- Burning pain in upper abdomen (mainly left side) or lower chest (behind the breast bone) that worsen when the stomach is empty , or after eating, with spicy foods or certain caffeine containing beverages is more likely to be of heart burn, GERD or gastritis and gastric ulcer. The pain is temporary relieved by simple foods intake and antacids.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are commonly used to treat this conditions as they decrease the gastric acid secretion.
-Infections with H. pylori give similar clinical picture and should be excluded.
IBS is another GI disorder that gives similar picture.
Commonly people who have IBS complain of
Abdominal pain or colic
A bloated abdomen
Either Diarrhea or constipation or an alternating between both of them
Mucus containing stool
Certain types of foods contain, chocolate, milk and alcohol might cause constipation or diarrhea and increase the IBS symptoms.
Specific tests for H.pylori.(breath test)
Abdominal US CT scans to exclude other GI causes.
Upper and lower Endoscopy.
Endoscopy sometimes fails to diagnose GERD and other tests should be done to confirm the diagnosis like Esophageal acid testing , Esophageal motility testing and Gastric emptying studies.
I advise you to visit your doctor. Only by complete history, physical examination and investigations, the correct diagnosis can be reached.
This answer does not substitute for direct medical consultation.
Dr. Safaa Mahmoud.
MB BCh, MSc Internal Medicine. MD Medical Oncology.
PhD Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Science.