Left shoulder pain after eating or drinking

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.

@urassaya

hello good pm i just want to ask why is my shoulder hurt after eating? is there anything you can suggest to me if what should i do?

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I have the same problem. It started about a year ago and soon I started spitting up phlegm after eating along with the shoulder pain. The pain and phlegm continually increased and eventually I was spitting up the food that I had eaten. It was not digested at all. I realized that when the food came up, the shoulder pain stopped. It took a year for it to slowly progress to this point. It turns out that I have gastroparesis. My stomach doesn’t empty fast enough. I’ve learned to eat very small meals and to not eat unless I am truly hungry. I have to take small bites and chew my food very well. I also take vitamin and mineral supplements. As long as I don’t eat too much at a time, it stays down and I have no shoulder pain. It’s as though I had stomach stapling surgery that some people have for weight loss. Fried or fatty foods affect me the worst and I’m supposed to really watch my fiber intake. Too much fiber can build up in my stomach into azores, (I think this is the right word and spelled right) which is like a rock. I’ve heard that it’s something that no one would want to go through. I also have Crohn’s disease, but I believe that it’s coincidental. Of all the symptoms, the shoulder pain is the worst for me. I tried heat and cold but nothing helps. It hurts so bad that I can’t stay still so I just walk around. And I couldn’t understand what my shoulder had to do with my stomach problem. My doctor and I finally decided that it is referred pain. My stomach being too full affects a nerve that leads to my left shoulder. I like knowing why something is happening so learning this helped me. They say that everything has a bright side and mine is that I’ve lost thirty pounds. I could stand to lose twenty more to get to my ideal weight, but I’m a little bit worried about what I will do to keep from losing too much. I’ll just face that problem when and if I get to it. I hope this helps you. Good luck!

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@gaileybird1

I have the same problem. It started about a year ago and soon I started spitting up phlegm after eating along with the shoulder pain. The pain and phlegm continually increased and eventually I was spitting up the food that I had eaten. It was not digested at all. I realized that when the food came up, the shoulder pain stopped. It took a year for it to slowly progress to this point. It turns out that I have gastroparesis. My stomach doesn’t empty fast enough. I’ve learned to eat very small meals and to not eat unless I am truly hungry. I have to take small bites and chew my food very well. I also take vitamin and mineral supplements. As long as I don’t eat too much at a time, it stays down and I have no shoulder pain. It’s as though I had stomach stapling surgery that some people have for weight loss. Fried or fatty foods affect me the worst and I’m supposed to really watch my fiber intake. Too much fiber can build up in my stomach into azores, (I think this is the right word and spelled right) which is like a rock. I’ve heard that it’s something that no one would want to go through. I also have Crohn’s disease, but I believe that it’s coincidental. Of all the symptoms, the shoulder pain is the worst for me. I tried heat and cold but nothing helps. It hurts so bad that I can’t stay still so I just walk around. And I couldn’t understand what my shoulder had to do with my stomach problem. My doctor and I finally decided that it is referred pain. My stomach being too full affects a nerve that leads to my left shoulder. I like knowing why something is happening so learning this helped me. They say that everything has a bright side and mine is that I’ve lost thirty pounds. I could stand to lose twenty more to get to my ideal weight, but I’m a little bit worried about what I will do to keep from losing too much. I’ll just face that problem when and if I get to it. I hope this helps you. Good luck!

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Correction : The build up that could form in my stomach if I eat too much fiber is called bezoar not azure. Well, I was close. Just one letter off.

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@urassaya

hello good pm i just want to ask why is my shoulder hurt after eating? is there anything you can suggest to me if what should i do?

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@urassaya – Left shoulder pain after eating could be caused by many things. First of all, you have to see a doctor and make sure it is not heart related. As I mentioned in another conversation, the stomach touches the diaphragm and nerves from there can be felt in left shoulder. Have you seen a doctor already maybe?

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@hopeful33250

Hello @jrofri and welcome to Mayo Connect.

