This might sound odd, but has she tried something like Zantac for GERD? I went through the same exact symptoms about
1 1/2 years ago. Turned out a side effect to an RA drug that no one would admit to caused me to have high blood pressure and severe GERD that had symptoms I never knew could be associated with it (GERD). I would wake up in the middle of the night unable to catch my breath and have to run down the stairs to get the momentum to finally get the breathing going again. Everytime the GERD would attack (which was almost non-stop in the beginning), my BP would go up, I'd have asthma attacks (I don't have asthma), I'd get horrible pains in either my stomach, chest, shoulder/neck...I thought I was having a heart attack, eventually I started having panic attacks when it would hit as well.
I went on a super-strict diet that helped, and finally stopped the meds I suspected was the culprit - it helped. But the Zantac was a life saver once I was clued in to try it. . . 20 minutes after I took it, a big wave of relief would start going through my body. The doctor put me on some program to help get the GERD under control where I could take up to so many Zantac a day (more than the bottle Rx'd) for up to 12 weeks.