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Drank alcohol and having trouble while eating. Struck in the middle of chest. Pain is radiating from neck. Suggest permanent cure?

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May 2014
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I drank alcohol last night...nothing over excessive but today I am having trouble eating anything because I feel like everything I eat is getting stuck right in the middle of my chest or top part of the belly. I tried tums, pepto, zegerid which I take every day and nothing's soothing it. I noticed this has happened now about 5 times in the last few months after drinking. Can u suggest something? The pain is traveling to my neck and it kind of pulsates. I am hungry but too afraid to eat.
Posted Sun, 10 Nov 2013 in GERD
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

Feeling of something stuck in the throat and the area between mid esophagus and throat could be related to gastroesophageal reflux. Repeated exposure to acid from the stomach can lead to erosion of the lining of esophagus and eventual scarring leading to feeling of something stuck. Acid reflux in your throat can burn the tissue and cause inflammation that stays for a few days. This can give you a sensation that there is something in the back of your throat. You should see a gastroenterologist who might also ask for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for proper treatment because continued irritation of this area can cause further problems.

Even though this may be GERD, but I would be more concerned about the possibility of angina or coronary artery, especially if you happen to be a smoker or have a family history of coronary artery disease. It would be wise to get your heart checked for once.

For your hunger, you may have little amounts of soft foods like cereals and bread along with sips of juices.

Waiting for an update from your end.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Drank alcohol and having trouble while eating. Struck in the middle of chest. Pain is radiating from neck. Suggest permanent cure? 22 minutes later
Thank you for your response. It seemed to have passed for now. I was able to eat about an hour ago. This pain I am feling I want to say is somewhat gastric. The reason I say that is that flatulence does seem to relieve it. Problem is I cannot pass it when I feel the pain. I have wait until it happens. I take zegerid every day to control the acid reflux and I know what that pain feels like. This pain is different. The stuck feeling is combined with a pressure feeling at the top of the belly. It gets so intense that it starts hurting in other areas like my neck and shoulders...this a recent phenomenon.

I have Been having issues with digesting lettuce and some other fruits and vegetables. I ate spinach last nite...that in combination with drinking alcohol could have caused this but I do not understand the correlation. Sometimes I can drink and feel fine the next day, sometimes I feel like i did today. I have to believe alcohol has some sort of effect with the way I digest food the same night...and maybe the type of alcohol? Like whiskey or wine makes me feel worse than beer. But then again after drinking beer the night before turns into numerous trips to the bathroom with very watery stool.

I also get a little anxious and get some weird depersonalization feelings in extreme cases. I guess I can stop drinking but if there's something I can take when I know I'm going to drink that would be better. I don't smoke as smoking would give me these pains when I did so I stopped about a year ago. I never leave work when I don't feel good. I did today. It was scary and I'd like to figure out what is causing it. I've had every test there is.. More than once...endoscopy, swallow test, upper g.i., lower hi, ultrasounds...only mild acid relux they say...but I know there's got to be more going on.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
You are welcome and thanks for writing in to us.

Zegerid works best when taken 30 minutes before food. Alcohol in any form may cause reflux disease.

Lettuce is hard to digest and cause acid reflux associated pains.

One thing you can do to reduce your risk for heartburn and acid reflux disease is to eat low-fat, high-protein meals. Also, eat smaller meals more frequently; stop eating before you get too full.

It may also help to avoid certain beverages and foods.

Avoid beverages that seem to trigger heartburn or make it worse, such as:

Coffee or tea (both regular and decaffeinated)
Other beverages that contain caffeine
Carbonated beverages
Alcohol

Avoid foods that seem to trigger your heartburn or make it worse, such as:

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons
Tomatoes and products that contain tomatoes, such as tomato sauce and salsa
Chocolate
Mint or peppermint
Fatty or spicy foods, such as chili or curry
Onions and garlic

Spinach and alcohol have no correlation.

Lifestyle changes to help you:
1. Quit smoking (You have already done that).

2. Reduce reflux while sleeping. These steps will help reduce reflux when you sleep:
Put blocks under the head of your bed to raise it at least 4 to 6 inches. This helps keep your stomach's contents down. However, it doesn't work to simply use lots of extra pillows because this position may increase pressure on your abdomen.
Stop eating at least two or three hours before lying down.
Try sleeping in a chair for daytime naps.

