GERD with hiatal hernia

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Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone else has a hiatal hernia that's causing GERD and is experiencing these other symptoms. I have chest pains almost daily, usually sharp, stabbing in one pin pointed area. They can last for a few seconds, minutes, hours, or all day. Eating anything can set them off. My heart rate and blood pressure were also increased when all of my symptoms started. I've had 4 EKGs, an echo, and a stress echo, all came back clear so it's not my heart. My doctor has me on inderal to help with palpitations and the lower my blood pressure and heart rate.

I also have acid reflux and indigestion almost daily and nausea, and stomach pain/cramps a few days a week. Some days I'll wake up nauseous and stay like that all day. Sometimes it's triggered by eating anything. I'm on prilosec for the GERD.

Then I have a weird symptom where if I put any pressure on my upper back, sides, or chest, I get a pressure feeling inside my chest and a feeling like I have a tennis ball in my throat. I can breathe and swallow just fine, it just feels like something is in my throat. Changing positions often helps but sometimes it does it when I have an empty stomach or after I eat. I also get palpitations when I lie down flat or nearly flat. I raised the head of my bed up to help with the GERD symptoms but it doesn't help the palpitations. I usually have to stack 4 pillows and lay on them so my top half is raised. It feels like my chest, upper back, lower back, and abdomen are all throbbing and it keeps me from sleeping.

It worries me that it might be something with my aorta but I've had 5 chest x-rays from all angles, 2 x-rays of my abdomen, a barium swallow test with fluoroscopy, and a sniff test, none of them indicated anything wrong with my aorta. I've also had an upper GI endoscopy, which is how my hiatal hernia was diagnosed. I have no lesions or inflammation in my esophagus or stomach, just a large sliding hiatal hernia. I get a weird, achy, tingling feeling in my upper throat/lower jaw/back of tongue as well. My doctor said my symptoms sound like when the hernia slides up into my chest, it puts pressure on my vagus nerve, causing chest pains, palpitations, acid reflux, and the choking feeling and pressure in my throat. The vagus nerve controls a lot of muscles, organs, and processes in your body (look it up). It's clearly the cause of all of my pain and discomfort when it's being irritated by the hiatal hernia. Stress also triggers it, which is not helpful since these symptoms cause me to panic a bit when they happen at the same time, especially chest pains. 

I was wondering if anyone else has any of these problems and what you do to relieve the pain and discomfort or avoid it all together. I've kept a list of all the foods that trigger my GERD and other symptoms to avoid them, eating smaller meals, not eating at least 3 hours before lying down or going to sleep, lose weight if you're overweight. 

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  • Posted

    Hi jake ,

    And welcome to the club the line for membership cards forms to the left , I suffer from the exact same issues almost daily I to thought it was my heart or this or that , I have done the X-rays , the EKG's and so on , this is what happens when the acid in your stomach burns your chest and throat so badly that it's a constant irritation, sometimes even drinking to much water starts to become uncomfortable.....

    nope your NOT alone .

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  • Posted

    For me things like , to much water , eating to fast , anything fried , chocolate!!!! Omg I love chocolate it doesn't love me and the list goes on , and being a big guy at 5"11 225 lbs mixed with the fact that I work a stressful job 12-13hrs a day doesn't help matters , I always have that lump in the throat sensation, not to mention I eat TUMS like candy , I have had acid reflux for years , for a while it eased up , no meds being taken , then recently ( last summer ) I began doing some major dental work , of course with this along comes eating issues due to discomfort, stitches in the mouth etc , so chewing isn't pleasant to say the least and the habit of just gulping pieces of food down begins , because let's face it no one can live on pudding and soft food diet for long it's in our nature . Hence by consuming food in this manner , larger portions, larger barely chewed pieces just to get it down begins a hole new set of problems , suddenly here came the burning mid chest pains , the scratchy throats the bad bitter taste , combined with the already additional saliva from the dental work alone , the chest pains from the dry coughing at night mostly in bed , the constant threat clearing which doesn't seem to end . I find it amazing that when my chest burns if I drink a really cold drink such as ice water , tea etc , it's like suddenly throwing water on a fire , let a temp short lived relief, then here it comes again . Only having 1 day off a week makes it difficult to go see the doc often , so I do what I can with what I got . But again NOPE your not alone .

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  • Posted

    Hello, welcome to the club, from what I had read on this site there is a large membership, anyway have you thought about Stretta treatment if you don't know about it just google and it will give you all the information on it ,I have had reflux trouble for over 30yrs and have an appointment on the 29th March about having Stretta treatment but I am not sure if I am suitable because I also have hiatus hernia, well all I can say is you are not alone. Good luck and take care.

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    • Posted

      I haven't heard of it but I just looked it up. It looks interesting! A non-invasive solution would be ideal. I will definitely discuss it with my GI doctor next month, thanks!

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  • Posted

    Jake, I am having similar problems, hiatal hernia seems to be the center.  How bad is your hernia?  Prilosec worked the best for me, small meals, careful avoidance of many things I loved, chocholate and potato chips and others.  I am currently looking for non surgical aids for the hiatal hernia, anyone found any solutions? 

    Hang in there.  MLK

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  • Posted

    I started with silent reflux. went to ENT. follwowing endoscope, I have been told i have grade A esophogitis, hernia ( small ), gastritis too. Pain in chest and palpitations like a heart attack. clearing throat, voice very soft now, acid in mouth. I am taking PPI but not sure they help. Im trying to elminate acidicc foods. raised head of bed by 6 inches with bricks to provide natural slant whrn laying flat. Not sure pillows are so good as they can pressure on the belly. Im trying water with bicarb to sooth and that helps me. I get twitchy left eye. Im also on iron tablets which are not good for the stomach, i have low iron, suspect blood loss due to my pronblems but no obvious bleed was seen on endoscope.
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