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Hiatal Hernia question
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Hiatal Hernia question

This is a question for all hiatal hernia sufferers.  What symptoms do you have with your hiatal hernia?  Has anyone experienced "heart attack" symptoms but have no known cardiac problems?  

I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia last July after more than a year of chest pains, pain in my left shoulder, left arm and back.  I had numerous cardiac workups and all they figured was vasovagal reflux (only because they couldn't figure out why my heart rate and BP would drop so suddenly so this is the diagnosis I got...no test proved it).  Most of this subsided once I got my GB out in Sept. 07 but the pains have returned the past couple of weeks.  I don't have the chest pains as much but I still have the pains in my left shoulder, neck, arm, etc.

I'm just wondering if there are more people out there like me.  I know if I go back to the doc. they are going to tell me the same thing and that it is all in my head.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Shell
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the same symptoms, first doc told me it was anxiety.. I couldn't accept that so I went to a GI doc and he told me GERD.. been on AcipHex.. that helped immensely.. no more chest pain whatsoever.. however, I had pain in both shoulders, and both sides of back and neck..  I had no tests done either.. but it was not 1 sided so probably different from  you.. but just thought I would throw that out there for ya!
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Avatar_f_tn
When you say you had no tests done do you mean cardiac, GI or both?
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Avatar_f_tn
Does anyone have any input on this?  I am really at a loss right now.....
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have suffered sever chest pain, and left shoulder and back pain. It feels like it is going straight through. This has been going on 1 year now.  I get lightheaded and feel like I am going to pass out. I have been taken to the ER 2 times in so much pain I thought I was having a heart attack.  I have had a CT done because they thought I had a clot to the lung because of some blood work. Several x-rays and a cardiac stress test. An endescopy which showed a small hital hernia. It has become an everyday pain and causing me severe anxiety. I am going for a H-pilori test on Tue and a gallblader (gallbladder) check on Thursday. Why they didn't do the Gallbladder in the ER I have no idea. I asked them to but they said since I had no pain when they pushed on it, they were sure it was just my refulx. So once again I was sent home, but this time with xanax and vicodine for the pain????  I really want to feel normal again.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how you feel with about the ER, I actually went in August 07 and they wound up keeping me for 4 days!!  WOW!!  I thought for sure they would find out what was wrong but they didn't.  I just got some diagnosis that no test could prove that I actually had.  I'm sorry to hear of the pain you're in, I can definetly relate.

Did the doctors tell you that this can all be related to digestive problems?  My GI doctor tells me no and my cardio tells me yes.  It is almost like neither one wants to take credit for the other.  Very frustrating!  I can also relate with the anxiety...I refuse to take any meds for it...I have already been down the medicated road and I don't want to travel that one again.

Keep me posted on the upcoming tests, I wish you luck with everything!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well first, I'll give you a rundown of my Hiatal Hernia Symptoms.

1. Chest Pain
2. Heartburn
3. Left-sided Shoulder pain that would run down my arm
4. Left-sided Neck Pain
5. Upper back pain
6. Constant Belching
7. Epigastric pain
8. Sometimes a feeling of suffocation, like I couldn't catch my breath
9. Acid Reflux
10. Difficulty swallowing

I was Dx'ed 2 years ago during a endoscopy for gallbladder symptoms, which I had taken out a little over two weeks ago, and before that, I was diagnosed with GERD back in 2000.

I started suspecting either a Hiatal Hernia or gallbladder when I went to the ER one night with intense chest pains. They did a full cardiac workup, and I did end up spending the night with a monitor strapped to my chest just to make sure that it was not my heart.

All of this despite one of the ER docs saying under her breath to the other one "there's nothing wrong with her". What a B_ _ _ _!! However, they did find that my pulse rate was high, even while resting, and they my cholesterol was high.

One of the doctors did ask if I had been experiencing pain elsewhere in my body lately, and it struck me that I'd been having vague pains under my right rib lately, and I told her that, but she took no notice of it.

Anyway, that was in 2004. A Few  months later I was in the ER again with a full blown gallbladder attack, but this time after numerous test(including test where my liver function came back high), the doctor tried to convince me that it was probably just an ulcer. I told him 'I don't think so!' He said he was certain of it, and gave my a prescription of Protonix and pain killers(which I never got filled) and sent me on my way. I was already taking Nexium, and Protonix never did a thing for me, so it was a waste of time.

