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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/23/2013 10:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new to this forum but read an old thread on esophageal spasms that was very interesting so I thought I would start a new thread. I am a 28-year-old female and I have been experiencing occasional intense chest pain for the last 9 months or so. At first it just happened once in a while and would wake me up at night. I ended up in the ER because it was so intense and also saw my primary care physician before going to a GI doctor. I have had 2 EKGs done and it's not my heart. After seeing a GI doctor, he said it sounded like esophageal spasms and I had an endoscopy. They said i have a small hernia in my esophagus but that's pretty common. They also did biopsies that suggested I could have celiac disease, but it was a low probability. I have done bloodwork for the celiac disease but have not gotten the results yet. This week it's happened about 3 or 4 times. I do have a medication I take sublingually when I have them that supposedly stops or slows down the spasms. It isn't working all the way though. Now when it happens my back hurts badly too. Has anyone dealt with something similar, and what has worked for you? I am considering trying peppermint oil capsules and/or acupuncture along with whatever my doctor recommends, whenever I can get in touch with him... Thanks in advance.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 1/24/2013 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
You are not alone. Welcome to this site I really find it helpful when I'm in search of answers . I'm also 28 and female and have very comparable issues like you experience. I've been suffering with stomach problems and crazy symptoms for 5 years. Although I though it was just common sickness or bad diet come to find out I have chronic nausea , hypokalemia (low potassium levels and common low vitamin levels) , and just 10 months ago after months of vomiting and eliminating all other possibilities I was referred to a gastro which after 2 months said I have a bad hiatal hernia that needs repair . Now I have all your symptoms so my advice is get more opinions . See another gastro . Try ppis . Get checked for gerd and IBS . I'm awaiting surgery currently

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 1/25/2013 8:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi new members and welcome to the forum.

ceni - could you clarify - "hernia in my esophagus" - Is it a hernia of the diaphragm allowing the esophagus and stomach to push up part of the time? An actual hernia in the esophagus itself sounds sort of like diverticulitis of the esophagus, which would be something else alltogether.

Brandy - Is your hernia paraesophageal or sliding? Para needs repair because the stomach can rotate and have its blood supply cut off. That's a major emergency requiring immediate surgery.

ceni - I get esophageal spasms which trigger heart arrhythmias. A bunch of organs are connected by the vagus nerve, so it's easy to understand.
My symptoms are triggered by food allergies/intolerances. My gastro doc just had me taking PPIs, but my allergist got me keeping a "food journal" (look up in the search box at the top of the page). I found a specific bunch of foods that trigger my reactions, had to do "food challenges" (look up) to find the ingredients that are the culprits.
My specific trigger is mainly sulfites, but other people could be bothered by something else. There is no test for sulfite allergy/intolerance. A lot about this in the Allergy Forum. The only way to stop the reaction is avoiding foods that are loaded with the chemical. It's not like a peanut allergy though, all or none. You have to find your tolerance level. Main way is avoiding processed foods - any type of processing at all! I can't eat gelatin or corn starch or artificial sweeteners and flavors in particular. Wine and beer are out.

Although I was able to get the refluxing and heart reactions under control with diet, I needed a surgical repair after I was in a bad accident that caused a giant paraesophageal hernia. I still have to watch the diet because food intolerances don't go away. It's not bad at all - just cook from scratch, avoid fast foods for the most part.
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