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lorac1229 10-14-2012 10:22 AM

Pain Below Sternum
I am new here...just joined today and was hoping that someone here could help me.....PLEASE! I have GERD with Barrett's Esophagus which no longer resoponds to medication. Lately, along with the constant heartburn from the acid reflux, I have been having some pretty significant pain in the middle of my chest just below my sternum. It is not like the burn from reflux, but more like pain from like an injury. It is almost always present to some extent and ranges in intensity from a dull ache to an almost unbearable pain which makes it hard to breathe and doubles me over. When I eat, it almost feels like food is getting slowed down or stuck for a short time in the bottom of my esophagus making the pain worse until the food passes through into my stomach. Along with this new pain, my reflux has gotten much worse and I am also having some regurgitation, sore throat, and coughing. What I want to know, I think, is if this is anything to be worried about. I know that the Barrett's is a pre cancerous condition, so could this possibly be the beginning of Esophageal cancer? I have no idea what the early symptoms of this disease are, I just know that I am really suffering with this new pain. However, I don't want to bother a dr for something trivial. Can soneone please help? Has anyone else ever had these symptoms? Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Stretch1one 10-14-2012 05:06 PM

Re: Pain Below Sternum
If I didn't know any better I would have thought I wrote that exact message just veer a year ago. What you are exp is classic Gerds I was having the exact symptoms this time last year I went to get scoped and the dr found Gerds & Barrett's I was less than pleased. I have been battling these symptoms since then some days are good some are bad I went to the dr recently because of the pressure / pain in the middle of then chest sometimes to the left or right or in the center I pushed for more test what I rally wanted was a echo test to check my heart but what I got was a ct scan of my abdomen which I thought wold be worthless but they found a small hiatal hernia my dr says this would explain the chest pain, food getting stuck problems swallowing food coming back up. He says a HH can cause chest pain because it sits right in front of your heart can also trap air which feels like pressure. He said for me to get a BP monitor so I cold check it when I'm feeling all these so that I would feel better i thought he was of base but it does help to check it even though I'm not sure what I'm checking for. I do not have any cures of answer for you just to let you know that your not alone. My dr says to find my trigger foods which are what everything! Recently due to burning in chest complaints he has switched my PPi to Nexuim which I have never taken before been on it for almost a month def best I've felt in awhile but I still have episodes not sure why. Have you tried a PPI in the morning and a H2 blocker at night? Along with some Gaviscon Neil you get the right meds to help you. How long ago did they find your Barrett's ?

lorac1229 10-14-2012 06:01 PM

Re: Pain Below Sternum
Thanks so much for your answer! I hope that what you told me turns out to be true but I am still afraid for a few reasons: I have suffered from GERD since I was 17 and am no stranger to the pain from a hiatal hernia and reflux together as I had that before they did my Nissen Fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair way back in 1998. The Fundoplication has now failed and my last couple of scopes have shown a new hiatal hernia along with all of the damage and the Barrett's in my esophagus.. so I should be used to the symptoms caused by that stuff. I have never in my long history with this mess felt this type or intense of pain and that is what has me really scared. I am significantly overweight so the dr won't operate to fix my Fundoplication or repair my hernia at this time even though Barrett's is pre cancerous. So, until I can lose the excess weight,I will just live in fear between my scopes hoping that cancer doesn't develop. I was diagnosed with my Barrett's about five years ago and have had to have yearly scopes since that time to keep an eye on things and do biopsies. My next scope will be in January but I honestly don't know if I will be able to live with this pain until that time! At this time, I take 40mg of Omeprazole twice a day as well as Zantac 150mg as needed throughout the day and night with no relief from my symptoms. They tell me that no other medications will help my condition. What can I do? I will just hope that what your dr told you is what is going on with me and suffer away....thanks again for your answer! I hope you feel better. Any more hints/suggestions? I am feeling rather desperate....

BB07 10-14-2012 06:19 PM

Re: Pain Below Sternum
have you ever been tested/screened for Celiac disease?

lorac1229 10-14-2012 06:37 PM

Re: Pain Below Sternum
Thank you, I have never been screened or tested for Celiac disease. What is it and what are the symptoms?

Stretch1one 10-14-2012 07:08 PM

Re: Pain Below Sternum
WOW Lorac I feel for you a few month ago before changing PPI I had a trip to the our local emergency heart hospital because of two days worth of extreme burning smack dap in the middle of my chest jus to be given the standard protocol EKG blood work a few other things to rule out the heart once its ruled out seems like they loose interest after that but I was so desperate at the time. Have you tried Gaviscon? I always hav a bottle in the fridge the weird thing is different meds like Calcium Antacids (Tums®, Alka-2®, Titralac™, and Others) work and then other times they don't and you need Magnesium Antacids (Maalox®, Mylanta®, Riopan®, Gelusil®, Gaviscon. My grandmother recently told to try old school alka seltzer apparently she had issues with Gerds also found out that my grandfather has Gerds HH and Barrett's I was shocked IDK why I just was they provide no inside no help just said a ahh it won't kill you it just hurts I'm not dead yet I was OMG ok LOL

Are you having the burn or the chest pains sounds like use the burn when that happens I just load up on meds geezs I'm 40 I found on in my early 30 that I had heartburn and just a year ago that I had Barrett's and just a few months ago that I had a HH although they said a small one I have heard hat the surgey for a HH has a high return rate. I heard that Barrett's if treated will go away but not in most cases my doctor said most people have Barrett's by the time they are 30 to 40 depending on what part of the world you live in and will never know they have it this is my GI talking he's from England and seem to be very informed about it except the part of how to make it go away forever LOL anyways I'm sorry you are suffering I have tried except for the surgery everything on the market including supplements I would highly recommend calling you dr to change PPI I been on all of them maybe the body gets to use to them or something

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