A few days ago I started to notice pain in my upper chest when I take a deep breath. The pain is strongest in the center uppermost chest but radiates out somewhat into both sides of my chest. The same day I started getting bouts of hiccups which haven't let up. They last twenty minutes to a couple hours and are relentless- waking me (and keeping me) up at night. I'm not positive that the two are related, but it seems like too big a coincidence for them not to be.
I am otherwise a healthy 28 year old male- nonsmoker.
Thanks for writing to the forum!
There is a strong possibility it is costochondritis (inflammation of the joint between rib and sternum. The inflammation around the joint area gives sharp pain on taking a breath. This can also cause tenderness on pressing the area which pains. This could cause irritation of the nerves in the head, neck, and chest (vagus or phrenic nerve).
Chances are also that you have esophageal reflux (GERD), where the food in your stomach is thrown up into your food pipe or esophagus. Another possibility is hiatal hernia, where a portion of stomach herniates into the chest cavity through the diaphragm. Both can cause a discomfort in the chest area, burning, heaviness etc. Irritation of the left diaphragm due to acidity causing stomach distension or due to the hernia can cause hiccups. Fatty food, alcohol etc too can cause hiccups. In GERD, hiccup is body’s mechanism to prevent choking.
Apart from these kidney problems and other metabolic disorders, cancers, infections, certain mental health problems and brain stroke or injury can cause persistent hiccups.
I think you should discuss these possibilities with your doctor. It is difficult to comment beyond this without examining. A comprehensive investigation is required keeping all the points in mind.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
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