Chest, Abdominal Discomfort, Body Jerks

Posted , 3 users are following.

Over the last 13 months I have been experiencing a multitude of symptoms that have made life unbearable at times. Every test ordered has been negative and every doctor and specialist that I have seen has been unable to help. I am reaching out to the community in search of some help. 

To begin, I have a persistent dull pressure in center of my very upper abdomen, kind of right after the diaphragm and sternum ends. The feeling is hard to describe but sometimes it moves up into my chest. All of this causes a lousy feeling to consume my whole body. When I palpate the spot, the pressure relieves, however it comes back when pressure is removed. Although I experience periods where the pressure subsides, I can always feel it lingering. 

I also get random spasms throughout my chest that occur at random times throughout the day. More recently I have been getting whole body jerks at night. It could be my head, neck, torso, arms, legs, etc. I will just be laying there and all of a sudden boom my whole body jerks. It is very scary. I can sometimes tell when a jerk is going to happen because I will feel a sudden lump feeling in my throat.

I first saw a GI doctor as my primary physician thought acid could be causing my symptoms. I was prescribed a PPI to block acid production. After 2 or 3 months of no change, I was taken off the medicine. He then ordered an abdominal ultrasound, abdominal and chest CT, hyda scan (gallbladder test), and small bowl pass thru. All tests came back normal. The CT did show a little gastritis. I then had an endoscopy done which was also normal. It did now show any hiatal hernia, ulcers, or gastritis. I tried changing my diet thinking that it could be some sort of food allergy but nothing.


With the GI work-up negative I then went and saw a neurologist. He ordered both a C and T spine MRI to see if anything was compressed somewhere along the spine to which there was none. He then did a nerve conduction study which was also normal. He put me on gabapentin to help with the nerve pain. I am taking 900MG a day but it does not seem to be helping.


I also saw a cardiologist who did a stress test and echo. Both of which were normal. It makes me a little relieved that there is nothing wrong with my heart. I should mention that I am fairly active and exercise regularly. I have never smoked or done any drugs. I drink socially, maybe a drink per week. I’m 6’6’’ 210lbs.


Other medications that my primary has tried include anxiety meds (though I never really thought I suffered from anxiety), Amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine (to help with the body jerks at night but it doesn’t), other stomach meds to coat the stomach and esophagus with a protective layer, and others that I can’t think of at the moment.

 If anyone has any ideas of what this could be PLEASE HELP. I am tired of feeling lousy all the time. Whatever this is has consumed my life for the past year. I just keep hoping I will wake up one day and all of this will just go away.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I have been having slightly similar symptoms but no jerks. Both of our cases could be linked to autoimmune conditions, vascular conditions, nerve conditions or even infections such as Lyme. I am investigating these. No result yet.
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    • Posted

      I am sorry to hear you are suffering like me. Would Lyme disease show on a complete blood work-up? I have had plenty of blood work done but everything is in it's normal range. I also saw a vascular surgeon who didn't think it was vascular related. The neurologist I saw was from Johns Hopkins and specializes in neuro-muscular conditions, I live in Baltimore so it's nice to have access to the hospital. 

      I've read up on countless conditions online but cant find one that matches my symptoms. Everyone is dumbfounded. If you find anything let me know.


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  • Posted

    I think you should also consider the following options: something neurological like Fibromyalgia or Multiple Sclerosis. Also check for defficiencies of vitamin D and B12 (the last causes similar symptoms). Lyme disease causes similar symptoms too. All of these cause muscle twiches and pains. I await the results of tests for some of these.

    Also try magnesium pills, just to see if something improves (it didn´t in my case)

    Another possibility is a vascular cause, like microvascular disease, which is often difficult to diagnose and therefore escapes detection. I haven´t tested for this yet, as my GP also does not considers it likely.

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    • Posted

      Fibromyalgia could be an option, though I am currently taking Amitriptyline which I believe can help with the symptoms.

      2 weeks ago my GP started me on 5000 units of Vitamin D3 per day as it was slightly low during my last blood test. 

      Lyme test was negative a few months back when I had blood work done. 

      I am going to try the magnesium pills to see it anything improves. 

      If it were something like microvascular disease wouldn't that show up on a stress test, EKG, or echo cardiogram? I've had a stress test with no problem. I actually feel better when I am more active and working out. For my age (29) I am in pretty good shape and exercise at least once a week, more when the weather is nicer. My EKS's are normal and I had an Echo done 3 months ago which was also normal. My cardiologist didn't seem to think this was heart related. 

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  • Posted

    hi ive been having some of the same symtoms too my symtoms are throat clearing with chest fullness/discomfort and sometimes my neck gets tight and my hands get numb during sleep sometimes and i do get those body jolts when starting to fall asleep and or during sleep my bp was 156/97 last time checked so now I'm taking some meds for that which made me feel worse. so heres the test ive had done a stress test with echo- 24 hr sleep study with holster numereous ekgs and nuclear stress test and all came back normal then i had a upper endoscopy done and they found h-polori then i got tested for sleep apnea and found out that i have mild sleep apnea then i had a pulmonary function test done and that came a back normal but these doctors don't know what is wrong with me keep me posted

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    • Posted

      I know it's frustrating. I've had the full heart work-up as well. Normal EKG's, Echo, and holter. From what I am reading it is some sort of "functional" disorder. Meaning that every part of the body looks normal under examination and there is no clear cause to the symptoms. On one of my lab orders from my GI doctor, I saw a diagnosis written of Functional dyspepsia. From google, (FD) is a chronic disorder of sensation and movement (peristalsis) in the upper digestive tract. Peristalsis is the normal downward pumping and squeezing of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, which begins after swallowing.

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