Constant chest pain

Posted by axiom @axiom, Mar 27, 2019

Hello, this is my first time posting about this and I am not quite sure how to proceed. I am a 33 year old Caucasian man, 5'9" 165lbs, that has had 24/7 constant chest pain with a slight lightheaded feeling for about 17 months. The pain is now difficult to describe but felt like a constant burning sensation right behind the breast bone for the first year or so. The pain is about a 3/10 mostly but will get down to a 1/10 sometimes during the day that may even last a couple days, which is like a vacation. It also sometimes reaches a 6 or 7/10 for hours at a time, which is kind of like mild torture. Sometimes the lightheaded feeling will get a bit worse independent from a change in pain and sometimes correlative. The head feeling is difficult to describe but is like when you strain your eyes by crossing them for a while; it is mild, doesn't effect my life and isn't really a problem. I went to the emergency room twice the first month it started 11/17 and they found only high blood pressure after chest x-ray, blood test for heart damage, EKG, etc. I had the high BP untreated since I left the military when I was 22 at about 160/100. I have been on BP medication since this started and it is usually clinically tested at 130/80. In the year and a half since this started I have had many blood tests checking everything from cholesterol to cancer markers all negative. I had an upper GI endoscopy that showed re-flux esophagitis on 11/17 but nothing else. An echo cardiogram and stress test on 10/18 negative. A barium swallow on 2/19 that showed mild re-flux but no esophagitis. I don't know what else to do at this point. I have been taking Nexium for months with no change. I have dramatically changed my diet to mostly greens and chicken from regular fast food, no change. I used to be a very heavy smoker for 10 years, I have quit and no change. I used to be a very heavy drinker for 10 years, quit for 10 months with no change, now I drink a little occasionally. I have an active career as a field technician for AT&T so I am very active. I try to do cardio also sometimes but the exercise makes the pain kind of change and get slightly worse which scares me so I stop after only 30 minutes. Doctors seem to be kind of useless and I feel as though I need to ask for tests and suggest options. Any suggestions on what I should do next?

Liked by lioness

@axiom this sounds familiar. I too have burning behind breast bone. Diagnosed with GERD. My average pain level was 6/10. Ask your doctor about the med Dexilant. It works very well for me, pain down to a 1 most of the time. I take 60 mg twice a day. This is generally prescribed for reflux after other meds don’t work. You have to watch esophagitis as it does lead to esophageal cancer. Check with your insurance company on the Dexilant; some won’t cover it or very little amount for it. Hoping you find relief soon.

Liked by lioness, axiom

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On the possibility that it is GI problems, I would switch from Nexium to something else. I would get off the greens. They irritate the stomach. Get off the fast food chicken. Get on to a bland diet, like you have the flu. Nothing greasy at all. Plain toast. No butter. Baked potatoes, plain. Plain, white rice. Eat bananas. Plain jello. Special K. Rice Krispies. Try all this very plain food for at least 3 weeks. NO COFFEE. NO COKE. NO FRIED FOODS. However, this does not account for your head stuff at all. Good luck to you. And no alcohol…. Lori Renee

Liked by lioness, axiom

REPLY

@axiom One other thing I can suggest is no spices at all for those 3weeks I had an ulcer and ever since then cant drink alcohol at all . no spicey food or added spices especially red pepper For me at that time I could only drink 1/2@1/2 it cooled the burn

Liked by axiom

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@lorirenee1

On the possibility that it is GI problems, I would switch from Nexium to something else. I would get off the greens. They irritate the stomach. Get off the fast food chicken. Get on to a bland diet, like you have the flu. Nothing greasy at all. Plain toast. No butter. Baked potatoes, plain. Plain, white rice. Eat bananas. Plain jello. Special K. Rice Krispies. Try all this very plain food for at least 3 weeks. NO COFFEE. NO COKE. NO FRIED FOODS. However, this does not account for your head stuff at all. Good luck to you. And no alcohol…. Lori Renee

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I'm sorry, I meant off the fast food. The chicken is either a rotisserie from a good supermarket that I take the skin off or I cook skinless chicken breast. I didn't know greens could cause issues, thank you. I also eat sushi occasionally for lunch and I do cheat sometimes. I think the head stuff is what I really cant understand, it is 24/7. It is mostly a nothing issue with occasional bouts of increased severity but has no impact on my life other than I find myself squinting a bit. Thanks for the reply.

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@bonnieh218

@axiom this sounds familiar. I too have burning behind breast bone. Diagnosed with GERD. My average pain level was 6/10. Ask your doctor about the med Dexilant. It works very well for me, pain down to a 1 most of the time. I take 60 mg twice a day. This is generally prescribed for reflux after other meds don’t work. You have to watch esophagitis as it does lead to esophageal cancer. Check with your insurance company on the Dexilant; some won’t cover it or very little amount for it. Hoping you find relief soon.

