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Severe Heartburn and Chest pain

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Hi there,
I am a 23 year old female - never smoked, don't drink much at all, no more than 10 pounds overweight - and for the past few years I have suffered from really bad heartburn. I never knew that it could cause severe problems until about 4 months ago when I started getting it even more frequently - everyday, all day. I never go a single day without getting it multiple times now - and started experiencing off and on severe chest pain. Now I constantly have upper back and chest discomfort and frequent episodes of severe, radiating chest pain. It comes most often when I eat, but is not limited to this, and can last quite a while sometimes. It feels like my food is getting stuck in my esophagus or something and the pain comes in waves and spreads out from my esophagus through to the rest of my chest and my back and throat even. I have had a few episodes of it where I was extremely close to getting my husband to take me to the hospital(I know I should have, but I'm really scared to go) because the pain was so bad. We do not have a family Doctor yet as we just moved to a new city in August and are having trouble finding one. Is anyone else experiencing this, or has experienced this? Does anyone know what it could be and how severe it might be?

Thank you in advance!
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First Helper User Profile CassWys
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replied January 19th, 2011
Community Volunteer
Hi CassWys....It could possibly be reflux and I have experienced some pains along this line when I had this problem....But, you should see a doctor...Find out if this is what is wrong...

It is possible that you are getting panic attacks that are feeding this problem....Have it checked out...Take care...

Caroline
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replied January 19th, 2011
Hello,

Welcome to ehealthforum

According to the symptoms you have described it seems you are having GERD(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)in which there is continous heart burn and because of the reflex of stomach acid the mucosal lining of esophagus is damaged causing heart burn,trouble swallowing,chest pain etc.You should avoid having fatty,spicy food and drink lots of water.Keep your head elevated while sleeping.Have small frequent meals.
Since I am not examining you and it is based on the medical history only so kindly visit a Physician for correct diagnosis.You might require investigations like Endoscopy.

Take Care!


