Pressure under Sternum?

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Mo30
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 11/19/2013 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Has anyone had this issue? Sudden pressure under sternum that was caused by GERD? I had this last night, which caused me to have all sorts of other symptoms, landed me in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. Luckily my EKG was 100% normal (textbook as the Doc said).

I've had stomach acid problems for years now but I've never had sudden panic attack like this before. This has been my 3rd attack since October and each time it's been right after I ate food. I've been super bloated for a month now, and GAS X hasn't helped at all.

I know I'm definitely anxious and on the verge of getting insurance after landing in the ER last night.

I'm 30 y/o male. My endoscopy about 4-5 years ago was normal.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 11/19/2013 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
You did the right thing, going to ER to check. A gas bubble in stomach can give these symptoms, but so can a lot of other things.

I'd get the insurance. It might be a good idea to check some other things out. That endoscopy is out of date.

One thing you can do for free is keep a food log. Time, date, what you ate, meds, reactions if any at 30 min, 2 hours, later if something happens.

Sometimes food intolerances show up late in life. I didn't know I had any until I hit 60. I used to eat spare ribs and loved them. They started kicking up my reflux and heart, got worse and worse. It was the pork + brown sugar + spices and who-knows-what-else - all had sulfites.

Mo30
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 11/19/2013 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Alice. So right now, I'm just scared to eat anything because as soon as I eat, I'm having crazy symptoms, which I'm assuming is from bloating. As of now, my entire stomach has a burning sensation and stomach acid has come up my esophagus. I've had barium enema recently because the doctor thought endoscopy wasn't something I needed being that I'm 5 ft 9" weighing about 155lbs, I probably won't have a high chance of colon issue. The barium enema came negative and said everything looked good.

I've taken 2 20mg prilosec and contemplating on taking another 20mg.

I should be taking the prilosec everday. I haven't been taking it regularly (once a day once at night). My doctor on my last visit said if I need to, I can take 40mg in the morning and 40mg at night. But i'm thinking, instead of taking such a heavy dosage, I think I should try 20mg 3 times a day for a couple weeks regularly to see what happens.

I'm working on the insurance

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 11/20/2013 8:08 AM (GMT -6)   
No, no, no! You have to take PPIs the right way or they don't work properly. Take the 40 mg in the morning 1/2 hour before eating. And then eat! If you don't eat it won't work. If you take it with food it won't work.

Maybe the doc was looking for something in the loop of intestine that comes across the top, but it seems to me he was looking at the wrong end of the system. Feeling bad right after eating would seem to me (not a doctor!) to point to stomach. You did say you have reflux!

Start a Food Journal! You need evidence for yourself and your doctor. Eat just one thing at a time if you can, or at least eat just a few things and wait a couple of hours. No snacking in between, or you'll confuse the issue. If you have a reactions with EVERY meal, at least it would point to an esophagus or valve problem, and it could dismiss a texture irritant or sensitivity to food ingredients.

I had a gas bubble, or so I thought, every morning after eating a bowl of cereal with lovely dried fruit. I would stop and try to belch up a bubble, and then it would stop. Then one day it turned into a heart attack. What really happened, I found after researching for 2 years, was the sulfited dried fruit was triggering my reflux and also, by way of the vagus nerve which connects everything, causing tachycardia. On heart attack day this progressed into cardioesophageal reflex (linked angina), where the heart arteries constrict, and bingo a little plaque in an artery may have broken off at one tiny point, or it could have been just a tight pinch of the artery, resulting in getting life-flighted and a stent being placed.

But that's my story, not necessarily yours. My problem was found with the help of my allergist, who had me keep the food log/journal. I tell it because these symptoms are nothing to ignore. Unfortunately, you have to do the research (food journal) on your own. I had some clues, like reacting to wine and certain foods very strongly. My food list googled the result of sulfites. But there are plenty of other irritants, or maybe there is no particular item and every food can be a problem.

Best of luck. It takes months and months of research sometimes, to come up with an answer.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 11/20/2013 8:09 AM (GMT -6)   
PS: Prilosec didn't work for me. I only got results with Nexium and one other I don't remember.
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