Jump to this post

@bonnieh218 I self diagnosed GERD because I had had occasional bouts of reflux for years prior to this that felt identical, as far as I can tell, to the constant feeling I had for about a year. The pain is now different however. It feels like a painful tumor of some kind the size of a lemon behind the breast bone. It feels like I might be able to burp it out but can't. I will have "episodes" that can be slightly relieved by drinking water and sometimes drinking cold water will cause a feeling in my chest almost like the water is leaking out into my chest cavity. Sometimes, when it is especially worse, I will burp and feel the pain in my back and then feel some pain in the spot while swallowing for a while after. I know this all sounds like esophageal issues but it is throwing me off that the pain is constant and slightly aggravated by running. The lightheaded thing is also strange to me. It also feels the best first thing in the morning usually. I wake up and it is mostly a 1/10 or almost gone. I can eat late and that appears to have no impact. My sleep is completely unaffected which doesn't sound like many peoples explanation of GERD. The barium swallow found that the esophagitis was gone and just mild reflux. Maybe I will get another upper GI. Thanks a lot for the suggestion on Dexilant. Average pain of 6/10, you are a warrior. Was your pain constant also or did it come and go? Thanks for the reply.

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@axiom One other thing I wanted to ask is it a gas bubble gas can cause a lot of pain when you mentioned burping it made me think of gas that is trapped there I have this sometimes and gas x relieves it also pop

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@axiom

@bonnieh218 I self diagnosed GERD because I had had occasional bouts of reflux for years prior to this that felt identical, as far as I can tell, to the constant feeling I had for about a year. The pain is now different however. It feels like a painful tumor of some kind the size of a lemon behind the breast bone. It feels like I might be able to burp it out but can't. I will have "episodes" that can be slightly relieved by drinking water and sometimes drinking cold water will cause a feeling in my chest almost like the water is leaking out into my chest cavity. Sometimes, when it is especially worse, I will burp and feel the pain in my back and then feel some pain in the spot while swallowing for a while after. I know this all sounds like esophageal issues but it is throwing me off that the pain is constant and slightly aggravated by running. The lightheaded thing is also strange to me. It also feels the best first thing in the morning usually. I wake up and it is mostly a 1/10 or almost gone. I can eat late and that appears to have no impact. My sleep is completely unaffected which doesn't sound like many peoples explanation of GERD. The barium swallow found that the esophagitis was gone and just mild reflux. Maybe I will get another upper GI. Thanks a lot for the suggestion on Dexilant. Average pain of 6/10, you are a warrior. Was your pain constant also or did it come and go? Thanks for the reply.

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@axiom my pain was constant until I found the right med.
If you think you are feeling a lump or tumor I hope you will have an MRI or some sort of test to make sure there isn’t anything like that in there.
I have some difficulty swallowing also where I feel like the area behind my breast bone is too narrow and food gets stuck there and it is extremely painful passing through that area. That doesn’t happen as much anymore but still happens.
In the past I’ve had a simple procedure done where they actually stretch my esophagus to allow for easier and pain free passage of food.

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@lorirenee1

On the possibility that it is GI problems, I would switch from Nexium to something else. I would get off the greens. They irritate the stomach. Get off the fast food chicken. Get on to a bland diet, like you have the flu. Nothing greasy at all. Plain toast. No butter. Baked potatoes, plain. Plain, white rice. Eat bananas. Plain jello. Special K. Rice Krispies. Try all this very plain food for at least 3 weeks. NO COFFEE. NO COKE. NO FRIED FOODS. However, this does not account for your head stuff at all. Good luck to you. And no alcohol…. Lori Renee

Jump to this post

Thanks for the clarification about your diet. As far as the head stuff. I just had a thought….could you need GLASSES????????? Lori Renee

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@axiom

I'm sorry, I meant off the fast food. The chicken is either a rotisserie from a good supermarket that I take the skin off or I cook skinless chicken breast. I didn't know greens could cause issues, thank you. I also eat sushi occasionally for lunch and I do cheat sometimes. I think the head stuff is what I really cant understand, it is 24/7. It is mostly a nothing issue with occasional bouts of increased severity but has no impact on my life other than I find myself squinting a bit. Thanks for the reply.

Jump to this post

Could you need GLASSES? You talk about needing to squint, and this came to mind Thanks for clarification about your diet. (I think I already posted this in the wrong place.) Lori Renee

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I too have the almost constant burning right below the breast. I've been on different meds for acid reflux and gerd for over a year. at times it seemed better, but came back more. Just had a upper GI and the dr. said all I had was inflamed upper stomach and keep taking med for gerd. That just isn't helping.
I've told them before the burning is so bad at times it feels like I would think shingles would feel, but I don't have shingles. I don't know what to do now

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