in the same area on the right side. Is there anything I can do to see if this pain really is GERD or something else. I had an endoscopy about 2 years ago, no erosions, PPI's have worked pretty well since. Anyone else have similar symptoms?Thanks.

  • #2
    Chest pain

    I too have had chest pain and been diagnosed with GERD. I also had some heartburn problems in the past. The pain appeared about 8 months ago. I also had x-ray, EKG and endoscopy (mild to moderate erosion.I had tkaen every PPI out there in the normal dosage with no real symptom relief. I am currently on a double dose of prevacid (one morning-one at night) and 10Mg of elavil. Not sure what the elavil actually does but I have had some releif in the last few days.
    A couple questions
    1) Does your pain get worse ast he day goes on
    2) Have you ahd just a basic x-ray to rule out skeletal/muscular issue
    3) Have you ahd manomentry to check for esophageal spasm

    My doctor suggested my issue may be LPR brought on by something (stress , eating wrong) and that my esophagus may be spasm as a last symptom to the reflux material getting all the way into my throat



    • #3
      chest pain/gerd


      A couple questions
      1) Does your pain get worse ast he day goes on

      I think so. Hard to seay.
      2) Have you ahd just a basic x-ray to rule out skeletal/muscular

      One doctoe suggested "Costochonditis" which is an inflamation of the cartilage in the ribs. I have some symptoms, but not a perfect case,. Sometimes it seems to be a muscle problem. Other times it fells differently, suggesting cardiac or GI symptoms.

      3) Have you ahd manomentry to check for esophageal spasm

      No. I think that should be the next step.

      My doctor suggested my issue may be LPR brought on by something (stress , eating wrong) and that my esophagus may be spasm as a last symptom to the reflux material getting all the way into my throat that the spasms? Thanks.



      • #4
        I am new, but

        I also don't have heartburn or GERD or ever have taken any medication for anthing chronic. However, I did smoke about a joint or more a day for 10 years or so, off and on. I am 34. And a pack a cigarrettes or more a day and drank some beer too.

        To the point. I too, have those pains you describe in the collar bone area, or just below, the side of my pec's, even the underarm areas. And it doesn't discriminate, sometimes its on the left, and sometimes its on the right. My neck sometimes hurts and even my shoulder blades. It is funny though, it can be there one moment and gone the next. Now if I dwell on it, it gets worse. So I try not to think about it. HOWEVER, that is hard to do, or not do.

        This all started to me about three months ago. I was sitting on a bean bag, watching my 3 year old son play. I was slightly stoned and had taken some tylenol cold because I had the flu. Suddenly, my left arm felt funny. Almost numb, maybe tingly, but I felt the urge to move my fingers constantly because if I didn't it seemed they would lock in place or something. After I became conscious of this strange occurence, I noticed my heart rate accelerating and than my stomach felt funny. I started to mildly hyper ventilate and had to go outside and catch some fresh air. Having a cigarrette did not relieve my symptoms. I felt like i was going to die. About an hour or so later, I finally calmed down. The next day I woke up and played 3 softball games. However, It would take forever to tell you what I have been through in the last 3 months, but I will tell you this. I had a stress test, and a regular EKG and that was enough of testing for me. You know why, because after those tests, suddenly I thought maybe my kidney's were bad, or I had diabetes, and I am 6' 1' 180, not a prime candiate. But I noticed when one thing felt better, like my chest and collar bone area, than my neck would hurt or my kidney area, or my sternum area or my arms felt like they had tendinitis or my fingers would be in pain, or that I have High blood pressure. But all of these things go away. Nothing is chronic, like when I wake up until I go to bed. That is WHY I PERSONALLY BELIEVE all of this is in my head. I quit smoking both substances and reduced my drinking to moderate levels and have eaten more fruits and vegetables to last a life time. However, I am not cured yet of my ANXIETY disorder, but I am trying to retrain my mind. Any way, sorry about rambling. SEAN


        • #5

          Sean, sorry to hear about all that you have been through but you sound like me!! I have severe panic attacks and If I put it in my head that I'm having a heart attack then I will get all of the symptoms like I'm having one. I have been out on my back porch in the freezing cold more times then I can count just trying to get my breathe and calm down!! I have had so many ekg's done and other tests done that tells me my heart is fine and I'm not having a heart attack but I still keep thinking that I am. It is a terrible thing! I wouldn't wish panic disorder on my worst enemy! I know all about what you have gone through because I have gone through all of that as well. I smoke less then a pack a day and right now I'm not even going to try to quit until I get these panic attacks under control. Because of these panic attacks I have caused myself to have acid refulx so now I have two things against me that I deal with day by day. It is not a fun thing to deal with or live with but I manage too for my kids sake! I have 2 boys 7 and 4 and I keep living because of them. I pray and hope that we can all over come panic and anxiety's some day! That would be so great!!!



