New to the board and fairly desparate to find out anything since my doctors seem unconcerned, but I too have chest pain (dominant symptom). I've had both my family doctor and gastroenterologist tell me they don't think it's cardiac in nature, but since I'm "effectively being treated for the GERD" (that was from the gastro doc), it must be something other than GERD. Sometimes I have the 'typical' GERD burning in the middle of my chest; sometimes more of an annoying discomfort to the right or left side of my chest. I'm taking 40 mgs of Protonix daily (since the 1st of March) ... some improvement but not complete. I seem to have some level of discomfort / pain on almost a daily basis and it's much worse when I lie down ... explaining why I'm up in the middle of the night reading about GERD. I only sleep (1) when I've reached the point of absolute exhaustion or (2) when I've taken Xanax, and only then when the pain isn't bad enough to cause me to panic badly. I've had a gallbladder ultrasound and HIDA scan, so we know my gallbladder is is working order; my gastroenterologists doesn't feel an upper GI or EGD is necessary because I had one 3 years ago and it revealed gastritis which was alleviated by 2 months of Pepcid. I've had a recent resting EKG (in the ER when I was convinced I was having a heart attack); everything cardiac-related looked good except for a few skipped beats which the ER doc said was 'fairly normal'. I have noticed that neither food of any kind nor activity of any kind bring on the pain / discomfort immediately, but brisk walking or some foods will cause the pain later. I also have some left arm ache - not pain - and it doesn't radiate from anywhere. It is sometimes in conjunction with the chest pain and sometimes not. It feels like it's muscular. Before the Protonix, episodes would typically end with me doubled over from chest and abdominal pain and a bout of diarrhea. Now the pain is confined almost completely to my chest; diahhrea isn't such an issue, but like others that I've read on this board, I sometimes have relief from a BM. Not to be gross (but I know it is ... sorry), but that only happens when it's a particularly 'cleansing' (i.e., large in volumne, not size of stool) and follows a couple or three days of constipation.
I know I'm taking a lot of time and space here, but I find it somewhat encouraging that at least some other folks have the same or similar symptoms and they don't seem to be cardiac related. I've become afraid to exercise for fear of bringing on a heart attack and, as a matter of fact, am being treated for generalized anxiety disorder, which seemed to begin with my health concerns around this chest pain which, by the way, sometimes seems to go through to my back. After I eat anything other than a small meal, I get a 'full up to my throat' feeling and often feel as if I haven't quite swallowed the last bit of food. It's sometimes hard to take a really deep breath right after a meal. I have discovered, not surprisingly, that the more I stress over the pain, the worse it gets so I use every mind-calming exercise I've ever heard of, and then add chemical assistance (1/2 .5 mg Xanax) if nothng else works. Sometimes I have to repeat the Xanax in a few hours but usually I will become calm enough to relax and sleep. Tonight being one of the exceptions.
Anyway, thanks for listening (reading) and if anyone has any suggestions ... I'm more than happy to hear them. I'll try to make my next posting less of a novella.