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Pain in left arm with GERD?
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twyce posted:
Hello,

I am almost 33 years old and have always been in good health. No smoking, mostly healthy eating, fairly regular exercise. About two years ago I started having a strange cough and arm pain so I went to the doctor. He told me I had GERD and had me taking omeprazole, even though I had no heartburn. It worked fairly well but I still had lingering arm pains.

Back in August I went to urgent care because I thought I was having a heart attack. They took chest x-rays, put me on an EKG and did blood tests. Everything came back fine. I've since had my cholesterol and triglycerides checked and those were also great. My blood pressure has been pretty high, though. Not usually more than 140/90. I've been to two different doctors in the past 2 months and both told me I was just under a lot of stress and that any pain was a combination of stress and GERD.

Lately the pain in the left side of my chest and left arm has been getting worse. I get tightness in my chest, right around my diaphragm, plus the pain in my arm. Usually the pain seems more focused closer to my shoulder and arm pit, then down my arm. It's not only uncomfortable but it makes it hard for me to relax because I'm always having to reassure myself that the pain is not related to my heart. But the last doctor I spoke with, who also said my problems were stress/GERD related, said he didn't know why only my left arm would have pains but that it wasn't anything to worry about.

So I'm turning here to see if anybody has any information. Is it likely that the pain can be from my GERD or stress? The pain doesn't seem to change with my mood or with what I eat or how my stomach feels. It almost seems random. It doesn't even always happen when I move around. The pain in my chest happens in different parts of the left side of my chest and is usually focused in one spot, so it's not usually the entire left half of my chest. The pain that shoots down my arm usually accompanies the chest pain but not always. It feels a bit like a tingling tightness. It happens at random times through the day but is usually worse at night.

I have not been exercising lately. I mostly sit around. I'm unemployed right now and don't work out because I'm a bit afraid of the pain I feel. I still take omeprazole once a day. I eat a healthy diet and am going to start taking 100mg of CoQ10 daily.

To recap, my ekg, chest x-rays and blood tests all came back fine. I was also tested for H. Pylori and it was negative. The only things that I've been told is that my blood pressure is a bit high and that I have GERD. I'm sorry for posting so much but I'd love to hear any ideas. I'm going to try to see my doctor again next week. I'd love some ideas of things I can talk with him about. Or, if left arm pain is common with my situation, and really isn't a problem after all the tests that have been ran since August, I'd also like to hear that. Thanks!
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DIYSTER responded:
I wonder if, at the times you are getting those pains, your BP is spiking. Based on what you told us, it would appear that is the avenue to continue investigating. What is causing the slight elevation? Do you have any blockage developing somewhere? I'm not a doctor but I believe it's something one shouldn't take lightly and could lead to eventual heart trouble or stroke. Hope you get more answers next week.
 
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twyce replied to DIYSTER's response:
Thanks for the reply but I don't think it could be a spike in blood pressure for my arm pains because the pain is too constant. There are other symptoms I feel that I associate with my blood pressure going up but not this one. For example, I'm felt the arm pain almost all day today and I've been pretty calm.

I am worried that a blockage is there because, even though I have been eating pretty healthily lately, that wasn't the case a few years ago and for many years before that. It just seems odd that it would be getting worse as I've been eating better, but maybe my blood pressure being higher has elevated the problem?

I don't know. All I know is that it sucks. If I want to see if there is a blockage, how do I do that? A chest x-ray won't work, right? Do I need an ultrasound or an MRI? I'm worried that without insurance those will be expensive tests. I'll just see what the doctor says if I can see him.

I have always been curious. Can I have clogged arteries if my cholesterol and triglycerides are good? That's usually why the doctors write off any heart problems but I've never been able to find an answer to this.
 
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jsbj62 responded:
I have a simular problem left arm pain left side of chest. in august i went to ER twice thinking I was haveing heart attack x-rays and ekg done both times came back normal the second time they kept me over to do a stress test to check the heart it als showed no problems. yet the pain still comes my doctor thinks its stomach related gas mabey he told me to start taking prolozac otb and see if that helps so far i still get it . wife gave me some of her nexium for 10 days that seem to help some . it is scary not knowing I will go back to DR again to see if i need to check with a cardioligist
 
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Ataki responded:
First of all, adquire a way 2 bring your blood pressure down with a combination of prescription medicine & proper diet for high blood pressure. Become your own:
1. Personal dietitian- learn all u can about diets 4 healthy heart/high blood pressure, 2 put 2gether with your GERD safe diet. Do not & lay down or go 2 bed after eating. Give yourself around 3 hours b4 laying down. B4 bed if u feel u need something, drink no more than 2 ounces of lactaid milk. Eat oatmeal, lactaid milk with vit. D, soft fiber fruits & vegetables, brown rice, beans, tofu, & some lean parts of chicken, or buffalo ground meat during the day in small portions. Learn about your food intolerance which is what is giving u the GERD.

2. Personal trainer- learn about aerobic exercises that u will enjoy doing: stretches, yoga, or any water exercise that will make u feel less pain & so on u will feel better after exercising. Incorporate weight training with very little lbs. so that u will concentrate into the repetition rather than strength. Learn how 2 breath properlly. After loosing some weight, if u feel ok 2 upper your exercise training, then work your torso & continue loosing weight. Sleep 8 hours a day. If after this u still don't feel relief of your immediate problems then have your Dr. make an MRI of your neck 2 c if u have any abnormality that may be causing u the pain on your left arm.

3. Personal doctor- learn-learn-learn about how 2 live in your own body with your own little or big problems. Use heat or ice on your pain 2 c what will help. Learn how 2 use the 2 approaches properlly so that u will not hurt yourself any further. Question everything & preferably make the conclussions yourself.