          • #6

            have you gone to the They have a program that might be able to help you.

            I haven't really finished it, but they say it works pretty good.

            Like I mentioned, the quitting smoking I think made my anxiety worse at first, way worse, but now I seem to be stabilizing a little.

            It is unfortunate the weather is cold there. I personally believe bad, gloomy, or cold weather is not good for anxiety. you should take the kids on vacation to a warm climate and sun bathe the whole time. I find that anything but just sitting around contemplating amongst myself is the worst thing.

            You know what else I do that helps. Last night, I played in my softball league and played left field. a lot of balls were hit my way and I kept running as hard as I could for them. my heart was pounding, but I hardly noticed it and if ever I was going to have a heart attack, it would be there. But it didn't happen. I know that when the "FEELINGS" come on they can come out of the blue and can be hard to fight off, I try to think of situations where I had no symptoms and felt great but was stressing my body. For example, the softball game. If my heart was weak, wouldn't I have felt tired and run down, short of breath and so on and so forth. But I didn't. So I try to go on that. I just don't believe a heart attack or any other disease we think we might have can come and go as it please. shouldn't the pain be constant in one place? It is a weird thing. the other thing is, after the doctor cleared my heart, i started thinking what if it is something else? and that spiraled for a month or so. But I try not to think of those things anymore, although they seem to creep into my head every so often.

            By the way, I have a 10 month old and and 3 year old and I think the fear of me not being there for them is quite possibly the root of this affliction. That is the thinking I am going after to beat this thing. In other words, be the best parent you can be right now, every day, every minute and every second. If you have to leave them, leave them with good memories of you and your morals and your person. This will be a great inspiration to them and their life. Also, cherish life to it's fullest, do not judge people, be honest and know that in the end we will all leave this place eventually and hopefully we go to a even better place. Good luck, NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER!



            • #7
              Message to Pem

              WHile I am in now way an expert LPR is actually reflux that gets up into the Larynx, Pharynx, vocal cords or can even be microaspirated (i know big word) into the lungs. These organs are even more sensitive to the fluids found in reflux then the esophagus. GERD is reflux that just comes into the esophagus. In my discussion with the doctor and research on this LPR it seems that LPR can be even tougher to control. There are a lot of symptoms that can occur.

              You generally have to be on PPI's for longer and higher dosages before you will notice any improvement.

              I swear some days it feels like athritis, the next day muscular, the next heart, the next GI but I do feel I am on the right track with tackling it as Reflux (GERD or LPR)


              PS spasm is different


              • #8

                Hi Sean, it was great hearing from you. You had some very encouraging words for me and I appreciate that so much. It is nice to know that I'm not alone in all of this because sometimes I feel like I'm the only one that has this panic disorder.

                I didn't mean that it was cold here now, I just meant that in the winter time, several times I was standing out in the snow and freezing rain just trying to calm down because that Is how bad my panic disorder can get at times. The weather is great here now. It is so sunny, warm and nice. My son plays baseball and I have been having the best of time going to his games. I don't panic all of the time but at least 2 times a day or more depending on how I feel, how much sleep I got the night before and of course how stressful the day is. I have never checked out that panic center, I never heard of it until you told me about it. I am definatley going to check that out!

                You are so right in fearing the worse that you will not be here for your kids. I think that is what I do fear the most is my boys not having there mother around. I never started having panic attacks or acid reflux until after I had my first child, they got much worse after I had the second child. I am very attached to my boys, I love them so much they are my world! I try my hardest to not let them see me panic and if I'm in a panic I hide it or leave the room so they can't see me. I do go to parks, baseball games and many other things with them. I have to make myself go, I keep telling myself I can't go, I'm in to bad of shape but I always make myself go for my kid's sake and once I get there I have a good time. This all is just a terrible thing to live with!! I will be checking out that panic page! Thanks so much for all of your help! I wish you the best of luck as well! Great to hear that you are doing better.



                • #9
                  Hey tippy

                  How are you? Listen to me. A lot of what I wrote you was for my self healing also. I am glad you are strong. That is so wonderful. REALLY, what are the odds of you or me dying from a heart attack with such wonderful young kids. You and I, You and Me, Tippy, Tippy and I, We will push this stuff OUT!!! Out the back freaking door, Right! Any way, Let us be strong and not whimper into our own doom. Perhaps if you would be so kind, that when you are 92 and I am 92, we can still continue emailing. Good night now, SEAN


                  • #10
                    Hi Sean, How are you doing? I'm hanging in there. I had to major panic attacks today. There is just so much crap going on here lately that is very stressful to me. I did have a smile on my face after I read what you typed to me. It is so nice to have someone understand what I go through and have so many nice things to say to me.

                    I agree with you totally about not dying, I got two kids that need me and I need them as well. I just thank god that I have them because with out them I would be insane, they keep my life going everyday.

