I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this, but it seemed the closest bet.
Every so often (once a month or so), I experience what I can best describe as gassy chest pains. It's a tight fullness from about the middle of my chest up to the top of my throat (I'm assuming in my esophagus). It feels as if I need to get a good burp out to relieve the discomfort, yet no burp that I can manage is ever enough.
The discomfort gradually progresses into radiating waves of significant aching pain (dull in some areas, sharp in others) in the region of my chest/throat that I described.
Any amount of swallowing aggravates the pain, which proves to be problematic as my mouth starts producing excess amounts of saliva, which I have to continually expel.
The symptoms make it virtually impossible to sleep, if the condition hits at night (which it most often does), and laying down only seems to make the sensations worse. I've found that sitting up or standing while bending forward slightly (as when leaning over a counter, for instance) seem to provide the most positional relief, although it isn't much.
If I hold a deep breath when I feel a wave of pain coming, I seem to be able to bear it a little better than if I exhale or breathe normally.
The pain and chest/throat discomfort usually last a good few hours. Once the pain does subside, I'm usually left with a knotted feeling in the pit of my stomach for the better part of a day.
Since it began occurring more than a few times, I started keeping a log of things I've eaten before the symptoms began. Some recurring foods that may have triggered episodes include fatty red meats, chocolate, and (maybe) dairy.
In researching such symptoms/triggers, I found myself reading about GERD, and at first thought that might be what I had. But the pains I experience are achey, not burning or acidy, as described as the symptoms of GERD.
I've tried taking Tums, Alka-Seltzer, Gas-X, and drinking warm water when episodes begin, but nothing seems to help, other than time.
I know that stress can cause/aggravate such symptoms as well, and in some of my instances that might have played a role, but in others, some of the worst, I felt totally at ease before the symptoms flared up.
I'll be the first to admit that I don't have the best diet in the world. While I don't eat a lot of fast food, I also don't get as many fruits and vegetables as I should be having daily (especially fruit). I don't know if that would play any role here. I do take a daily multivitamin supplement.
Also, I do have a pre-existing heart condition (ventricular leakage after balloon valvuloplasty for pulmonary stenosis that I had as a child), but I don't see how that would be related to this matter, as I doubt any heart-related issues would be associated with the urge to burp.
And I am a 30 year old male.
I know that other people's issues are much more serious, but man, these conditions are quite unpleasant when they occur. Any opinions/insights as to what I might be experiencing, and how to treat or, better yet, prevent it, would be greatly appreciated.