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Upper Chest Pain

Printed From: Barrett's Support Forum
Category: Barrett's Support Forum
Forum Name: Support Forum
Forum Discription: News and Events
Printed Date: 12 Aug 2020 at 4:50am

Topic: Upper Chest Pain
Posted By: marie
Subject: Upper Chest Pain
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 4:19am

Does anyone get upper chest pain? Maybe about an inch below their neck in the center?

It's  like a pain/burning sensation?

Guess it kind of freaks me out because when I get it, I always think it's my 'heart'. But I've been tested for heart issues and it's not.

But no matter what, it still scares me. Any thoughts?


Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 9:25am
Hi Marie and welcome to the forum.

Upper chest pain can be one of the symptoms of reflux - though, of course, there may be other reasons for it.
I have had numerous heart tests over the years from simple ECGs through treadmill tests, echograms etc. and was even fitted with a Reveal Linq heart monitor a few years ago which has been monitoring me ever since but nothing has ever been found.

Your problem could lie in the vagus nerve. This is one of the major nerves in the body and runs next to the oesophagus as it passes through the hiatus hole in the diaphragm where the oesophagus passes from the chest to the abdomen and connects with the stomach. Any spasm or contraction of the oesophagus can impinge on that nerve, transmitting a pain signal that can appear to emanate from anywhere in the upper body. (That's why it's so named: the "vague" nerve.)

Another reason you may feel burning in the throat is simply acid that has refluxed, travelled up the oesophagus and pooled there for some reason.
If this latter reason is the cause, your PPI medication, reducng the acid, and - lifestyle modification to reduce reflux, may help.

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Posted By: marie
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 10:42am
Thank you, ChrisRob. I do have a hernia, and the specialist said that I will always have acid issues. And of course I have small segment Barretts. I only get this pain some times but when I do, it frightens me. I get no other symptoms with it - just the pain - and I have had my heart tested several times as well. It's frustrating.

I think it very well could be the vagus nerve and/or acid pooling. Stress seems to bring it on, too. I've had a lot of 'life' changes this past year, so maybe my 'acid' is having a heyday.

Thank you so much. I'm going to follow your advice and look more at lifestyle modifications. I bet this will help a lot.


Posted By: marie
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 12:14pm
Hi again,

Sorry, part of my message got deleted. We have a rainstorm going on here.

My specialist said that if I had this pain every day - which I don't - she would up my PPI to twice a day to see if that helped. But she noticed I had some benign stomach polyps at my last endoscopy which she said were created by PPI's and they can bleed. She will check them again at my next endoscopy in a year. She also didn't see any Barrett's at my last endoscopy Weird.

Anyhow, thanks for listening. I'm trying to see if the pain arises when I don't eat properly which would create more acid.

Thank you,

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