Pressure under breastbone

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I’ve been feeling unwell for 2 months now. I had been on otc nexium for a month prior for minor acid reflux and one day I woke up with flu symptoms feeling really achy and tired, I didn’t take the nexium that day as I had an upset stomach and couldn’t eat. The next day those symptoms were gone however I had this extreme feeling of pressure in my breastbone and was burping constantly however the Burping didn’t really relieve the pressure. It was so bad that I couldn’t eat anything because it made the pressure worse. I am prone to anxiety when i have health issues so I worked myself up and went to er. Long story short my ekg was slightly abnormal but I have had a work up of my heart since and it was okay so they don’t think this is heart related. I’ve had two endoscopies, one in the hospital and one a week ago which was unremarkable and they didn’t find a hiatal hernia either time. The reason I had a second one is because my doctor thought they could have possibly missed the hiatal hernia if they were in a hurry at the hospital and he also wanted to take biopsies and try to dialate my esophagus in case I was having spasms. My question is has anyone felt this pressure I am experiencing with the constant burping and unable to eat (I’ve lost 20 pounds over two months) and it just be acid reflux and not a hiatal hernia. Or was it something completely different. I am just at a loss right now of what is going on and the doctors keep saying it’s anxiety however I only became anxious After feeling this way. I also have back pain near my shoulder blades as well. Oh and I had a hida scan and my gallbladder was normal so it’s not from that. The pressure is a little better now but I still have to eat really bland foods. I do get heartburn as well but not sure if it is causing this pressure feeling as I never have felt this before when I had acid reflux in the past. Another thing thing to add is they put me on protonix and carafate

After I left the hospital and after a week of taking them I broke out in a terrible rash and was advised by the doctor to stop both In case I am allergic. And now I can’t take any ppi even nexium In Case I’m allergic to all of them. I’ve tried Zantac and Pepcid but they didnt really help so I’ve been taking a probiotic and dgl tablets but they dont  really relieve these symtoms. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Was gastritis or h pylori mentioned?  Both would show on endoscopy.  However, if you were on antacids such as PPIs, it may have shown a false negative for h pylori.  You need to be off antacids for two weeks before an h pylori test.  However, you can get retested for h pylori via a stool test to rule it out.

    Gastritis causes pain under the ribs, back pain and shoulder blade pain.  Food can aggravate it.  Try a food diary to see what foods cause symptoms.  Anxiety and stress can cause it and also make it worse.  See your doctor again.

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  • Posted

    Yes they tested for h pylori during the endoscopy and it came back negative. The report of the endoscopy stated that no severe gastritis was detected or something to that effect so I’m not sure if that means a little was found. I tried to put a call in to the doctor to ask the question but haven’t heard back from him. Do you think gastritis would also cause a dull pressure in my breastbone as well? It does cause me to burp a lot when I have the pressure. At this point my breastbone area is also very tender to the touch as well. I know this feeling came before the anxiety but I’m sure the anxiety isn’t helping.
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    • Posted

      Keep phoning your doctor to find out if any gastritis was found.  The report doesn’t sound clear to me. Your symptoms you describe could be gastritis, but equally they could be simple acid reflux.  I have had breastbone tenderness from simple acid reflux today along with heartburn.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your advice I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my concerns as this has been so stressful. I try to be thankful that they didn’t find anything more serious but I just want to feel normal again. Do you ever feel pressure in your breastbone like something is trapped there? That’s the most concerning thing for me as I’ve never experienced that before with acid reflux.
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    • Posted

      It’s maybe trapped gas your experiencing.  Stress will make it worse.

      I do get a feeling of pressure and pain but gas rarely comes out of my mouth. Antacids, and milk relieve it.  If there is pain, nurofen helps.  I tend to get more gas from my anus from IBS.  I have had acid reflux for so long, I have stopped getting stressed and concerned about it because I can control  it and I was told that I have a weak oesophageal sphincter which lets the acid spew out.

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    • Posted

      I thought about that since I can sometimes here gurgling in my breastbone area and when I walk the pressure seems to get better. I just wonder what the underlying cause for it could be if I don’t have a hiatal hernia. I didn’t know that acid reflux alone could cause that Symptom and for two months straight. I also wonder why I experience such extreme bloating in my abdomen right after eating which is also causing the pressure I believe. And making me not be able to eat anything. I also think I have silent reflux we’ll because I am constantly clearing my throat and my throat and ears feel irritated. I also have been getting the lump in my throat sensation which i never experienced until after my endoscopy. Hopefully that’s just a coincidence. Do you currently take acid reflux medication? 
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    • Posted

      Bloating can be caused by indigestion or an intolerance to gluten. It can also be a symptom of gastritis. Maybe try eating smaller meals and more often and try coming off gluten for a few weeks to see if that makes a difference.  Try avoiding rich, fatty and spicy food and eat blandly.  I often cough with silent reflux and Gaviscon tablets clear this up,  I have had the lump in my throat sensation too.   Milk also helps with reflux.  Bicarbonate of soda also helps with gas.
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    • Posted

      I had the feeling of something stuck in my throat about 10 years ago.  It lasted for 2 months.  They wanted me to go on a ppi but there was no indication that it was acid related based on the endoscopy, so I didn't.  Eventually it was determined that my thyroid was under-producing.  Once I started a thyroid supplement, within a couple of days, the feeling of something stuck in my throat went away.

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  • Posted

    Thanks i probably need to get my thyroid checked out as well. Not sure if that would cause the pressure though but maybe the symptoms i am having are unrelated or maybe it’s all from acid reflux as I definitely experience heartburn.
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    • Posted

      My mum had an under active thyroid and did not experience the feeling of pressure, or feel a sensation of a lump in her throat.nor did she suffer from heartburn. I have your reflux symptoms and I had my thyroid checked because I had exhaustion and muscle pain for nine months.  My thyroid was fine.

      Some people however, with thyroid goitre have a visible swelling on the outside of their throat.

      Your symptoms do sound like acid reflux, but a doctor will verify this.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the information. I definitely have the acid reflux but not sure if there are other issues going on as well. I have terrible upper back pain between my shoulder blades and I have a lot of post nasal drip and I am

      Always clearing my throat and it is very irritated and then of course the pressure under my breastbone. It could all be the acid reflux or I wonder if it’s different issues. 

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    • Posted

      Do you take any acid reflux medication to treat your symptoms? In the past I was able to take nexium for a month or so and my symptoms would go away for years. Before I got sick a few months ago I had been taking nexium for a month but it wasn’t really helping and since I had a possible allergic reaction to another ppi I can’t take any of them at the moment until I get an allergy test in a few weeks for nexium. H2 blockers don’t reall help me and make me feel weird.
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    • Posted

      I take gaviscon frequently and it really helps with no side effects.  Milk also works really well for me; it is a natural antacid.
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