Sternum pain when swallowing for FOUR YEARS?

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In October 2010 one morning whilst eating, I felt a 'sensation in my oesophagus when swallowing.  Not sore...but just...a sensation? To cut a long story short, in December 2012, I went to my GP who diagnosed GORD based on symptoms and prescribed Omeprazole 20mg/daily.

I went back to my GP as the pain is still there in May 2014. My symptoms:

* Pain when swallowing still there, in the exact same place, although slightly more painful

* Can sometimes be there when I breath in

* Feels as if food is going past something 

* Although it feels like it sticks, I can always swallow it

* Does *not* appear to radiate to the back

My GP thinks I "may just have a pain there when swallowing for no apparent reason" and I've been referred for an Endoscopy. 

I'm only 20 years old and this started when I was 16!  

Tonight my GORD is quite bad... When I belch, some of the contents of my stomach is coming back up. 

Does anyone have any idea what I could have? I'm worried about Oesophageal Cancer but I can't find any reports of *anyone* having it at my age in the UK, and I've no family history of it. (Although I have a very strong family history of GORD)

Thanks for your help

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7 Replies

  • Posted


    This is due to either reflux or anxiety .try doing some meditation & some slow breathing exercises

    Use some probiotics & do some physical exercises

    Check for h.pylori or candida

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  • Posted

    This is, of course, disconcerting - but the very fact that you've had it for FOUR years and it has not vastly extended in terms of symptoms should, I think, be reassuring.  The endoscopy will tell all and, refreshingly, you will know the results almost immediately whilst the test is taking placed or shortly thereafter.  Suggest that you get biopsy tests as proscribed above.  Make sure you ask on the day.  Sure you will be fine and whatever may arise you will be able to be treated.  If anxiety related, it is amazing how quickly symptoms can resolve with reassurance.  
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  • Posted

    Must add, I went to A&E (I thought I'd end up getting the scope quicker)

    The Consultant that saw me (very nice Dr) said it was 'just my GORD playing up'

    I had a Chest X-Ray (normal)

    And all organ blood tests normal


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  • Posted

    Hey there, I have trouble swallowing too and sternum pain. I've had lots of tests so hopefully it might help you too.

    Sometimes we can have oesophageal spasms that mimic food getting stuck. These can occur at any time but especially after cold food. You may also have a hiatus hernia as that can cause sternum pain. If you google trouble swallowing it brings up awful things but there's quite a few more normal explanations too.

    I had a barium swallow recently and could have sworn food was getting stuck when they did it, but it came back normal. If you've had this condition for 4 years it's highly unlikely it will be something sinister as it would have continued getting worse and you seem to suggest that it hadn't really. 

    When is your gastroscopy? 

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  • Posted

    Well everyone. Went to the hospital today for endoscopy.

    In the words of the Nurse who carried it out: 

    "Bad news - there's nothing there, you're oesophagus is completely normal and healthy looking, although you have gastritis"

    So back to Square 1

    Now I'm worried they may have missed something? sad

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    • Posted

      That's really good news! It's also completely understandable for you to feel the way you do. However, about 50% of people who have pain have a functional disorder - it means that your nerves are just hyper sensitive - no damage is being done, it just feels like it is. I know it sounds weird but try googling NERD - non erosive reflux disease. It may ease your mind. Also, if you have gastritis, you might have been getting referred pain. Hopefully when you've finished your treatment for this your sternum pain may get better. Let us know smile 
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  • Posted

    I appreciate you have not posted for a while, but I am going through the same panic about cancer, did you have a really sore feeling inside sternum area which made you need to cough and this feeling gets worse as you do cough. I have had acid reflux for years and the pain which comes and goes is not the same pain as acid, more like when you have a bad chest infection. Cannot seem to get GP to understand what I am saying and as the lump feeling has gone and I can eat and drink and am not losing weight am just not getting anywhere.
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