                    I wish I could push this stuff right out the door, I hate living with this crap! I did check out the panic center. I totally love it. I read through a lot of session one last night and tonight plus I filled out the diary part. I'm going to stick with it! I'm desprate enough to get myself better then what I am now. Thank you so much for telling me about this panic site, it is the best one I have ever seen and I have been to many of them. I look forward to hearing from you again and I sure hope when we are both 92 we can look back at all of this and laugh about it!

                    Night, take care!!!



                    • #11
                      Hi, I know just how you both feel that is my biggest fear also is dying and my children growing up without me. I have a small family which compounds the situation. My anxiety started after step father passed away and seeing his 3 boys who were in high school, so crushed it has stayed with me for the last 5 years. I do know there is a correlation between stomach problems and anxiety, palps. When my anxiety is low, stomach problems seem to heal up along with palps. It's hard good luck to all.


                      • #12
                        tingling in arm, shoulder, chest pain

                        I have been suffering since last December with sporadic chest pains, tingling and pain in left arm, left shoulder, heartburn. I've driven myself to the ER 3 times since December, where they ran tests checking for heart issues. I've had a stress test done - all of which have been negative that it is cardiac-related.

                        I definitely have Reflux. I had an endoscopy done in February that really didn't show anything horrible - except lots of acid in my stomach and an irritated esophagus lining.

                        It is so scary to have the symptons just like a ******** heart attack. I even read the Bible yesterday to keep myself from driving to the ER. I try to think that if I'm going to have a heart attack I would have already had one and to try to hang on that the pain will subside. Of course, the pain started yesterday morning and is still going, but I also woke up very anxious about my job yesterday morning. Stress/Anxiety seem to make it even worse.

                        Can anyone sympathize with me on this and offer any advice? I'm currently taking Aciphex - one a day when I'm not having an episode. When I'm experiencing the pain, like today and yesterday, I start 2 Aciphex a day and drink Gaviscon during the day. I even took a Darvocet pain pill, hoping it would stop the pain/tingling in my left arm, but hasn't helped. I've also taken a baby aspirin both days, just in case it was my heart.

                        I'm so frustrated with this, and tired of people thinking I'm a hypochondriac!



                        • #13
                          Shuella i relate to that a hell of a lot. i have extreme panic and anxiety and my doctor originally just pointed my complaint of chest pains, numbess in my arms, etc, all to anxiety. which made me feel just plain crazy like it was "all in my head" which i feared them telling me. but i know what anxiety feels like and insisted this was something new, something different.

                          i had to go in again and tell them i thought it was acid reflux and got meds, which seem to help but still its onlybeen a week, and i still have those scarey symptoms..when it gets at its worse i have to sit on the floor in front of my fan and take deep steady breaths, tell myself that i will be okay, that this obviously keeps happening everyday and that if it was my heart something would have happened after weeks/months of this. convince myself i don't need to call anyone (because the panic builds that i will have to do that and i know that makes the breathing worse and the pains. feeling like my throat will close up on me)

                          i completely relate to this. i am on Protonix and its been about a week so i am hoping to give it more time. i do agree anxiety/stress/panic makes it a lot worse. i hope to be getting on some kind of anti anxiety med within the month and perhaps this will ease things a bit..i hope.

                          anyway, take care and feel free to PM me if you ever want.


                          • #14
                            I can totally relate to all of this. Especially what sean described near the top there... I went through it all too. Had cardio stress tests, x-rays and the whole deal, and even after they found I was perfectly healthy for a couple months I still lived in total fear of dying from a heart attack or some other disease.

                            I've now found out it was just a combination of anxiety-attacks in addition to (and/or brought on by) reflux. Diagnosed with LPR finally after countless doctor's visits and just about driving myself nuts. Been on PPI's now for 3 months and everything's calmed down to the point where 90% of the time I feel totally normal again.

                            I still get the chest pains sometimes just as others have described though, coming on randomly and at various points over my chest... I just ignore them. The more I think about them, the more I get them, so keep that in mind. I know where you're all coming from though, I went through a 4 month living hell with these symptoms....


                            • #15
                              I have had the chest pains for 2-3 years now. I know the feeling about thinking you are having a heart attack. Been there, It is very scary and horrible.

                              I was on Nexium for almost 2 years and no change except for the heartburn stopped. I stopped taking the Nexium because I started getting what fely like heart palpitations or esophagal spams. I live on tums and pepcid AC everyday now.

                              I also have Xanax for when I really cant deal with it.

                              I had the Xrays, CAT scans, bronchoscopy, endoscopy, upper GI, abdominal sonograms.

                              I am diagnosed with GERD and acid reflux.

                              I would love to find and anser to this. It hurts allot lately. Soemtimes when it gets bad, I drink allot of water and it helps sometimes.

                              Another symptom I have is it feels hard to breathe allot.

                              I gave up on the DR's now and am looking for answers on my own.