GERD (Acid Reflux) Expert Forum
Upper Abdominal Symptoms
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Upper Abdominal Symptoms

I am a 34 year old male. I am 6'4, 185 pounds and in decent shape. I have HPB, but it is under control with meds, diet, and exercise. I have had a number of cardiac tests (stress, echos, holter monitors, etc.) and all come back normal. I get these upper abdominal spasms that are sometimes brief and sometimes last for 30 seconds or more.  They often occur at rest but sometimes after a meal or when I drink something cold.  Recently they have gotten worse - they last longer, I experience shortness of breath, rapid pulse, sweating, sometimes with a little bit of acid reflux after, and I get really anxious (no dry cough, no nausea).  I have been to the er - no heart attack.  My cardiologist (a few of them, actually) says that my heart is just fine.  I am at my wits end here. I am going to ask for a referral to a GI doctor. Are there any GI conditions that match my symptoms?
4610897_tn?1393869202
Hello thank you for your question.

I agree with your referral to gastroenterology. If one of my patients complained of similar symptoms, I would strongly consider diffuse esophageal spasm (DES).

Symptoms in this condition include dysphagia (painful swallowing of foods)  and chest pain. Dysphagia is usually intermittent and sometimes related to swallowing specific substances like liquids at cold and hot temperatures.  Pain usually last from minutes to hours.

Other conditions to consider include achalasia.

You should ask your physician about performing an upper endoscopy and a modified barium swallow or an esophagram.

Thank you for your excellent question.

-Dr. S
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