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HOW CAN I STOP THE PAIN OF ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS
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HOW CAN I STOP THE PAIN OF ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS

I have esophageal spasms.  They feel just like a heart attack or that you are having labor in your chest.  They last for about an hour.  It is a tremendous pain.  I have taken prilosec, zantac, nexium, nitro spray.  My gastro doctor thought it might be reflux irrating my esopahogous which might cause the spasms.  They did the fondu surgery.  It did not help.  I have never even had heartburn. It looks like I am going to have to live with it.  What I need is something that will releave or stop the pain while the attack is going on instead of having to go to the ER.

Help  ***@****
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8 Comments
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Hello,
I think I know what you are going through, but have no answers since I seem to be in the same boat.  I have been looking for answers or someone who can relate or just understand what I am going through.  My doctors, as have yours, haven't yet figured it out.  If you don't mind me telling you my situation, maybe we could find some common ground.

My situation actually started with severe sinusitis which I am still being treated for and have a surgery scheduled to resolve that hopefully, but that is another story.

I have been experiencing these chest pains for 5-6 months now and have had 6-7 EKG's, cardiac stress tests, upper GI, Gallblader (gallbladder) ultrasound, countless blood tests.  All have been negative, with the exception of some signs of gastritis, which seem insignificant to my doctor.  As you mention they are intense at times and mine last longer than an hour.  Sometimes several hours.  They start as dull pains in the upper chest and at their worst, feel like someone punched me straight in the chest as hard as they could.  The pain is not limited to one side of my chest, but moves around to both sides, in the center and around my back.  Seems to be different everyday.  I have been to the doctor and the ER over 15 times in the last couple of months.  Common consensus among all of the different doctors I have seen is that the pain is caused by recurring reflux.  In my case, it could have been aggravated by the extensive use of antibiotics for my sinus infection that could have worn away the lining of my esophagus.  I have tried to go off of my antibiotics to check this theory, but can't stay off of them long enough(get too dizzy from the sinus infection).  My doctors seem to think that when I solve my sinus problem, this will go away.  I am skeptical.

For the reflux, I have tried Nexium, Zantac, Protonix and Tagamant.  I am currently on a combination of Tagament and Protonix.  So for no good.  For the pain, I have tried Darvicette which was no help and am currently on Hydrocodene which also isn't helping.  About the only thing I can say had any positive effect, was a muscle relaxer called Oxazepam(Serax).  This helped for a while and then seemed to lose it's effectiveness. Maybe it will work better for you.  Be careful with it though, it has addiction warnings.

Seems like the normal course of diagnosis is treatment with meds for reflux, Upper GI scan, gallbladder ultrasound(Looking for gall stones), endoscopy and then I think a Hidascan would be in order.  Have you had any of these test yet?  You mention the "Fondue" surgery.  What is that?  I haven't heard of that.

My next procedure is the endoscopy so the doctors can actully look at the esophagus and rest of the GI tract.

Not sure if any of this helps you, hope it does.  I have taken some comfort in realizing that at least someone in this world knows what I am going through.  

Good luck and please let me know if you find anything that works.  I will d the same.

Sam Wismer  
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Avatar_n_tn
I can relate to both your situations.....I, to have had GERD and a small Hiatal Hernia - both have contributed to the esophageal spasms and scary  feeling of having a heart attack.  My Doc put me on Reglan and Aciphex for 2 months (originally 1 mo - but wasn't 'healed' yet).  I have finally stopped having the spasms - except for an occassional 'twinge' when I move a certain way.  Reglan relaxes the gastrointestinal tract and helps the esophagitis heal along with the antacid meds.  It is somewhat cumbersome to take - 4 times per day - but greatly helped my situation.  My spasms were so bad that my left side chest wall became inflamed and sore for weeks.  A question for you two....I have an uncomfortable 'ache' under my right rib - next to the stomach area.....sometimes seems relieved by burping, bowel movement or gas relief.  This aching is bothering me almost daily....I wonder if it is related to the GERD/HH???  It may be gall bladder or even just gas.....but isn't very painful....only a discomfort that I feel occassionally but is getting more persistant.  I may try the Reglan for a month to see if this is gastritis or something irritating my stomach/duodenum.  Any ideas??  Good luck to both of you......
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Avatar_n_tn
Try an Antispasmodic medication.
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Hi dixie,
I have those same pains from time to time, but they are not relieved by passing gas or belching.  I think it is my gallbladder, but my Doctor doesn't think so.  We did the gallbladder ultrasound and it was negative for gall stones. Next procedure he ordered is an endoscopy, but they can't do that until 1/03.  Crossing my fingers that this goes away after I have my sinus surgery and get off the antibiotics.

Sorry I couldn't help.....

Wiz
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I had the esophogeal spasms as part of my IBS.  The only thing that stopped mine was Xanax (my IBS is triggered by stress).  Hope this helps.

Tim
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What do these feel like, and where to they hurt?  Do they make you sore, or do you stop hurting as soon as it stops spasming?  I don't know if that might be a source of my pain or not?
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Two weeks ago I was hospitalized for what I thought was a heart attack.  The EKG looked okay, my cardiac enzymes were normal, but they still weren't sure.  The cardiologist ordered a nuclear scan and chemical stress test.  I stayed on the telemetry floor with constant monitoring.  They did learn that I had mitral valve prolapse but they thought I may be having esophageal spasms.  

Today I saw my family practioner.  She said she thinks I need to be scoped again (I have already had an EGD with removal of polyps). I have tried Aciphex, Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Protonix.  I have been on such high doses of Previcid that the insurance company did not want to pay.
She also suggested a fundiplication.

I have asthma due to sinusitis and GERD.  I have had the sinus surgery and continue to have many sinus infections as well as severe headaches and facial pain. But, I very seldom get "stopped-up".

Maybe between all our doctors, we can get some relief.  Let's keep in touch.
  
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Try the greattastenopain website. It has all but cured me but when I go off of this I suffer greatly.
Here is the link http://www.greattastenopain.com/great.asp

I too have greatly suffered from terrible spasms, gerd, just sbout everything digestive for over 7 years. I have tried many things but this diet makes a lot of sense and you can download a PDF for the first several weeks for free. best thing is you do not have to give up your favorite foods. You just need to learn how to combine them properly and stay with it. It works in a matter of a day or so. No hurt to try and see. Good luck and God's grace and mercy for us all.
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