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pain in left shoulder after eating
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pain in left shoulder after eating

I am a 46 year old female with a history of abdominal surgery ( laproscopic- Nissen fundu.) for GERD.  I experience left shoulder pain immediately following surgery and it last for several weeks.  The doctor stated it was caused by irritation of the diaphram nerve during the surgical procedure.   I am 16 months post surgery and again experience left shoulder pain after eating a meal(2 weeks).  It is a sharp pain in my left shoulder and radiates up the left side of my neck .  Do you have any suggestions of what may be causing the pain?  I believe it is related to my stomach some how.
Thanks
Sister Denny
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have severe pain episodes in my LEFT shoulder, which radiates to my neck and i have to stop and breathe shallowly thro it, it is SO painful, like someone has a sharp knife and twisting it into my shoulder. Have been told by specialists its due to the nerve from diaphragm (referred pain).  Have tried surgery, and medium strength pain killers so i feel like my life falling apart as i can't get the adequate pain relieft i require, to even just take the edge of the pain.
It is triggered by eating, drinking, and sometimes by lifting something heavy ( i have had stomach surgery, lung surgery etc so have had diaphragm cut a couple of times).
It is depressing when u have it, as you have to just stop still and you cant even cry as even that movement makes it worse. Its like  you are in spasm of pain from left shoulder radiating to your neck and the pain is excruciating.
WISH there was something that could be done,.
Would love to hear from anyone who have had the pain successfully treated/cured.
Best of luck xx
Carree
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Avatar_m_tn
I've never had any serious health issues, I'm athletic (run marathons), very fit - yet I occasionally get that very sharp pain in my left shoulder when I've indulged in food and wine - like a knife stuck in up there just below where the shoulder goes up to the neck.  Could it be rich foods?  Seems to happen after/during good meals and red wine!  Normally, I don't eat fried foods, butter, chips, ice cream or fatty foods in general.
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1260261_tn?1269720142
Gosh until reading these posts, I didn't realise how common this problem seems to be! I am a  fairly fit & healthy 43 year old woman and have had this problem for about the last two years and just thought that it was some strange quirky thing that only I had. The condition for me has gradually got worse and more frequent lately and I find that I don't have to eat as much for the pain to come on, it can be quite embarrassing when out for a meal, as the pain is so bad that you can't talk and I am sat massaging my shoulder to get some relief! I hope the condition doesn't get any worse and would like to know why it happens or if anything can be done to ease the problem?  
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Avatar_n_tn
I had nissen fundoplication in november 2009 and have suffered with severe left shoulder and neck pain since.  It is excruciating to the point that I have to lay down on the floor.  It does feel like a knife stabbing with bad spasms.  It is really getting me down and is interfering with my life.  I eat a bowl of cereal and nutriment a day and thats it because I cannot stand the pain.  Lost quite a bit of weight, but the surgeon thinks it is unrelated to surgery and I am at my wits end now.
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Avatar_m_tn
I really thought I was the only one who had this.  I thought it was quite strange why this was happening.  I also had two abdominal surgeries.  I also have gluten intolerance.  I am boarder line celiac.  My left shoulder hurts so much after I eat gluten.  Someone told me they think it may be gas due to the gluten since I cannot digest it properly.  I never went to the doctor about it yet.  It hurts so much that I have to stop everything I am doing just to get through it.  Sometimes it last for seconds and other times it lasts for hours.  It is such a horrible pain.  It feels like a stabbing in my left shoulder.  My husband cannot understand it, he thinks food cannot have any factor, but it only happens when I eat the foods I am not suppose to eat.  It is so frustrating.  Very strange why it only happens to my left shoulder.  

Does anyone have a solution besides cutting out the foods?    
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Avatar_m_tn
I am glad I am not the only one.  about two weeks ago I was starting to experience shortness of breath and now every time i eat i get a very sharp pain in my left shoulder and it climbs up my neck.  I am very nervous and don't know what to do.  I had heart checked because of shortness of breath but everything was ok.  The pain is excruciating after I eat.  I really hope someone reads this and has the solution.

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Avatar_m_tn
I two am suffering from the same symptoms as outlined by others. Severe stabbing shoulder pain which radiates into the neck and down my left side. I also suffer from a shortness of breath and sleeping is simply impossible. With me it seems much more uncomfortable at night. I had a gastric sleeve procedure around 10 months ago and even though I am now going to the gym and losing weight this pain does not seem to be abating. There was never any mention of chronic pain like this when I signed up for the surgery - it has left me very depressed and disillusioned. I think I'd rather be overweight and pain free!
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 25 and I have experienced similar symptoms since my teens. It seems like whenever I eat too much greasy food (burgers, fries, etc) I get a sharp pain in my left shoulder that throbs for hours! This week it's gotten worse though. Its been happening every night this week; and I haven't eaten a lot of greasy food... I'm going to try to cut out all sugars and oil and see what happens...
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello Everyone,

I also have no answer for this. I am a 27 year old relatively fit male. I have left shoulder pain after eating a large meal (not just any meal only when I really stuff myself) the pain does not go into my nech though, just the shoulder. I first experienced this when I was about 18 and it was so bad that I went to the hospital and it lasted for days. Now the pain is not so bad and most of the time it is more annoying than anything.

