28 year old female smoker, fairly healthy...For a number of years now i've had a weird sensation going from below my left breast radiating into my left shoulder...the pain is dull and constant...its accentuated when i breathe in...what do these symptoms point to? I also have mild IBS.
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The symptoms could be exacerbation of the GERD. It could also be hiatal hernia. Treatment is a combination of drugs to reduce the acid and lifestyle changes. You will need to take a combination of medications (under medical supervision) like a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole empty stomach in the morning and an antacid gel after meals for complete relief. Possibility of H pylori infection too should be looked into by a carbon urea breath test and a combination antibiotic tried. Many a times a persisting H pylori infection can be the cause behind acidity not responding to treatment.
Life style changes that will help include: Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Avoid lying down for least 2 hours after food. Maybe these tips will help you.
If these tips do not help, then liver function test, pancreatic enzymes, and HIDA scan for gall bladder should be done. Food intolerance and inflammatory bowel conditions such as IBS (you have this), Crohn’s, celiac etc should be considered.
You should consult a gastroenterologist (a specialist who looks after the diseases of our digestive system) or a physician for this if these tips reduce your symptoms.
Since I cannot examine you and know other related conditions you may be having, nor is a detailed history possible on net, I have listed the various possibilities that should be looked into. Please consult your PCP for primary examination followed by proper referral. Take care!
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