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Chest tightness after eating certain foods

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I'm experiencing a tightness of chest behind sternum whenever I swallow food or liquid, and to a lesser degree when reflexively swallowing. Sometimes a sharp intake of breath will also cause a tightening.

It began 2 days ago after wolfing down a couple slices of bread with butter. I got a sharp pain after swallowing large chunks and since then its remained with me.

If I apply pressure with my fists on either side of my chest when swallowing the symptoms are very much lessened.

I'm also halfway through a regimen of antibiotics, Doxycycline, which I've read can cause problems swallowing as a side effect. The symptoms showed up 3 days after beginning the prescription. I've also taken the meds while lying down, no longer tho as I read it could cause damage to the food pipe.

I'm 34, approx 135 pounds and 6ft in height. I've experienced these symptoms many years before but not for as long as I'm doing now. I've taken antacid liquid but it doesn't seem to do anything.

Many thanks.

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replied January 11th, 2010
Chest Pain Answer A9050

Welcome to the ehealthforum and I am really glad to help you out. Your concern is regarding the chest tightness that you have after eating ceratain foods. All these symptoms are of gastritis due to acid reflux from the stomach. It is usually after eating a heavy fatty meal and sedentary lifestyle. It can also be caused by drinking too much alcohol, prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or infection with bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Eat small nutritious meals at frequent intervals instead of a heavy single meal. Exercise frequently and take your dinner at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. Also, raise the head end of the bed by 2 blocks.
Take an OTC antacid like Mylanta. You can also take ranitidine or omeprazole. Also, keep your fluid electrolyte balance optimum by drinking lots of fluids.

If the symptoms worsen then it may be due to H.Pylori infection. You need antibiotics in that case after getting a prescription from a physician. It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For an exact diagnosis, you are advised to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care.

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