Is this esophagus spasm?

I'm 19 years old, and I was diagnosed with GERD in 2010. I've had it on and off since then but sometimes the symptoms get really bad. I want once chest pain so bad because of the acid reflux, that I went to the ER. They performed an EKG, as well as blood pressure tests and heart rate tests, and all were perfect; that was June of 2011. In March of 2011 I had an upper endoscopy done that's when they discovered that I had a hiatal hernia, as well as some minor inflammation in my stomach and esophagus, but they took a biopsy they told me everything was just fine. Before they did the endoscopy I had an EKG, once again it was perfect.For the past week however I've been getting these weird spasms in my upper chest. I'm hypersensitive so I feel that they're in my esophagus, but I'm also very concerned that it could be a heart palpitation. I get these spasms while I'm standing, walking, sitting, or even laying down and they last for about a second. Sometimes they're even worse when I'm sitting and not as surprising/uncomfortable when I'm walking or standing. It feels like a twitch that's slightly painful.I have very bad anxiety (I get panic attacks alot), my GERD gets pretty bad occasionally like it is now, I have no family history of heart disease, my Cholesterol is at an ideal level (as told by my GP), BP is 110/70, I don't exercise a whole lot but everyday I walk at least a mile and a half. Should I see a cardiologist to be sure that this isn't my heart?

Hi Farrah,
As a CT surgeon, I treated both heart and (was an expert in) esophageal diseases: your story is much more consistent with an esophageal problem than your heart. Chest pains caused by your GI tract often mimic angina.
My recommendation: ask your gastroenterologist for "esophageal manometry", a test that measures the pressure in your esophagus and stomach during swallowing. It is a test that demonstrates abnormal pressures as occurring with esophageal spasm.
Hope this helps,
Dr T


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
4 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.