3. Lessen the pressure. Often, extra pressure around your abdomen increases acid reflux. Try these steps:
Don't wear tight clothes or tight belts.
If you're overweight or obese, take steps to lose weight with exercise and diet changes.

Zegerid works best when taken 30 minutes before food. Alcohol in any form may cause reflux disease.

Waiting for an update from your end.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Drank alcohol and having trouble while eating. Struck in the middle of chest. Pain is radiating from neck. Suggest permanent cure? 19 hours later
Thanks again for your response.

I have been to several sepcialists over the years and they have given me the same advice. I cannot say that I am strictly following it. I did cut out all caffeine. Besides the refulx it can cause, caffeine just makes me very edgy. It didnt used to. I used to love my early morning coffee. I miss it so much. But I cannot deal with the feeling I get now from drinking any caffeine.

I cut out a lot of the foods you names here. I have noticed that citrus, chocolate, mint and onions do not agree with me. However spicy...doesnt hurt. Tomatoes, depends. Sometimes I feel no pain after having an italian meal, sometimes I have pain for 2 days. I am also a bit lactose intolerant, so I cut out high milk content foods. I can still eat some cheeses as long as they arent real soft like cream cheese or ricotta (which I also loved).

I am in very good shape. I go to the gym often and havent gained a pound in the last 15 years. On the whole I would say I am very healthy aside for this situation which causes a lot of anxiety when it comes on.

Heres what I am struggling with. Sometimes I can go a month. Eat what I want, take my zegerid and psyllium husk caps (which I find to be helpful as well) and everytings good. Then something will trigger the symptom again (whether it be alcohol or a food I shouldnt eat) and it will last for a week! And it works on my mind. My mind is very clear when I dont have the pains. When I do, there is an effect on my mood and I don't think clearly. I do not know how they correlate but they definitely do. I am always feeling better when I am regular too. Thats why I take those psyllium caps, to help with regularity. I notice when I have the pains its more when I am either not going at all or going too often with very "messy" results, usually after I may have eaten something that doesnt agree.

If this is just a diet thing that I have to make a lifestyle change to beat forever, then I have to decide that..if its something else, we havent found it yet and this is now a 10 year search.

Maybe I should see a nutritionist? And why do you think this type of thing will disappear for long stretches of time, then hang around for a week when it starts up again? Is it taking my system that long to be rid of the issues and "cleanse" itself?

Any input is appreciated.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 17 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
You are welcome and thanks for writing in to us.

I think you are following a good schedule but on rare occasions things are going off track. Seeing a nutritionist always helps as your diet plan needs to be individualized. At the same time we need to know any particular common foods which can be replaced by better alternatives.

The mind should be trained to be as much away from this problem and stay unaffected by the symptoms. The pattern of long periods of disappearance could be related to issues with your immunity which might be getting triggered by certain factors which is causing it to appear again. Your system is reacting to these triggering factors.

I hope this answers your query partially.
Do write in in case of doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Drank alcohol and having trouble while eating. Struck in the middle of chest. Pain is radiating from neck. Suggest permanent cure? 5 hours later
Can you elaborate more on this statement

"The mind should be trained to be as much away from this problem and stay unaffected by the symptoms. The pattern of long periods of disappearance could be related to issues with your immunity which might be getting triggered by certain factors which is causing it to appear again. Your system is reacting to these triggering factors."

Not totally sure I understand that. I mean I understand it but I'm not sure I would know how to train my mind to not react to the triggers.


 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

From what I have read in your earlier query, you have mentioned that it "works" on your mind making your mood unclear at times when you are about to have or having your symptoms. This point, I suppose may be managed effectively by keeping your mind distracted from such thoughts of impending pain. Something like indulging yourself in reading a book, going out for a walk, enjoying your favorite game will help keep your mind away from the "expected" reaction formation. I mean keeping your stress levels normal.

The immunity part, is what I suggested as your body's reaction to those triggering foods. That can be explained as long periods of disappearance before another attack.

I hope this answers your query partially.
Do write in in case of doubts.

Regards,
Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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