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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Chest fullness

 jlf5700 - Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:22 pm

Well, three days ago - I'm eating dinner with my family and BAM! Suddenly, my food felt like it was stuck in my chest and couldn't go down. I wasn't choking either. I stood up to move around, thinking it was gas or indigestion and I got sharp shooting pains near my heart which brought me to my knees. I'm 28 years old and I thought I was having a heart attack. Since then, that feeling has subsided, but I've had other symptoms since. I have chest discomfort, chest fullness, an acid feeling and taste, heartburn, sour stomach, sometimes I feel like I am going ot vomit. What on earth happened to me?? I never ever get heartburn or these feelings. I went to the immedicenter and they did an EKG which turned out fine. After doing research - I really think it's a Hiatal Hernia. Does it have ot be treated? I hate the way I feel currently, but just wondering if I have to go to the ER. Should I make an appointment with a gastro dr? I also feel like I have to cough from a tickle in my chest. My voice is horse as well. What on earth happened to me?? It's one week until Christmas and if I feel this way for another week - THIS WILL RUIN MY CHRISTMAS. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP!!
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:20 pm

User avatar Dear jlf5700,

The anatomical relation between the diaphragm and the Lowe Esophageal Sphincter LES prevents the gastric acids to come up into the esophagus (reflux). When the upper part of the stomach prolapses through the diaphragm (where the esophagus pass into the abdomen (esophageal hiatus- opening) into the chest, the condition is known as hiatal hernia.

In this condition people will experience one or more of these symptoms, chest pain, pain in the throat, morning hoarseness, swallowing problems and GERD with or without heart burn.
The size of a hiatal hernia and the severity of the symptoms are not correlated.
The presence of hitaus hernia aggravates the GERD condition. Acid reflux causes severe pain and discomfort in the chest.

Others may experience a feeling like the food stuck in their throat or tightness in the throat, dry cough and shortness of breath.

Prokinetic drug that strengthens the sphincter and improves the
gastric emptying. When there is an acid reflux it is not enough to treat the symptoms with one drug instead the addition of Anti acids, Acid H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors mat help to control the symptoms.

Certain foods are known to aggravate the condition, and you better avoid them. These include chocolate, beverages containing caffeine, fatty and fried foods, garlic and onions, spicy and tomato containing foods.
Surgery is considered only if lifestyle changes and medications did not improve the condition or if complications are present.

I advise you to be checked by your doctor, only by complete history and physical examination, he can recommend the proper medical approach.

Best regards,

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