Okay, so I'm not sure if I have GERD or not, but some of my symptoms fit. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, but just wanted to get some outside perspective, as well.
So, last May/June (2008) I was getting ready to graduate from college and kinda stressed about it all. One day, I developed a sensation in my throat, like there was something stuck in there. It didn't hurt, just irritating. I Googled the symptom to see what came up and found a lot of info. about that sensation possibly being caused by stress/anxiety. Since I was a soon-to-be college grad., I chalked it up to stress. In July, I moved back in with my parents (oh, joy!) and my eating habits subsequently went downhill. That lump-in-throat feeling showed up off and on, but wasn't terribly distracting.
In October, I started taking a diet pill that really suppressed my "bad" food cravings/appetite, so I started eating way healthier than I had been for months. I was eating 5-6 times a day, mostly unprocessed food, lean protein, low-fat, etc. I went off that diet pill near the end of Oct. because it was causing dry skin and mild insomnia. After the fact, I realized that I hadn't had that "lump in throat" feeling in weeks and just felt overall better. But, of course, once I was off the diet pill, I slowly started going back to my old eating habits. By Dec., I was eating out more(mostly fast food), overeating and generally just eating crappily.
Here's where my GERD questions, arise:
By the end of Dec., I started having an overall "ill" feeling. It's hard to describe. It wasn't nausea or anything, but seemed to be focused in the center of my chest. At first, it was a pressure/tightness paired with an overall "ill" feeling. It started out somewhat infrequently, then became progressively worse--not excrutiating pain, but definite discomfort in the middle of my chest and that "ill" feeling. This lasted for the entirety of Jan. and Feb.
By late Feb., the "lump in throat" feeling had returned and I was feeling that pressure/ill feeling almost on a daily basis--but ONLY in the afternoons. I work mornings and NEVER had that ill feeling while at work; it only came on in the afternoons/evenings.
Anyway, so in late Feb., the "something in throat" sensation was back. Sometimes, after eating, I felt as if I needed to burp, but had the distinct impression that: 1) something was partially blocking the burp and/or 2) if I DID burp, it felt like it'd be vomit rather than gas.
FOR THE PAST 2 WEEKS:
A few times a week, I'd eat and then lay down, only to feel pressure in my stomach and, as I was lying down, it REALLY felt like my food was climbing back up my throat. I'd say, for the first week of this month, I had that feeling off and on--like my food was climbing my throat.
Also, back in Jan./Feb., I was having mild pain in the middle of my chest, but that recently turned into short, somewhat sharp (but mild) pains in the middle of my chest, and sometimes off to the left and right.
The thing is, almost out of nowhere, at the end of Feb., my "pressure in chest" and "overall ill" feeling just started disappearing almost overnight. I haven't had that chest pressure OR felt the same kind of ill in about a week.
However, those symptoms were, shortly, replaced by the "food climbing throat" feeling. And now, for the past 2 or 3 days, I've had mild heartburn. This is, basically, the first time I've experienced heartburn since ONE time during late Feb. and before that, I can't really remember having any while I had my other "ill" feelings in Jan/Feb.
After Googling all of my symptoms (the mild chest pain, lump sensation in throat, feeling like food wants to come back up and now, heartburn) signs are pointing toward GERD, but I'm not sure.
I know, I know, the docter will know better than I, but I'm curious. Is an overall "ill" feeling combined with pressure in the center of the chest a common symptom of GERD? I'm very curious, too, about why that ill feeling and chest pressure had decreased only to be replaced, briefly, by the sensation of food coming back up and, now, finally, the GERD-like heartburn. Like, I'm weirded out by the fact that the pressure/ill feeling just seemed to go away on its own, then turned into the lump sensation, and heartburn. Do GERD symptoms switch around like this?
Sorry this was long, but I'm hoping someone else's symptoms might have aligned with mine.