I am sorry to hear about the pain you are experiencing in your shoulder, arm, neck and ear after meals. That sounds very uncomfortable. If you are comfortable sharing more about yourself, it would help to know some more information. For example: how long have you experienced this pain? Have you had any other digestive symptoms (like GERD, ulcers, gall bladder problems, etc.)? Have you had any stomach or abdominal surgery?

By giving our Members a bit more information, perhaps someone else in our community might be able to share a similar experience with you. We look forward to getting to know.

One last question, have you talked with your doctor about this pain?

Teresa

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My mother has shoulder pain while eating

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Hi there! My husband is having a very difficult time with pain. We originally thought it was "sugar-aches" after eating anything with sugar – even natural sugar in fresh fruit. We've been down the food intolerance path, nerve path, sinus surgery, etc. Nothing has helped and in fact is getting worse. Every time he eats anything or drinks anything – including water – he has pain through the neck and shoulder muscles that is just a horrible "ache" if you will. It travels down his arms and sometimes he gets a headache also. I am at my wits end looking for solutions and then I found this page and hope someone else has had similar symptoms and can offer some suggestions. Also, he gets super full of phlegm and is continually coughing and having to spit it out – gross I know, but it's true and it's not like a little, it like the kleenex is heavy and it exhausts him. He had sinus surgery in October 2019 to clean out his sinus cavities and open up some passage ways – he's been on major antibiotics and antibiotic rinses – to no avail. I am not sure if all of this is related and I wasn't sure which group to put all this in – as it could be nerves, ENT, allergies, etc. Any thoughts are welcome and much appreciated during this time of the COVID19 outbreak and other things the world is dealing with . Thank you in advance!

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@kelly0124

Hi there! My husband is having a very difficult time with pain. We originally thought it was "sugar-aches" after eating anything with sugar – even natural sugar in fresh fruit. We've been down the food intolerance path, nerve path, sinus surgery, etc. Nothing has helped and in fact is getting worse. Every time he eats anything or drinks anything – including water – he has pain through the neck and shoulder muscles that is just a horrible "ache" if you will. It travels down his arms and sometimes he gets a headache also. I am at my wits end looking for solutions and then I found this page and hope someone else has had similar symptoms and can offer some suggestions. Also, he gets super full of phlegm and is continually coughing and having to spit it out – gross I know, but it's true and it's not like a little, it like the kleenex is heavy and it exhausts him. He had sinus surgery in October 2019 to clean out his sinus cavities and open up some passage ways – he's been on major antibiotics and antibiotic rinses – to no avail. I am not sure if all of this is related and I wasn't sure which group to put all this in – as it could be nerves, ENT, allergies, etc. Any thoughts are welcome and much appreciated during this time of the COVID19 outbreak and other things the world is dealing with . Thank you in advance!

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Hi @kelly0124,
Welcome to Connect. I am sorry that your husband is having a very difficult time with pain. You may notice that I moved your discussion and combined it with this existing discussion on shoulder/neck/arm pain after eating and drinking. I did this as I thought it would be beneficial for you to be introduced to the many members who have discussed in the past much of what your husband is experiencing.
If you click on VIEW & REPLY in your email notification, you will see the whole discussion and can join in, meet, and participate with other members talking about their or their loved ones' experiences. I would like to invite @marlaxyz, @fourof5zs, @cim37343 @ryhughes, @achur4u, @gaileybird1 and @debkl back to the conversation also in case they would like to share any updates to their situations.
Several members have mentioned a timeframe when the pain starts after they have eaten. Does your husband find that the pain starts a certain amount of time after ingesting food or liquid?

