My Dr THINKS now that is what I have. It all started the first of Jan. with pain on swallowing and the feeling of food or pills hanging in my throat and terrible chest pain. Chest pain that radiated from my breast bone to my back and behind both breasts. He thought I had esophagitis so I had a Barrium Swallow that showed a large ulceration on the esophagus . I then had an Endoscopy that showed nothing. No ulceration there and if it had been it was healed. Still the same pain. I began Aciphex on Jan. 15 and have steadily gotten worse. He now thinks it is esophageal spasms but to be certain wants me to double up on the aciphex for 4 weeks. Sigh. Then I am to have a Manometry . Does this ever get over with? Is there any cure for this? I hurt 24/7 , with each bite of food or swallow of water . My entire esophagus hurts and the pain radiates up into my left ear. Plus of course the chest pain. I took Fosamax for 18 mos. prior which I think is what brought this on. Can anybody relate and give me some hope ? Lia
I have a digestive disease called Gastroparesis....AKA stomach no longer digests foods. That is one of the symptoms of it. From what you describe i would have my doc check me for GP. You sound like you have all the symptoms. The GES test isn't bad. They make you eat and see how your stomach emptys. Usually scrambled eggs you lay down and they take pics of your gut at intervals. I have esp spasms. All that helps is the gi cocktail. So if you do have them and it sounds to me like you do I would ask the doc to get you some. otherwise you can always go to the er and get it. I take it as a rescue med.
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I have LOTS of questions. I am new to gastro disorders , this being my first experience. As you well know, it is not fun ! Lia
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I am new to these boards and specifically signed on to join the digestive board...then I saw your post...the weirdest thing I found was that...my name is ALSO Lia...(I didn't think anyone else spelt it this way... )
I am ALSO suffering from the EXACT same thing as you...and have now been diagnosed with esophageal spasms...I'm battleing the same things as you...the same pains as you...everything.....I hurt 24/7 also and am at my witts end with this....
I'm very frustrated an in pain every day...the chest pain is the worst!!
Just thought I'd reply to your post and let you know that there is someone out there who also is going through the exact same thing as you....who also happens to have the same name...LOL!
Hope you find a way to stop hurting so much...(and if/when you do..can you share it with me? ha..ha..)
Hi Lia. I'm so sorry for your troubles. The manometry will measure the motility of your esophagus and whether esophageal movement (or contractions) is in sync or not. I occasionally have esophageal spasms myself, but they are not constant and do not last much longer than a few minutes. Mine are brought on by trapped gas related to my fundoplication surgery back in 2001. Once the gas passes, I'm fine.
I don't know what medications could help. Way back in the late 80's when my GERD was first diagnosed (as esophagitis), my doc then prescribed Valium for occasional attacks of spasms, since it relaxes smooth muscle. However, hopefully your doc will come up with a better solution than that. Valium pretty much knocked me out for the day.
Good luck to you,
Last edited by moderator4; 04-12-2004 at 11:15 PM.
Hi, Li ( Lia ) , how strange we have the same name spelled the same way. I thought I was the only one. I also thought I was the only one with these horrid symptoms. Wow this is something else isn't it? What are you to do about yours? Did you have the manometry ? I am still taking the double dose of aciphex each day and yesterday I THINK I felt a teeny, weeny bit better for about 3 hours ! Now that is how much it is on my mind, if I have even a tiny lessening of pain I notice it. I have double dosed for almost 2 weeks and my dr says give it 4 to 6 weeks of that. I'm gonna try to hang in there. After that it will be the manometry I guess. What is the next step for you? Lia
I have not had the fundo so I am sure that is not what mine is from. Also I don't have GERD at least not in any burning pain or any sour taste. My pain is pain and not a burn. That was a red flag to the dr that it was esophagitis or worse yet perhaps esophageal cancer and not heart burn. I had the barrium swallow which showed an ulceration and then the endsocopy which showed nothing and nothing to even biopsy and the pain gets worse. Been on aciphex since 1/15 and on a double dose for 2 weeks. I don't have valium and doubt this Dr would prescribe it as he is pretty anti any even remotely addictive drugs. I have taken it before a few times for sleep when I had different ins. and thus a different Dr. It did nothing for me, did not relax me, did not make me woozy , nothing. But then I am like that , quite hard to knock out. The IV they gave me for the endoscopy did nothing. I was completely aware of the entire thing and just had to cope with it . That throat spray is all that got me thru it ! I felt a little better yesterday for a little while , but it seems its same painful thing today. I am hoping that within a couple more weeks of doubling up the aciphex that I will be better enough NOT to have to have the manometry. I detest all these awful tests. But I know I have to do what I have to as I just can't deal with this forever. Thanks for your help. Lia
I've had a barium swallow I had that back in '00....just recently back in November I had and endoscopy which showed imflammation but no hernia, no ulcerations..no nothing like that....I've tried every medicine we can think of...aciphex, prevacid, nexium...nothing seems to work....I have such horrid chest pain...do you get that? It's like in the middle and then the left side...behind the left breast kind of...I've already had heart tests run just to be safe....cause I have a hard time believing that this pain is caused by something in my digestive tract...lol..but I guess I have to start believing it....right now I'm taking 150 milligrams of Zantac...so we'll see how that goes...do you ever feel like your chest is tight...or like you have trouble breating? Not shortness of breath..but just like you need to take a deep breath? This whole thing is so frustrating...I'm in pain every day....24/7 and yet I'm such a happy person..I have no clue what is next if this Zantac doesn't work...I guess I'll be going back to the GI doc....