I hope this will help u start your quest 4 better health. I will b glad 2 share more as u go by. Be well & enjoy nature.
 
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twyce responded:
I went back to the doctor today. He thinks the pain is from stress and my muscles being too contracted. My upper back has been killing me lately and I know that's from stress. He gave me a prescription for a low dose of Prozac (10mg/day). He thinks it will help to calm me down. I'm hoping it will help but he said it can take up to a month to start working.

I can understand it being related to my stomach as I do usually have pains in similar parts. Like, if the left side of my chest hurts I sometimes have pain in the left part of my stomach. I just want it to go away.

Ataki, I appreciate the help. My doctor won't give me medication for blood pressure because he doesn't feel it's a problem as it's usually under 140/90. So higher than normal but nothing bad. I'm eating very well. No salt, healthy food. I have two different dietitians trying to help me get my meals good. I do need to work out though. I don't need to lose weight. I only weigh 170 lbs. But I do need exercise. I haven't been active these past few months but I've been waiting for my health to feel better because I never felt like I could work out. Now that I feel more normal, aside from the pains, I will slowly start working out. I can't go to a gym or anything because I have no money. But I can at least be more active. As for the personal doctor, nothing I've tried helps the pain. But I guess I'll have to see if the Prozac helps. Right now I'm not sleeping much at all because I can't get comfortable at night. He also gave me a sleeping aid so I'll try that. I know rest is important. I generally feel really bad when I'm overly tired.
 
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Bianca_Thompson responded:
I have had GERD for a while and even when it was at its worse I have never had pain down my arms, I have had chest pain that scared me a bit, this was in spite of the fact I was on protoxin. The pain is often on the left side of my chest and tenderness around my sternum, from what I have learned, although pain in the left chest is common with GERD, it is a sign your GERD is not under control. The last time my GERD was severe I was taking prilosec 20mg twice a day until symptoms completely disappear.
 
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twyce replied to Bianca_Thompson's response:
Well, the pain in my left arm usually originate from my chest or shoulder. It doesn't usually start in my arm. The doctor said it was uncommon for pain to be in that area, which was a huge cause of concern for me even though he doesn't seem to be worried.
 
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KevinM83 replied to twyce's response:
I too have this pain. I'm actually having it as I type. I get this pain often after drinking coffee..or too much coffee as my wife says. I take Prilosec for my acid reflux. This pain seems to subside after a while, and other than the pain in my shoulder, both the front and backside of it and a little down my arm I don't feel any other discomfort.

There is no sweating, nausea or dizziness that accompanies this pain. It freaks me out because I always think it's a heart attack.

I'm thinking of having my doc run a few tests for me, but like others here I'm thinking it may be attributed to stress and or my crappy diet that is triggering some digestive issues.
 
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LIFE33 responded:
Your situation and mine are the same but my remedy is when it strikes me I just go to commiting my spirit to GOD because I know he is't gonna allow anything out of his plans for us all to overtake us. So just strive forward and not let the ole flesh deceive you into condemnation because by his stripes you are healed.
 
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brwskitime responded:
Have you thought of seeing a chiropractor? I don't know about the profession but I do know that pinched nerves and disk alignment can cause symptoms that seem like something else.
 
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An_252555 responded:
What was the final result? I've had the EXACT same symptoms for about a month. Dr. told me I had costochondritis. I think he's wrong.
 
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Amsr22 replied to twyce's response:
Hi,
I have had this exact same pain under my left arm underneath the shoulder near the armpit. The pain under my arm like you, feels almost so sudden and out of nowhere. It's sharp, stabbing feeling where its reoccurring throbbing pain for at least a couple of minutes each time. It always starts out with chest pangs or sharp winces on the left side where my heart is. My chest usually feels heavy and compressed like someone is pushing down on it too hard. I feel for ya buddy because I freak out a little too. I always give my fiance a look like omg its happening AGAIN! I always wonder if it has something to do with the condition of my heart...stress and the mind are two powerful factors. You can't freak out because that leads to paranoia (not fact based fear) and that makes our stress worse and you cant overthink it either because thoughts can become "imagined" manifests in our bodies (feeling like everything is about to go wrong and then you feel "another pain" somewhere else). Crazy but true. I hate when it happens because I feel the same way as you. Good luck and here's to a healthy eating plan, weekly exercise routine, relaxation for the soul & and peace for a calm mind!
 
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g53erd responded:
I have the same symptoms and was at the ER twice and did all the tests and stress test and all came back normal. I had GERD 10 years ago and was on Prilosec regimen and stopped because I got it under control. It started again a month ago and it happened right after I had a very bad cold and was eating oranges, drinking emergen-c, eating wasabi (yes you read it right) and ginger. I am now taking antibiotic for sinus infection and was given Prilose and Zantac. The acidity is less but I get the pain on my upper left shoulder, upper chest and sometimes goes up to my chin and jaw and was told by several doctors including the ones at the ER, the acid reflux/GERD can give a person pain on the jaw area and even ear. My GERD gets aggravated when I lean on my elbow or left side or even walking, especially going up hill and feel the fullness andI would belch. I get so frustrated because I cannot do the normal things like walking briskly or sit ups without aggravating it. I have an appointment in two weeks and my doctor said it should be better by then. I doubt it but at least I know it is not my heart. I was advice to do stretches and eat smaller meals all through out the day. I also started taking Probiotic and Aloe Vera Gel.
 
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scrappy2214 responded:
Good Day, this may be helpful to you. I went into the Military in 1981. I started to have those eact symptoms. They were thinking either IBD which has symptoms asthough you're having a heart attack or IBS. I am still dealing with this 30 years later. There are also, other symptoms as well. Good
luck.


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