Left shoulder pain 15 mins. after eating

Posted by jrofri @jrofri, Dec 5, 2017

Has anyone experienced severe left shoulder pain, down the upper arm, up the neck to the ear, approximately 15 mins after eating. This pain usually lasts for three hours after eating a meal.

Hi @jrofri,

Just thought I’d mention that we have an incredible Neuropathy group on Connect, https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/neuropathy/. Feel free to join a discussion that interests you, and post your questions and concerns; I’m confident you will be warmly welcomed.

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I have been getting pain in my left shoulder after eating at restaurants for several years. It started after improving my health and eating much better. What I can say is that it appears to only happen when I eat a large meal that most like had several cups of coffee with it. So for me its the size of the meal or the amount of coffee. My guess is that my stomach is now much smaller than it used to be, and thus the extra food and/or coffee is putting pressure on a nerve that is linked to my left shoulder. My person solution, not eat large meals. Don't feel the need to eat everything on the plate.

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This Mayo Clinic group has been so helpful to me I am trying to participate in return.
Since you mentioned dietary issues I am dropping this note into the chain. You may take it for what it is worth or simply delete. If you would like more information I can explain what I did (lots of phone calls and food logs ); you may write me directly if you want any of the back story.
My Symptoms – vomiting, nausea, achy stomach, bloat, weakness. Trouble talking, thinking, listening. Pain in left shoulder. All symptoms started slowly and slowly resolved after vomiting at the three to four hour mark. Had asthma as a child. Recent problems started 3 – 4 years ago. I am in very late middle age. Average weight. My symptoms are almost completely under control now and I can look back and figure what I did wrong and remember for next time.
Medical – Had “every test.” GI doctor finally told me to just “avoid trigger foods.”
Problem: Couldn’t figure out what trigger foods were. Turned out the problem for me was the preservatives IN the food
Solution: avoid preservatives, especially sulphites which are rarely labeled. This is NOT easy
What I Can Eat
Beef, organic chicken, eggs, food after removing skins (apple, avocado, watermelon, etc) canned tuna, maybe lamb. Salad bar items not otherwise excluded. Also yogurt, milk, cheese, fresh fruits and veggies, ice cream (yay). Also cookies, cake – all that stuff you want to keep away from. One – two tablespoons of just about anything, most food in Europe or Africa. TV dinners – Swanson’s Hungry Man, Amy’s Organic. Always small meals and snacks. I am never hungry and amazingly have lost some weight.
What I Can NOT Eat
Marinated beef, NON organic chicken, PORK!, most seafood. Canned or frozen or otherwise preserved fruits or veggies or potatoes. Eggs that pour from a carton. Cruciferous vegetables (sort of figured this out) – even fresh. Any of these things that come in a package (note: this is a simple question to ask in a restaurant –“is ______fresh or does it come to you in a bag or is it frozen from another location?) Canned food (except tuna), boil in bag rice, large meals, Worcester Sauce (the worst!). Meal kits (specifically Blue Apron). Spicy or fried foods. My list could be much longer; I have enough food to satisfy me with my “Can Eat” list. You will want to make you own list.
Again, you may write me directly if you want any of the back story.

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@barefoothorseman

I have been getting pain in my left shoulder after eating at restaurants for several years. It started after improving my health and eating much better. What I can say is that it appears to only happen when I eat a large meal that most like had several cups of coffee with it. So for me its the size of the meal or the amount of coffee. My guess is that my stomach is now much smaller than it used to be, and thus the extra food and/or coffee is putting pressure on a nerve that is linked to my left shoulder. My person solution, not eat large meals. Don't feel the need to eat everything on the plate.

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Hello @barefoothorseman and welcome to Connect!

I appreciate you sharing a very practical solution to the pain. Discovering triggers to certain symptoms is good detective work on your part. It sounds like you have engaged in some healthier eating practices and it has paid benefits for you. If you care to share more about that it might be helpful to others in our community. We all learn from each other at Connect.

I look forward to you joining in on other conversations in the future.

Teresa

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@barefoothorseman

I have been getting pain in my left shoulder after eating at restaurants for several years. It started after improving my health and eating much better. What I can say is that it appears to only happen when I eat a large meal that most like had several cups of coffee with it. So for me its the size of the meal or the amount of coffee. My guess is that my stomach is now much smaller than it used to be, and thus the extra food and/or coffee is putting pressure on a nerve that is linked to my left shoulder. My person solution, not eat large meals. Don't feel the need to eat everything on the plate.

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Wow what didn't I change. In 2010 I made a plan. Wrote down all the things that were science based that I believed could be causing my autoimmune issues and set about removing or seriously avoiding. Some things are so hidden they are hard to avoid like GMOs.

The big ones were I removed all drugs including topical and over the counter drugs, I personal include alcohol, sugar and caffeine in my list of drugs. Yes i include aspirin, and NSAIDs as drugs. Removed all processed foods and dairy plus anything that was GMO related, anything made from GMO products or anything that ate GMO products.

