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Hiatal Hernia? GERD? Ideas?
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Hernia occurs when part of an internal organ pushes through an opening in the organ’s wall. There are many types of hernias such as Inguinal Hernia (in the groin), Umbilical Hernia (around the belly button), and Incisional Hernia (through a scar). Discuss topics including prevention, symptoms, causes and surgical treatments for hernias.

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Hiatal Hernia? GERD? Ideas?

I have been experiencing problems with my upper stomach area, about 3 inches below my sternum for some time now.  I also get panic attacks, which are triggered by this extremely often. Once I feel something not right in my stomach, chest...I automatically assume its cardiac related, so you can imagine the trouble its causing me.

Symptoms are as follows:

-Tender and sore to the touch...always painful in area.
-chest pain/back pain
-occasional lower stomach/side pain
-Acidic burps (not too frequent)

Symptoms go on and off....2 bad weeks and 1 week symptom free...

The pain usually begins in the morning after waking up and is on and off all day. When I lay flat on my back, I sometimes feel like air is being pushed out of my lungs. I always sleep on my side and with my head elevated. I no longer smoke and no longer drink (for about 5 months now). Exercising also seems to bring on these symptoms.

I took prilosec OTC and a pepcid for a bit, but neither seemed to help very much. Antacids also offer little to no comfort for symptoms.

I am male, 27 years old. 5'8 and 170 lbs....a tad overweight. I eat 4 or 5 small meals a day, drink lots of water and do my best to eat healthy foods. No known allergies. Any insight is GREATLY appreciated, thanks!

I have been in and out of the ER several times lately for bad 'panic attacks'....each time they did several tests and ruled some things out:

-gall bladder
-heart infection

Also i've had about 10 EKG's now and they all come out perfectly normal, also had a heart monitor on for 5 hours + during the pain and everything looked perfect.

Im almost certain its digestive/respiratory related...
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Avatar dr f tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Your symptoms can be due to peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcer pain is usually a burning pain. They commonly occur in the stomach and duodenum. Stomach ulcers cause pain on eating and duodenal ulcers cause pain on fasting (2-3 hrs after eating). Peptic ulcers are eroded areas in the lining of the digestive tract usually in the stomach and duodenum. The two common causes for this are: infection with helicobacter pylori and use of non steroidal  anti inflammatory medications (NSAID). So for the ulcer to heal and to reduce acid levels  avoid NSAID's, quit smoking, eliminate alcohol and reduce stress levels. OTC antacids and antibiotics to treat H pylori further aid in therapy. Please consult your primary care physician for proper assessment.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
Avatar f tn
You will proberly get referred from your doctor to the gastroenterologist.  They can do an endoscopy to see what is wrong.  Unfortunately Ive suffered and am still suffering from stomach problems for over two years.  I have had an ulcer,my gallbladder out,oesophaghitis, GERD,gastritis and a hiatus hernia.  The tests include endoscopy,barium meal xray,chest xray,ph monitoring and oesophagheal motility test.  Ive had them all.  You have to have tablets called PPIs and an antacid like Gavison.  I still suffer a lot of pain despite medicines and am waiting for results of the ph monitoring test.  I may get surgery to fix the reflux,if not I don't know as Im fed up of suffering with it. You may have a hiatus hernia so get proper assesment yes.
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