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Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Digestive and Bowel Disorders Forum

Pain associated with GERD and alcohol consumption

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Is this pain most likely because of my stomach issues or could this be something else that I should have checked out?


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replied January 23rd, 2009
Digestive and Bowel Disorders Answer A5489



Current medical status: I have been experiencing severe pain in my whole back, shoulder blades, and around the bottom of my ribcage when consuming alcohol. I drink about once a month and the pain lasts for about 20 min and then goes away suddenly. I have been diagnosed with GERD and a hiatal hernia. I have an appointment with the gastroenterologist in May.
Current medical treatment: currently take a protein pump inhibitor


The symptoms you reported might be related to your previously diagnosed conditions: GERD and hiatal hernia. Alcohol causes increased secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Combined with the hiatal hernia, part of the acid might go back in the lower part of the esophagus, causing chronic inflammation of the unprotected mucosa. This inflammation, when temporarily worsened with gastric acid reflux, is characterized with pain in the areas you previously mentioned. When the acid goes further into the intestines (approximately 20 minutes in your case), the pain disappears.


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