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replied March 6th, 2013
I experienced a similar pain with GERD/Heartburn in September 2012. I was sitting at my desk at work after a small lunch and all of a sudden my ears had a weird ringing, my head and brain seem to be having a stroke and my entire left side of my body went numb. The ambulance came and said my blood pressure had dropped low and I started to feel clamy/cold every 20 minutes. My EKG in the ambulance was normal and by the time we got to the ER, I had no more episodes but was scared and thinking I was dying. I went home after 11 hrs in the ER. I had to walk around the living room all night because every time I lay or sit, the pressure would build up and my chest around my heart would hurt and my brain/head felt like it was having a stroke. I went to a cardiologist the next day and they did an Echo Cardiogram on my heart and it was normal and fine. The cardiologist said it was possibly my heartburn and gave me 2 samples of ACIPHEX. I took it and it seemed to work like instantly! I scheduled an appointment with a Gastro Enterologist doctor and told him my GERD/Heartburn history:
(for 20 years I drank hard liquor every weekend but I also ate really good foods, veges and fruit, I ran 2 marathons and lifted very heavy weights in the gym for 20 years and ate very spicy foods all the time and was taking Ibuprophen for 20yrs for muscle aches and an Aspirin/Ibuprophen everytime I knew I was going out drinking so I wouldn't get a hangover. I also took numerous multi vitamins/minerals, bodybuilder protein powders, creatine, nitric oxide tablets and gatorade 3x a week before I worked out in the gym. I would have occasional heartburn from doing all those things and I stressed allot. I was diagnosed with GERD when I was around 25 years old and given samples of NExium 20mg. I would only take it when I ate something very spicy.)
In Sept 2012, the first Gastro doctor did an Endoscopy and diagnosed me with Gastritis Non-Acute and gave me a RX of Omeprazole 40mg once a day. It did nothing or very little. I still had chest pain/pressure for the next 3months. I had stopped drinking heavy and eating anything spicy or lifting heavy weights but I started to feel back to normal during the holidays and started drinking again a little and lifting heavy weights. Then in January 2013, I started to get throat or esophagus feeling like it was swelling up after working out or eating dinner, on top of the chest pain and pressure in my chest. I then went to another Gastro Specialist doctor (Dr. Barrientos ParkPlaza) and he decided to do another endoscopy to see if the first doctor missed something. This endoscopy revealed I had Esophagitis and still Gastritis in my stomach. He prescribed me Dexilant 60mg to take once a day. The Dexilant worked great and I started back to eating some greasy foods and having a few beers and would only do 1 exercise of heavy weights per workout.
Then 3 weeks ago i felt really good and ran my first 5 miles since 5months ago, but had to do most walking because I kept feeling my stomach acid splashing into my throat. AT night I would keep hearing my ears ringing and experience tinnitus. 2days later I ate a small microwave dinner at work as I was leaving and jumped in traffic to go to the gym. At a traffic light I felt the same stroke/chest pain and my head felt like I was suffocating and need to burp but couldn't. I also felt a rush in my bottom like I need to use the bathroom but could not. I took some GAS-X to try to burp, 1 Dexilant and one ANASPAZ Rx that I was given by the first Gastro Doctor to relax my stomach if I had spasms.
I knew it was my GERD acting up again I drove myself to the ER and the did another EKG and blood pressure. Both were fine but my temperature was 99.7, a little bit high and I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. Here we go again! I felt like I was dying again. The ER referred me again to a cardiologist because they said my GERD/Heartburn has no connections with my head feeling a dull pain and pressure in my neck.(Wrong!)
I went to my last Gastro doctor and told him what happened and he said maybe my dad's history of a stent in one of his neck veins was happening to me. He also said the pressure pain in my neck and head was not related to my Gastritis/Esophagitis.
The cardiologist did an UltraSound on my neck Carotid arteries and a TreadMill stress test. Everything checked out fine and normal. I had him check my Thyroid Gland by hand and asked him if it was my gallbladder or spleen but he said no.
I could not eat anything other than fruits and vegetables for 2 weeks because anything else (meat, milk, cereal, yogurt,etc) would make my stomach acid to get agressive and cause tremendous gas pressure and my throat would feel like it was closing up. My head would have these headaches all day and very painful after anything goes in my stomach. I lost all hope. I thought I had a tumor or even cancer and I felt like I was slowly dying. I was scared to sleep everynight. I could not even go out in the field with my coworkers as a law enforcement officer because I would get shortness of breath if we did anything with force.
Finally after losing 10pounds and could not eat anything but fruit and veges, I went to a simple General Practice PCP Doctor Demetrus Green. He was the first to use an old stethoscope and and listen to my lungs, heart and chest. He touched my thyroid and glands which all was fine. He said that my HeartBurn/GERD/Gastritis/Esophagitis was soo bad that it was putting pressure on my VAGUS NERVE that runs along your spine. Thats what was causing the headaches, fever chills during those stroke feelings moments. The PCP said the inflammation caused by my stomach acid can cause your throat to feel swollen. He prescribed me NEXIUM 40mg for 2 weeks once a day. After just 2 days of taking it I have been healing up! A simple doctor in a small shabby office is my miracle. I looked it up and found Nexium 40mg is a PPI that turns off the acid in your stomach to allow your stomach lining and throat lining to heal. It also has medicine in Nexium that aids in the healing of inflammation of your esophagus so it doesn't put pressure or inflame your VAGUS NERVE also.
After 2 days of Nexium 40mg, I am burping allot but it is allowing the pressure out. I tried meat for the first time and had no problem. I will now have to stick to a bland diet and small meals for a while and no alcohol and no weight lifting until I heal 100%.
My doctor also told me to eat foods with probiotics so I bought some KEFIR milk and ordered on AMazon some: Heartburn Free ROH10(with natural orange) that says it can help heal heartburn together with your meds, D-Limonene, 1000mg (with natural orange) and Mastic Gum. I will take these natural stuff together with my NEXIUM and change my diet.
Folks , hearburn, GERD, gastritis, esophagitis can make you feel like your life is ending and cause pain in many areas in your body. Nexium 40mg is a great cure!
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replied January 19th, 2011
Experienced User
Thank you both for your quick responses! Smile
Would it be possible for me to be having panic attacks even when I'm not in a stressful situation, CarolineEF?
Doctor, this does not sound like it could have progressed to Esphugeal cancer by now to you, does it? I am really worried about that happening.
Anyone else experiencing/experienced the same thing?
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replied January 19th, 2011
Community Volunteer
Hi again: From my experience panic attacks can happen just by fearing that they will come...You can just about create them yourself...Then I would work myself into them deeper...Deep enough to go to Urgent Care about three times...I even had the test done...You may find some help by looking at the Panic Attacks Forum....It is...

http://ehealthforum.com/health/panic_attac k.html

Hope this helps...Take care...