Hi The Other Lia ! Yes ,yes and yes to all your questions. My very first symptom , out of the blue was chest pain right in the middle of my chest at the breast bone. Just a slamming pain that went clear thru to my back , not a burn but a pain. Then it radiated to the left breast , behind it and then behind the right breast . Then sometimes to my back and my shoulder. I knew right away that mine was related to swallowing as it happened only when swallowing and with each and every swallow. It slammed me in the chest to even drink water and still does. I can say that with the aciphex after about 2 weeks I felt a slight lessening of the pain but it has never gone away completely and this started Jan. 1 . Before that time I never had a digestive problem in my life and had never given the esophagus a thought. Then after the endoscopy 2/24 I began to get even worse. Not only did I have the chest pain but the entire esophagus itself began to hurt , not just when swallowing, it just ached all the time and radiated into my left jaw and left ear. Sigh. I go back to the Dr and he says now it is probably esophageal spasms brought on by the esophagitis thus he doubled my dose of aciphex . I am to continue this for another couple of weeks and then head to the GI Dr for the manometry if it does not let up. But yes chest pain is my primary symptom and yes I do feel the tightness in the chest at times , not shortness of breath, no , but the feeling that I cannot get a good deep breath. Ain't we got fun ! Lia
Yeah...this is so much fun..ha..ha....I'm really at witts end and don't know how to make the pain go away...I mean at times it lessens up...but other times..man..is it intense....and it's every single day...blah....While I don't wish this on anyone...it's nice to know someone else knows exactly what I'm going through....
I'm actually going back to my primary care doc tomorrow to see what other medicine we can try..although I've tried everything I think..LOL...I'll keep you posted on what happens...
Re: Let us know if the Dr has any new suggestions.
Other Lia, you've dealt with this a lot longer than I have so I can imagine you are ready to tear your hair out . I'm going on 4 mos solid of it and it is pure misery. I have a LOT of other health maladies and meant to get really serious about them after the first of the year. To my surprise this hit on New Years Day and has consumed me ever since. With this chest pain I don't think now I would even know a real heart attack if I had one. I wonder if muscle relaxers would help us. The esophagus is a muscle huh? If it is spasming then maybe that is what we need. I'm sticking with this double dose of PPI's for the next 2 to 4 weeks if I can stand it that long then my PCP will send me for a manometry. I'm in a rural area and have to make an 80 mile round trip to the specialist. I wish I'd get something that wasn't weird and had a quick fix to it , but so far that is not happening. Lia
Yep...I've been dealing with this for so long that it's actually caused me anxiety. I've been to the ER so many times in the past year thinking I was having an heart attack...only to spend hours...hooked up to monitors...doing all sorts of tests and then them send me home saying acid reflux...if I didn't have actual pain in the left side of my chest I wouldn't be concerned...LOL..I always say...why can't my elbow hurt...or my knee...lol..instead I have to have this.... I wish there was a quick fix too...if I find one...I'll be sure to let you know...but until then atleast we can help each other out by just venting about this nonsense we're going through
Hi, Lia. The manometry measures the pressure in the esophagus. As I understand it a tube is put down your nose into your stomach and you dry swallow ( with saliva ) and wet swallow ( with water I think ) . And they measure the pressure of each swallow, takes about an hour I think That is the definitive test for esophageal spasms as I understand it. My Dr said that if it showed that I had the spasms then these were my options, medication, balloon dilation or surgery. The medication used is a calcium channel blocker that I know won't work for me as I have been taking them for 10 yrs for my high blood pressure and got this anyway ! But that med does occasionally reduces spastic chest pain in some few people . Have you tried those ? Another med they can use is botox endoscopically injected into the distal esophageal wall but only brings temporary relief 3 - 9 mos. Now those are the meds my Dr told me about and neither sounds good to me as I know the calcium channel blockers won't work for me cause I already take them. And I am NOT relishing injections into the esophagus by some sort of endoscope a couple of times a year. I'll tell you the other options next post. They even sound worse ! Be back. Lia
Ok..so I went to my primary care doc in some HOPE that he'd have a miracle for me...but nope...nada...zilch...he actually thinks it's my anxiety causing all of this....I've already had every test in the book..but he IS sending me to a 2nd cardiologist....he says he's positive there's nothing wrong..but thinks if I get a 2nd opinion saying my heart is ok...he thinks the pain will lessen. He says after that he wants me to go back to my GI doc...
So that's where I'm at now...still frustrated....glad I'm getting a 2nd opinion on my heart and hope he's right and they find nothing... So we'll see what happens....
Lia, does yours happen only when you swallow? Mine does, so I KNOW that mine is esophagus related and not heart. I just know it. Also does your esophagus hurt , do pills hang in your throat , etc. ? If not and you are just having random left sided chest pain then maybe yours is not a GI problem ?! Who knows. At least you are gonna get a 2nd opinion on your heart, that can't hurt anything. I am full of anxiety myself but I am just certain that mine is esophageal and not heart or anxiety related. It is all about swallowing with me . Though the pain lasts far afer swallowing , that is definitely what brings it on. I am still on my double dose of PPI's and I feel just a teeny bit better. Though I still have chest pain on each and every swallow, the esophagus itself and the ear is hurting less. Still it is not improved by much and certainly nowhere near normal. I'm gonna stick it out for a few more weeks and then see what my PCP says , but I know already. Manometry at the GI Dr. Sigh. We are gonna go out of town this weekend and it is hard to go when you are hurting all the time but life goes on and I guess I can hurt there as well as here. I hope you will get good news with your heart but then what ?! Probably back to the GI Dr for a manometry like me !! Lia