Heartburn, pain in LUQ and ribs. Anyone else?

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi everyone! I'm looking for experiences, not a diagnosis of course. I'm a 37-year old female. In July I suddenly experienced what I call heartburn for the first time in my life: a 24/7 burning feeling in my chest and throat. I would wake up with a slight cough. I've never felt acid come up or tasted any. Just the feeling. It's there all day no matter what I eat. Also didn't feel better or worse after meals. I changed my diet, elevated my bed, nothing helped. Did the burp test, which I failed because I burped almost immediately. I was left with 24/7 burning, and burping frequently. Stools ok. Not long after this started I started getting this gnawing pain in my upper left abdomen. Around rib 8-10 I would say. The pain is in my stomach and often radiates to the left side of my ribs and wraps around the back. And some ribs are tender to touch. Again, this feeling is always there. The dr tested me for h pylori, which came back negative. Then put me on pantoprazole 40mg twice a day. I demanded an endoscopy but she wanted to try the pills first. I have health anxiety, so decided to pay for private mri. I knew you can't see into stomach etc but I was desperate. Anyway, mri only showed lots of tiny gallstones. But that's weird as gallstones would mean ruq pain right? Also my discomfort is constant, don't have any attacks.

Soon after the mri, the ppi started to work, or in any case I felt better. So after three weeks of feeling pain-free I tapered down to one ppi a day. Then to one every two days. I was ok for about 6 weeks. Then suddenly every symptoms returned. Went back to my GP, and she finally referred me. Next week I'm going for an endoscopy but I'm super worried. I'm sort of hoping it's my stomach, because all things I read about luq pain with heartburn and burping frequently leads to pancreatic problems and that scares me to death. Any experiences?

2 likes, 18 replies

18 Replies

  • Edited


    this is exactly what I'm going through.

    About two months ago, I had bad nausea one night after which, I started having slight heartburn and upper abdominal discomfort. It didn't cause much pain but felt more like some gnawing tight pressure in my upper abdomen especially in the centre and luq. I had lost my appetite two week in and lost 7 kgs. This really triggered my health anxiety.

    Also, I've been burping very frequently.

    My GP prescribed pantoprazole which I took every morning. It didn't completely cure me but it helped with the heartburn.

    I tried out some lifestyle changes too but they didn't help much. Recently, I visited a GI specialist and he changed my dose to esomeprazole 40mg twice a day and some laxatives. He recommended an ultrasound which I'm gonna have done in two weeks.

    This is really affecting my overall health and I'm just trying to keep up. It's hard tbh.

    I have noticed that the more anxious I am, the worse the symptoms tend to get.

    I'm still trying to figure out the exact reason.

    Thank you for sharing this and if you find any specific reason/treatment for this, please update here!!

    Good luck ☺

  • Posted

    Ummm how long did it take for your burping to subside? it's driving me crazy to burp all day everyday.

    thank you so much!

    • Posted

      I meant to answer you directly, see my comment below. The burping is still constant.

  • Edited

    Hi! Sorry to hear you're feeling ill. For me, the burping is constant. And since my anxiety is in overdrive I can feel the painful spots in my LUQ (front and back) even more. Everything dr Google tells me is that it's pancreas-related. I don't have H pylori, so I guess I don't have gastritis or an ulcer? And apparently with pancreatitis you're in so much pain you'd know it. Which only leaves some really scary options left.

    • Posted

      yeah I've been worrying about it being something very serious too and I'm sure my health anxiety is playing a major part in it.

      but I do know that it's not all in my head...pretty sure that the upper abdominal discomfort is constant.

      also, google messed up my stress levels real bad. I ended up reading a lot about really scary diagnoses and I'm positively going crazy over it.

      the burping is constant for me too and so is the abdominal discomfort. I tend to get morning headaches and heartburn occasionally.

      I'll update the ultrasound results here if that helps! also, if you figure out the reason, please update!

      thank you so much and good luck!

    • Posted

      Google is both your friend and enemy in times like this. Let's all hope for a good outcome. I suffer with a burning chest all day, so it'll be interesting to see what the endoscopy shows. I'll keep you posted!

    • Posted

      I just came back from the endoscopy: all clear. Not a single thing wrong. Where is the burning chest coming from? And the stomach pains? I'm starting to get worried now that it's either my lungs or pancreas. I hope I'll be able to get out of this cycle of worry.

    • Posted

      this is what I've been worrying over too. i changed so many docs and all of them are like "oh that's acid reflux, it gets better in few weeks" and guess what? it's been three months now and it's not getting better!

      I'm not getting any answers for my pain either and it can be hard at times.

      what I've learned is that the more you worry about it, the worse it gets. I'm sure of it because it always went super bad when my anxiety kicked in.

      Try your best to engage in your daily activities, eat healthy food, make sure to get some exercise done everyday and take your medications on time!

      This is definitely a hard time and I hope we both can get better soon ☺

    • Edited

      Thanks, I hope so too. I've had such a frustrating time with my gp, she just doesn't seem to think anything is wrong (and she hasn't even seen me). Because my gastroscopy came back clear and I know I have gallstones, she wants to send me straight to the surgeon. She said that if it's not my stomach it must be the gallstones. Excuse me? Shouldn't we rule out anything else first?

    • Posted

      This is exactly what I'm trying to deal with tbh. My gp thinks that I'm just exaggerating it and it's nothing serious when I'm having this constant dull ache in my upper abdomen. When I ask about the burping, she just waves it off with a "Oh it'll get better" but nope it's not.

      They aren't doing any other tests to check for other conditions and it's driving me crazy.

    • Posted

      How have you been getting on these past few weeks? Any new test results or breakthroughs? I went for ultrasound which came out clear. GI is sending me for one of those 24h PH tests. I was doing ok on Pantoprazole for a month or so, but now the pain has completely returned. Heartburn and the stomach pain to the left. It's really getting me down.

    • Posted

      I've had an ultrasound which came back clear. I don't think PPI's are helping in my case because the discomfort hasn't improved much, if at all. I've noticed that the burping worsens when I take medications so I tried stopping but if I miss more than two days of PPI's, the rebound reflex is really bad. I'm pretty sure the pills are just making things worse but weaning off is hard. Also, I'm not sure if this is just me being overly concerned but I've started having these random aches/pains in my back, face and headaches (?) since I started with the pills. This is really getting to me and I just want to get over it. So no luck with that. I've been planning on having a h pylori test in coming weeks.

    • Posted

      How did you get on with your H Pylori test? Have you been diagnosed yet? I'm going in for the 24h ph monitoring this Thursday. I had to come off my ppi for a week and the pain is back again 😌

    • Edited

      Good luck with your test!

      The h pylori came out negative but I was on PPI's when I took the test so could it be a false negative? I'm so worried and it's really getting my anxiety levels high.

  • Posted

    update pls

    • Posted

      I went for an ultrasound, all clear except for the gallstones. I started taking pantoprazole again once a day, and tbh I've been feeling okay. I've got an appointment scheduled for 15 December with a gi doctor for further tests. I'd really like to get off the ppis, but if it makes my life pain free, I'm ok with it for now.

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