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@kelly0124

Hi there! My husband is having a very difficult time with pain. We originally thought it was "sugar-aches" after eating anything with sugar – even natural sugar in fresh fruit. We've been down the food intolerance path, nerve path, sinus surgery, etc. Nothing has helped and in fact is getting worse. Every time he eats anything or drinks anything – including water – he has pain through the neck and shoulder muscles that is just a horrible "ache" if you will. It travels down his arms and sometimes he gets a headache also. I am at my wits end looking for solutions and then I found this page and hope someone else has had similar symptoms and can offer some suggestions. Also, he gets super full of phlegm and is continually coughing and having to spit it out – gross I know, but it's true and it's not like a little, it like the kleenex is heavy and it exhausts him. He had sinus surgery in October 2019 to clean out his sinus cavities and open up some passage ways – he's been on major antibiotics and antibiotic rinses – to no avail. I am not sure if all of this is related and I wasn't sure which group to put all this in – as it could be nerves, ENT, allergies, etc. Any thoughts are welcome and much appreciated during this time of the COVID19 outbreak and other things the world is dealing with . Thank you in advance!

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@kelly0124 Has your husband gone to a gastroenterologist? Swallowing conditions can cause phlegm accumulations and pains across the breast and down the arm. I have achalasia, Barrett's esophagus and esophageal spasms.. and in 2015 I had open abdominal surgery. I also have a torn labrum of my shoulder. If food stacks into my esophagus or I do a lot of bending or other physical activity I get the pains. Sometimes a low pressure weather front can cause them.

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I also get severe left shoulder pain after eating. Also on my left side of my abdomen.

I have a history of acute pancreatitis, sphincter of odi dysfunction. Had previous pancreatic sphincterotomies. Also have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

In January 2020 had a Nissen Fundoplication and suffered ftom a double pneumothorax and eventually recovered. Just that now, months later, I get these pains.

My CAT scan showed some air, a small nodule in my lower left lobe, a stable lesion in my pancreas and my fatty liver. Otherwise normal. But the pain can incapacitate me at times when I eat, to the point where am bedridden. I am 51 years old Hispanic female. 5 foot 7 inches at 170. Not sure if those stats are against my favor.

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Hi @marianna1968jt, wecome to Connect. I am sorry you are experiencing severe pain in you left shoulder and abdomen. After your CT did your physician recommend anything to help ease the pain? Is it all food and beverage or just certain food groups?

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Thanks for your reply. they are going to do another barium study. Ck to see if there's tension with the diaphram when I eat. Part of my stomach was anchored to my diaphram due to having a hiatal hernia and really bad GERD.

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@marianna1968jt

Thanks for your reply. they are going to do another barium study. Ck to see if there's tension with the diaphram when I eat. Part of my stomach was anchored to my diaphram due to having a hiatal hernia and really bad GERD.

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@marianna1968jt I had thoracic surgery back in 2015. Three loops of my intestines came into my chest bringing my stomach with them. It caused my left lung to collapse and adhere to my ribs. In a previous surgery in 2015 I had a gastric bypass to fix the hernia… one of those loops had come into my chest then, but I was too weak for more surgery, The hernia had been attached to my diaphragm. When the loops came into my chest it caused damage to my diaphragm. So in the 2015 surgery I had a lot of repair done. They had to turn my diaphragm from what my husband told me so they could anchor the hernia again. The thoracic surgeon said I would always have chest pain and not to worry.. I wasn't having a heart attack. I guess the tension on my diaphragm causes the pain which is worse after eating. Especially if I get very full. So I try not to eat too much. It also gets worse with physical activity and when a low weather front comes through. I have shoulder pain too, but it could be from the position they had me in during surgery.. my shoulder has bothered me since surgery and MRI shows a labrum tear. The scarring of my lung can also cause some pain… my ribs hurt still from the surgery.

ZeeGee

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Hi ! I'm only 20 and i've been having the same symptoms that you were having and honestly my doctor said it's gastritis and she gave me gastroloc for 2 weeks. I haven't taken the medicine yet but i will in hopes of seeing if these symptoms go away. I also heard that shoulder pain after meals might have something to do with having high cholesterol. I am currently trying to get my cholesterol checked and I advise you to get it checked as well? High cholesterol doesn't have symptoms but it can trigger warning signs of an oncoming medical emergency such as shoulder pain and upper arm pain etc. Good luck!

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