Caroline
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replied January 19th, 2011
Experienced User
Did you have Acid reflux and pain from that as well, or was it all panic attacks with you, Caroline?
I am not so sure that is all panic attacks as it tends to mostly start while eating or sometimes lying down. In fact, eating is more uncomfortable now then enjoyable. Even when I don't get the feeling and pain like something is stuck in my esophagus from it, if it is a bigger, heavier meal, I am always uncomfortable by the end...feeling heavy and weighed down in the chest and upper back.
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replied January 19th, 2011
Experienced User
I want to mention too that the pain I experience while eating sometimes when it feels like the food gets stuck is not normal heartburn pain...it is not a burning sensation, it is a clenching/crushing sort of pain that spreads out from my esophagus through the rest of my chest and sometimes upper back. My worst episode yet, when I almost had my husband take me to the hospital, came when I was just sitting on the couch watching a movie and eating Almonds. The waves of clenching pain lasted about an hour before finally subsiding. Most of the time it feels like, if I could just let out a giant burp(sorry if that sounds gross) then it would feel so much better, but even when I do burp, the pain does not go away.
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replied January 19th, 2011
Community Volunteer
If I were you then I would do what the doctor said...If they think you need it then have the test done to make sure that you don't have an esophagus abnormality...It is probably the only way that you can have peace of mind...IMO, it's best to be proven wrong than make the wrong decision and there be a problem...However, if you have this done and nothing is found wrong then you learn to deal with the panic attacks...A possible reflux problem...For me, I got over them after I knew that all was well...However, we did move the head of our bed up a near three inches so that I could sleep better...Fear can raise havoc with you and knowing there is nothing wrong can give you peace of mind....Take care...

Caroline
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replied February 2nd, 2011
cass
if its pressure in your chest and throat your feeling try... Half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of baking soda to 1-3 ounces of water..drink slowly but within a 5 minute time period (what you're looking for is that welcoming belch which feels like a ton of pressure has just been released)
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replied July 31st, 2011
hi, im 23 years old and its as if ur desribing my case to the tee, my husband and i opened a pizzeria 2 days ago and we have been soo busy that we have been working from open to close no breaks in between so i barely had anything to eat besides almonds and a couple of bites of piza but yesteerday i took a break and went home and made a cheese sub and after i finished eating i started feelin as if something was stuck in my throat an then a tightness in my chest as if the last bite was stuck or sumething and then after a while i was getting shooting pain in my upper mid back everytime i was laughed or tried to talk and sometimes even breathing in deeply hurts,i went to bed and the only way i cld sleep was on my side cause it was extremely painful to sleep on my back cause it felt like my chest is crushing my back and i woe up this morning even worse.shooting pain in my back even yawning hurts!!i dont know whats wrong i never had reflux or anything i was as healthy as a horse!!
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replied December 17th, 2011
Pain and burning help. Please
I would also like some help. 4 days now with extremely sharp pain in chest area . Feels like swallowing crushed glass when I take even the smallest sip of water. Burns also and the sharp pain goes all the way down to my stomach. The pain is so bad it brings me down on my knees and in tears. It is constant in chest and stomach . My doctor put me on a medication 2 days ago with no relief. I see a specialist on Monday 2 days away. Does anyone know anything that can give me some relief from the pain??? Please. I can't eat or drink. I manage painfully a little yogurt. Even water us excruciating. I am so thirsty and hungry and can't eat due to the pain .
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replied October 16th, 2013
I'm having a lot of these symptoms as well in waves of pain. It starts in my back and spreads to my chest and I start to feel bad indigestion and sometimes feel like I may throw up. This is sometimes accompanied with feelings of fatigue. Moving or trying to eat or drink doesn't help and proves dificult. But whenever I drink milk the wave of pain seems to go away. Please help.
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replied April 29th, 2014
wondering
@CassWys... did you ever figure this out? Your description sounds EXACTLY like what I am going through now. I think it might be anxiety mixed with acid reflux.
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