I went to the ER two more times after that with gallbladder attacks. More test, but this time, the doctors did suspect mt gallbladder although they couldn't find any stones. One referred me to a surgeon, who told me he needed more evidence that it was my gallbladder. So my PCP, sent me to see a Gastroenterologist, who ran a few test(Endoscopy, Hida Scan), found the hernia, and told me that I needed my gallbladder out.

It was a 4 year journey, but here I am, recovering from gallbladder surgery as I type this. I still have mild indigestion and chest pain, when I don't take my Aciphex and eat something a little too spicey like spaghetti sauce. But I've been staying away from most things that would set off an attack of chest pain and heartburn. That would be Mexican food, Chinese food, most Italian food, and anything else that my system can't handle right now.

Just for the record, my surgeon thinks I'm predisposed to developing a Hiatal Hernia, because so many people in my family have one.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh I forgot to list one of the most important symptoms... Bloating, LOTS of bloating!
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Avatar_f_tn
When they took my GB out in September my symptoms pretty much went away within a month or 2 but now they are back.  I no longer take any medications because they said they were unnecessary if I wasn't having any symptoms.  Has I am sitting here typing this I am having the pains in my shoulder and back.  I am at such at a loss anymore.  

Do you still have these symptoms or did they pretty much go away with medications.  See the only problems is I don't really have the gas, bloating or acid like I used to.  Just all the PAINS, that is why I am so concerned that it may be my heart.

I am a light smoker (quitting, down to less than 3 a day!!!) and I noticed that smoking can make the symptoms worse.  Do you or have you ever smoked?  This is why I am thinking heart because of all the literature out about smoking and the heart.  UUUGGGHHHHH, why was I the fool to start smoking again (quit when I was pregnant with my son in 2006).  I'm sorry, I just needed to vent!

Thanks again
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Avatar_f_tn
I still get the shoulder pain and chest pain occasionally. I've never been a smoker, but I do know that sometimes when you have a hernia, the medicine will take away the symptoms of acid, bloating, and gas, but you can still suffer from silent reflux which would cause the symptoms that you are listing. In that case, it may be time for a Nissen Fundoplication. Personally, I haven't reached that point yet.

Just to be on the safe side, it wouldn't hurt to get a good workup by a Cardiologist. They can do a stress test, if they haven't already, or place you in a heart monitor overnight to spot any irregularities in your heart rhythm. I had a 3D ultrasound of my heart done some years ago, and it was found that the left side of my heart was slightly enlarged.

No need to apologize for venting, this is your health you are talking about here, and you have every right to be worried. You want to leave no stone unturned, which is totally understandable.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you again for your input, I really appreciate it.  I have had a full cardiac workup.  Echoes, stress echoes, nuclear stress echoes, monitors, scans, pretty much everything.  I had an episode where I passed out over the summer so they ran a whole bunch of tests from head to toe.  This is how they found out about my hernia and GB.  They definetly think the dizziness was due to my GB being so inflammed.  I don't have the dizziness anymore, just everything else.

I was told that unless I am absolutely 100% done having kids they would not repair my hernia since I basically have no torso it would just put pressure on that area.  I also heard such horrible things about the nissen and I don't know which would be worse!

I have never heard of silent reflux but I will certainly look into it.  Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
iv been dealing with so much lately i feel like im loosing my mind. chest pain very high on left side almost at shoulder  . pain in left shoulder blade. vomiting, dizzy . my dr sent me to have heart checked . stress, and scan . all was great., bp was going up . dr put me on bp meds . still throwing up. tummy feels full , sometimes even when ive not ate at all. dr says acid reflux an heart burn. no heartburn at all that i feel . noticed chest pain stops after i throw up. took 2 er with fever of 103 . put in for 3 days an given fluids dehydrated from throwing up so much. sent 2 gi. did scope, cat scan , an test were they watch this chaulk go thru me.. all normal. . still throwing up, did hydro scan. one dr said it showed my gall bladder was not contracting . other said im not sure could b bad dye. had gallbladder took out . thank GOD its over. 1 week later im throwing up again. changed diet no fried , spicy r fats. no change. gi dr . says i give up . go bk to your dr . an i recommend head scan. bk at my dr. another cat with contrast. nothing found. tiny hiatal hernia noticed by gi dr , he said when they put air in me during surgery . but so small cant be the problem.now on nov 2nd i go to another gi in big city for another scope. and then for brain scan. im so tired im so hungry and so afraid to eat .. can anyone help me
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