Cut back on all animal products and removed all farmed fish and factory or feedlot products because of the GMOS and the pesticide contamination. Cut back on grains especially wheat barley oats rye corn.

So now I source organic vegetables and fruit in season, wild caught fish, pressure cooked beans, walnuts pecans pistachios macadamia nuts, no peanuts or cashews. Drink water and organic decafe coffee unsweetened almond or coconut milk, naturally decaffeinated teas.

Mentally my goal is to be happy 99% of every day and exercise about an hour or more 6 days a week. Run maybe 40 miles a week at the moment. I'm male 58.

Added lots of vitamins and minerals intermittent fasting diatomaceous earth ACV fibre when needed.

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I also suffer left shoulder pain after eating . I had my gallbladder out five years ago although I was diagnosed with GERD previous to having it out have had no symptoms since surgery . I also had haiatal hernia. Now this weird phenomena of my Left shoulder hurting very bad after meals .

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Have u had an endoscopy? I have a hiatal hernia and had gerd. They found Barretts Esophagus, it can be cancerous…. have it checked!

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@barbee

I also suffer left shoulder pain after eating . I had my gallbladder out five years ago although I was diagnosed with GERD previous to having it out have had no symptoms since surgery . I also had haiatal hernia. Now this weird phenomena of my Left shoulder hurting very bad after meals .

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Welcome to Connect, @barbee. I'm so glad you found this group. Have your doctors suggested what might be the cause?

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@barbee

I also suffer left shoulder pain after eating . I had my gallbladder out five years ago although I was diagnosed with GERD previous to having it out have had no symptoms since surgery . I also had haiatal hernia. Now this weird phenomena of my Left shoulder hurting very bad after meals .

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Hi @barbee! I have the same thing happen and it always seems to be associated with overeating and I don't have to get too far out of my parameters for daily caloric intake to have this pain. It feels exactly like the pain post surgery that is caused by the air pumped into your chest and stomach cavity to create space between organs during surgery. That air trying to escape from somewhere other than your stomach is very painful. If you find out some other cause, I would love to hear it.
Best wishes, Gary

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@jrofri, you're not alone! Mine started a few months ago. The shoulder pain feels like the earlier comment about gas post surgically and I have had many surgeries! My pain starts almost immediately when I start eating and lasts several hours. A little background: I had a full roux-en-y gastrectomy 14 years ago with full removal of my stomach, no pouch left either. I'd suffered from severe GERD my whole life and 3 failed Nissen surgeries. I was also diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus. Most recently in January, I had Paraesophageal surgery to close a large hernia and pull my intestines out of my diaphragm. Thank God for modern medicine! @jrofri , it's interesting that we're both on Lyrica! I'm on it for migraine control.You'd think that the Lyrica would control the pain. Would love to know if there is a solution to this horrible daily pain.

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I have recently developed this symptom is well. Roughly 15 minutes after I eat I developed a severe pain in my left shoulder that creeps up to my neck. It doesn’t seem to happen when I eat in the morning or at lunch almost exclusively in the evening. It is also not exacerbated by any movement although a deep breath can make the pain more intense. We eat fairly healthy at our house but I am prone to eating too much. I’m 38 years old and I exercise 4 to 6 times per week. I’m trying to get back to see my G.I. doc soon but I would love to have someone of a hunch going in

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I’ve had this several times and it’s annoying!! And it hurts! I think it’s a few things possibly but I don’t know for sure, strained tendons in the neck, pinched nerve, or something displaced. Again I’m not too sure of the cause but I get mine when I wake up sometimes or sometimes when I eat, but you’re not alone with this, have you figured it out yet??

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@kojaxta760

I’ve had this several times and it’s annoying!! And it hurts! I think it’s a few things possibly but I don’t know for sure, strained tendons in the neck, pinched nerve, or something displaced. Again I’m not too sure of the cause but I get mine when I wake up sometimes or sometimes when I eat, but you’re not alone with this, have you figured it out yet??

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I’m having a CT scan and blood work done with my GI doc. Neck pain after eating is hard to conceptualize whether it’s caused by the stomach or something else but we’re starting with the GI point of view. I’ll hope to follow up with the outcome. I suspect these tests will bring as many questions as answers but we’ll see.

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@ryhughes

Several members have mentioned this problem. If you care to share more, how long have you had this problem? Any other symptoms that accompany it?

I hope that you get some answers as a result of the CT scan and blood work. If you would like to post an update after you get your results, that would be great.

Teresa

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I know this is an older topic, but I have experienced a lot of these symptoms. Doctors are also stumped. I don't get pain down the arm, but I do get pain in and around the left shoulder blade after eating, mostly grains, high fiber food. I don't have reflux or GERD either. I do get esophageal spasms while eating cottage cheese and yogurt, but not any other cold foods or drinks. The only physician who has come up with anything is the ER doc who sent me for an MRI of my thoracic spine, which showed herniated thoracic discs touching the cord.

I also get migraine flare-ups and the doctor said the same HNPs could be causing referred pain that is triggering the migraines because quite often there is the same shoulder pain associated with migraine.

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