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Avatar_n_tn
I was involved in a dirt biking accident nearly 2 years ago and I have had the sharp pain in my upper shoulder after eating, sometimes.  I can hear the air in my left chest area gurgling around as the food digests.  It is very painful sometimes.  Is there any cure?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have this too, and at first did not think the two were connected, but I notice that every time I get full I get this throbbing pain at my left shoulder. I've never had any stomach surgery or anything and had a gallbladder sonogram that came back fine. It sounds crazy as I don't know what the stomach has to do with the shoulder, but this happens now every time I get full. I am a 53 year old female, Lupus patient, and I am very active...workout at gym, walk and such. If anyone could shed some light on this I would appreciate it.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't believe what I am reading...I just started having this shoulder pain 5 days ago and I was thinking it had something to do with innflamation of the spine which I have (my left side is numb from ribs down) but it is( the pain) is only there now when I eat.I waited till 6:00 p.m. today to eat because I really didn't want any pain and BOOM before I was done eating the pain started. I also have Crohn's disease and ulcers but I do not have GERD. I did eat hamburger though it is the only beef I can eat, now if it causes me pain like this I guess I will be a vegan soon. I will be calling my specialist  on Monday though hope she can help if I find out anything I will post.
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Avatar_f_tn
Its crazy! I too thought it was some quirky problem that would go away as fast as it came.  I'm a 27 year old male.  I have lost 50 lbs. in the last year and have luckily only been dealing with this for a few months now. I haven't ever had any surgeries of any kind.  It does not go away, in fact it has gotten worse. For me, it hits hardest after big meals and doesn't subside until I lay down for 20-30min.  It's super annoying.  I just got health benefits so I'll get to start working on why this is happening.
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Avatar_f_tn
All of the pain described in this thread does indeed come from an irritated diaphragm. The problem is trying to figure out the cause. It can be many things and doctors will often think it is heart related at first. The referred pain is hard to diagnose, but once you realize it is the diaphragm you can at least know where to look.

The gallbladder is the most likely cause. When it fails, the diaphragm calls for help. The brain can't understand the S.O.S. and just thinks "we'll, I guess the shoulders hurt" and sends the signal

If the gallbladder is not the problem then you have to look at fluids or air pockets or maybe the pancreas or appendix for whatever is upsetting the diaphragm. The diaphragm acts like the big brother for all those parts down there and is just trying to be helpful.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am amazed at the number of people who suffer this pain!  I had gastric banding surgery three years ago and have suffered this severe pain since the very day of my surgery. Sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. After many visits to chiro,physio,oesteo, and finally a second shoulder surgeon who confirmed it had nothing to do with my shoulder and was more than likely from my stomach  Finally I went to a new bariatric doctor who confirmed that the pain was associated with my stomach, after loosening my band i can now identify the foods that trigure the pain. Finally an answer ... I am finding pasta a problem and general overheating (feeling very full). I am monitoring now and my doctor will re-***** and decide whether or not to carry out further test on my spleen and diaphragm. I am very grateful to be heading in the right direction after 3 years, I was truly beginning to think I was going crazy!!! Good luck to every else that suffers this most distressing pain :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
Pancreatitis can have radiating pain to the left shoulder or lower back. The Pancreas is responsible for making enzymes that break down food especially fat. When a heavy meal or high fat meal is consumed this can cause pain. Check with you doctors to ensure your pancreas is healthy, Management may be as simple as eating a better diet or you could be put on artificial enzymes that need to be consumed with every meal. I am unsure of the irritated nerve in the diaphram, thay may to be a source of the pain. I would stongly advise though that if the pain comes after a hight fat meal to speak with your MD about your pancreas. I am an RN by the way.
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I am so glad that I found this page.  I thought I was the only one with this problem.  I couldn't understand why my left shoulder would hurt so bad after I ate a meal.  I too have had stomach surgeries.  Three to be exact but I just couldn't see the connection between the surgeries and the shoulder pain.  Reading these posts have helped me to understand a lot better and it makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one with this problem.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the Nissen wrap on Nov 1st 2013. I have had terrible left shoulder pain for the past month. I just had a hydra scan last week and my gallbladder is functioning less than 28%. Did you have your gallbladder out and if so. Did the shoulder pain stop?  I can't take this pain.
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to say. The shoulder pain is every time I eat anything. I only eat soft foods. No meat or bread. I have been to the ER and had every test done. My surgeon is no help at all. It's so frustrating. Any information would be so helpful!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my gall bladder removed 4 years ago and still suffer occasionally from the same painful attacks that sent me to the emergency and 2 days later surgery. Now I have been suffering lately with sharp left shoulder blade pain after eating a meal. I noticed that I get the pain if I eat a little too much. I decided to look it up on line and found this site. I really didn't think I would find anything and am surprised to find so many suffering the same symptoms. I guess my next move is to make a dr. appointment and get to the bottom of this. Sorry I don't have any answers yet.
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Avatar_f_tn
I too am having this pain. I thought it was gas from not being able to burp yet. I'm only 8 days out from surgery and can hardly swallow water. Every-time the pain is so bad. I'm glad I found this page. I'm having issues and am afraid. I also can't talk I have a nasally voice the air keeps coming out my nose
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