okay, I don't know how to explain all that I need to explain quickly. I was diagnosed with GERD as well but my symptoms really sound a lot like yours. I recently had a flare up and COULD NOT FUNCTION for a week do to extreme pain and anxiety. I also have Ulcerative Colitis which I have been trying to control with diet and is now in remission for the past three weeks. Strangely, my colitis symptoms went away the day my GERD symptoms started acting up again.
I think this has to do with the idea that the digestive track is one long tube. My problems just moved up the tube. I felt the arm pain, the anxiety and panic, the spasms, the throat lump, and the terrible stabbing at the solar plexus and around the heart.
My symptoms have completely subsided after treating myself for hiatal (hiatus) hernia and ileocecal valve syndrome. I posted on another thread about this. I hope I don't sound like a nut but I am so relieved and inspired that I want to share because just a couple of weeks ago I was in so much pain and desperate! HH and IVS are so very common and so very underdiagnosed. For some reason the MDs don't seem to know about it or have no interest. I do not take antacids because I believe disrupting the acid balance in the digestive system is a big mistake. If the stomach has low acid you cannot digest your food well and you cannot protect the rest of the system from pathogens and other nasties that would normally be killed in the stomach. Anyway, my goal is healing not applying short term relief of symptoms. So going to my GI for help has not furthered my healing AT ALL! meds meds and more meds. Though, I wouldn't have minded some pain meds and of course, they won't prescribe them only antacids which don't even work for this (at least not for me).
I don't know how you feel about chiropractors but I think if you can find a good one and not just a back cracker then it would be worth the effort. I went to my chiropractor to have him pull my hernia down. The Hiatus hernia is when the stomach comes up through the diaphragm. You can pull it down with certain massage techniques. If you go to a chiro they can show you and if you can't or don't want to, you can google or go on youtube for video demos on how to do it.
The other part that I think really helped the hernia STAY down was the ileocecal valve massage. If you google ileocecal valve syndrome and read about what chiros call "The Great Mimicker" you might find an answer like I did. I searched for a long time (years) for a reason for my ailments and just now found something that I believe is working. I have been doing the massage to shut the valve and when I first started I felt very sore there. After doing the massage several times a day, all my symptoms are gone. I am so happy. It used to be very sore and I could barely touch it. I could feel gas and tension in my entire abdomen shift around... It is really hard to explain. I continued with chiro adjustments, at home massage and even went for my first professional massage and had him focus on my abdomen which helped so much.
Better explanations than mine are available online. I am learning. Check out this pdf which touches on a lot of what I mentioned. http://www.balancedconcepts.net/Hiatal_Hernia_Cause_Chronic_Illness.pdf There are other pages out there if you google. I also have been trying to implement GAPS protocol which is another subject but very worth looking into if you want to heal your gut.
-diagnosed in Spring 2008 with Ulcerative Colitis
-undiagnosed Hiatal Hernia
-off all meds
-wondering if the MMR vaccine cause my colitis - anyone else begin this journey after having the MMR vaccine after childbirth?