The other night i was awaken by severe pains in my upper abdomen just below my sternum. They continued through most of the night but had eased off by morning. The next day i still felt a little uncomfortable but no severe pains. Later that afternoon however i experienced them again. It wasn't a constant pain. Almost felt like someone reached inside me and was squeezing really hard. Since then i haven't had the severe pains again but have been slightly uncomfortable and feel mild stabbing pains every now and then.
This happened once before a couple of months ago but once the severe pains stopped it was gone. There was no after effects as i seem to be having this time.
I'm a little worried as my mum suffers from Esophagitis and her mum died of cancer of the esophagis.
Not sure if it's related but i've also had a sudden pain beside my right shoulder blade...feels like something bit me and is relieved when i put pressure on it.
Possible causes can include the various causes of dyspepsia (i.e. GERD, an ulcer, or inflammation of the upper digestive tract) or the gallbladder.
An upper GI series or upper endoscopy can exclude most of the upper GI tract disorders (as well as esophageal cancer - which is less likely).
You can consider an ultrasound to evaluate the gallbladder and liver.
You can discuss these options with your personal physician.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
pain in the sternal area which awakens at night is commonly either related to the gallbladder, or to esophageal reflux. Cancer generally doesn't behave that way. The obvious thing to do is check with your doctor. My money is on gallbladder.
I'm certainly not a doctor, but diaphram spams are something I have dealt with for years. They can wake me up in the night bringing me to tears. I would stronly suggest seeing a Chiropractor. Best results I have had with clearing up the pain had been with mine!
Before going to a chiropracter, I'd emphasize the need for a real diagnosis. "Diaphragm spasms," to the extent that they are a real entity, do not cause the symptoms suggested in the original question, or in the above post. There is a role for chiropractic in this world, but it does not include diagnosis.
Just an update. Went to my G.P and he's put me on a medication called Pariet EC 20mg which is for peptic ulcers and reflux oesophagitis. He didn't mention my gall bladder or run any tests what so ever. All he did was feel my tummy and tell me to take the pills.
He said that if i'm not better in 2 weeks or i get worse to come see him again.
My main concern is the fact that it was a month between the first severe pain and this one. This should (hopefully) help with indegestion but the other grabbing pains i felt were weeks appart. I asked him if it's normal to feel such severe pain with indegestion (as he seemed to be implying that thats what the pains were) and he said "well, it can be" i've never felt them like that before though.
Hopefully this will work though and i wont have to worry.
I had the exact same thing for exactly three weeks. First went to the ER as I thought was having a heart attack. Turns out, further blood work showed that I have mild alcoholic hepatitis. This however, seems to be unrelated to my pains just below my sternum. I had a upper GI series done and will get results tomorrow. Will let you know the results.
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