Posted 6/19/2019 10:54 AM (GMT -6)
First time poster. 39 y/o m, fairly active.
I've been struggling with sore/burning throat and chest for about 15 months now and am wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar to what I'm experiencing. My GP says its heartburn, the general surgeon says it doesn't sound like heartburn but I've been put on a non-urgent wait list for a Endoscopy and 24 hour pH test (could be months away....in Canada).
It started with a night out with the boys 15 months ago. We had a few drinks. The next day my throat hurt a lot. This pain lasted for about 2 weeks in varying intensity and seemed to move around (suprasternal notch, to adam's apple, or just below the jaw or all 3 at areas at once).
I soon figured out that this pain would come with alcohol. After a few of these episodes I decided to give up alcohol. Nothing else seemed to trigger it. Fast forward a few months and this sore throat started to appear without alcohol and started to occur more frequently. It doesn't last as long as when it's alcohol induced. At this point my chest and back were also starting to be sore frequently. The pain can still jump around from area to area. The chest can be sore at night and alleviated somewhat when I'm elevated. Exercise relieves the pain temporarily.
I went to the GP and he immediately said it was heartburn. He prescribed one 40mg pantoprazole, once a day. This did not do anything to help the symptoms. I stopped taking the medication after one month. I then went back to the GP as the pain was almost constant now. He then told me to try 2x 40mg pantoprazole per day, and also prescribed Prevacid (2x 30mg) to take if the pantoprazole didn't work. Tried the 2x pantoprazole for another 2 weeks with no decrease in symptoms and then took the prevacid for 2 months. Again, no success, so I decided to stop taking it and am no longer on any medication. Gaviscon can help, but probably only 1/5 times I take it.
I then went to the general surgeon who schedule me for an endoscopy (pending) and 24 hour pH test (pending). She said it didn't present like heartburn and didn't think she would find anything but booked the tests anyway.
I went to urgent care one day because I was having difficulty getting a deep breath which is often accompanied with this pain. The doctor there did an echocardiogram which came back normal. She also said my oxygen retention was 100% and she thinks it's anxiety, and prescribed me a one week supply of Adavin, and to take 1 before bed for anxiety. Didn't seem to help.
I've had my bloodwork done numerous times, with everything coming back normal.
I decided to work on diet throughout this. I know that alcohol, carbonated beverages, and spicy foods can make it worse so I avoid those. However; I can have hot sauce or a carbonated beverage one day and feel perfectly fine, and then have it again a day later, and intense pain. I decided to cut out gluten (off 3 months) and dairy (off 1 month). I avoid sugary foods, coffee, etc. It has seemed to help....somewhat. I can have good days and bad days, but almost every day there is an underlying sensation of burning or aching for at least a part of the day in my throat or chest or back.
I had 2 rum and pineapple last weekend at my Dad's birthday after 9 months alcohol free. These were perfectly fine, no pain. I am leaning towards the fizzy aspect of beer / mixed drinks more than alcohol content now, but I don't know.
Yesterday I was completely symptom free until lunch. I had a two ham sandwiches at lunch (gluten free bread, black forest ham, mustard, lettuce, cucumber) which I believe sent me into a painful spiral for the rest of the day and night. I can't figure out what set me off. The suprasternal notch area continues to burn as I type this.
I never taste acid, I've had heartburn before, and this doesn't seem to be the same thing. A lot of the times the pain almost seems to be surface level, but other times it does seem esophageal related. It jumps around from chest, to suprasternal notch, to underneath jaw, to back, to adam's apple area.
I'm just typing this in hopes that anyone has experienced anything similar. The doctor's haven't really been very helpful.