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Re: Burping, Lump in throat, Chest congestion, etc -- help!!

Posted By Kim on March 29, 1999 at 07:26:41:

In Reply to: Re: Burping, Lump in throat, Chest congestion, etc -- help!! posted by Holly Caliri on March 12, 1999 at 13:47:22:

: I've been having an assortment of issues similar to yours, for over a year and a half.  I don't have an answer myself, but I'm still looking hard for one.
During most of '97 I had frequent heartburn (3-4x/wk) and frequent gas (both constant burping and painful unreleased pressure).  I didn't think much of it, just took OTC calcium carbonate for the burn and simethicone for the gas.
In 11/97 things ratcheted up to the point that I sought help from my doctor - on top of the heartburn & gas I was having:
- severe chest pain
- breathing problems (felt like my 100-lb Rottweiler was sitting on my chest)
- frequent sore throat
- sensation of something lodged in chest, lump/tightness in throat
- stomach felt like a cannonball was sitting in it, couldn't eat much
I've had asthma for years, but it was well managed by albuterol+beclovent until the GI stuff started happening.  My inhalers didn't help with the breathing probs.  
My primary care drs did an upper GI, which showed a small hiatal hernia but no reflux.  ??   Bizarre, considering I was having acid reflux every day!  They prescribed Tagamet to control the acid.  Things were bad thru Feb '98 - by the time it eased up, I'd lost 15 lbs.  
Things never went back to normal, but the acid reflux was manageable as long as I watched my diet very carefully, ate 2-3 hrs before bedtime, ate small amounts, etc.  I was in 'maintenance mode' for about 10 months, then things got bad all over again in 12/98 and have been bad since.  I didn't gain or lose more weight during 'maintenance', but I've lost another 5-6 lbs since Dec.
I finally talked to a gastroenterologist in January - he didn't run any more tests, but bumped me up to Prevacid.  After two months of that, there's no noticeable acid, but I still have the sensation of reflux, the constant gas pressure & burping, and the breathing difficulties (trouble usually doesn't start until just before or after lunchtime each day).
My primary care physician is at a loss - he thinks my symptoms are caused, or at least exacerbated, by stress/anxiety/depression and won't run any more tests until he can rule that out.  I've been to see a counselor and a psychiatrist in recent weeks.  I'd be a liar if I said feeling this physically uncomfortable for so long with no diagnosis and little relief didn't make me feel stressed, anxious/scared, and maybe even a little depressed.  But in general I'm a very upbeat, optimistic, high-energy person - it's only in recent months that this situation has really started to wear me down.
Now that I've acknowledged a certain level of stress/anxiety and realized I might have been wallowing in it a bit :),  I feel much better emotionally.  But I still feel physically bad every day.  I'm only 29, and this situation is getting old!  I'm sure we'd both be happy to have answers...and maybe this forum will give us new direction to explore with our respective physicians.  Best of luck!
- Holly

HOLLY!  You may be helping so many of us out there.  I am 38 years old, was in great health (until these past few months) and I am experiencing the symptoms you describe.  It came on very very suddenly,I have no idea what or why.  I have had EGD, lower CAT scan, ultrasound, everything looks fine except some small gastritis in my stomach.   But they don't know how badly I feel! I am trying everything I can think of , getting off wheat to see if food allergies, having  stool smaple to check for parasite (hookworms suck in the lower intestine, can cause pressure on stomach, delayed emptying of stomach, etc)...I am desperate.  Where I live we have only the minimum of medical care, I am at my wits' end.  There are 2 things which directly proceded this condition: first, I caught the flu, followed by a bout of diarrhea which went on for 4 weeks.  Second, at that same time, I awoke 2 times within the night by a sudden spasm in my throat, it was as if I had sucked in a huge feather and I couldn't get it out; my throat tightened and I kept doing what I could (basically nothing but drink water and take some cough suppresant) to stop the spasm. THEN this burping/belching began (and ended afew weeks ago), now I am stuck with this tight throat/sternum chest pain.  It's almost like a charliehorse of the esophaugus, it is constricted for most of the day, but will suddenly relax (primrily when I eat small amounts). Worst in mid-afternoon.  At first I thought it was a hiatal hernia, becuase it felt like something was pushing against something else, but no, all tests come back negative.  No bacteria, no stomach cancer, no ulcers, no gallstones (I could've guessed that)....How I go on (you know the routine).  If you have any info into what this may be, please write me, I am at the point of flyinga nywhere for any care to control this!  Thanks, KIM    ***@****  

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