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What is causing severe pain below sternum when eating, occurs occasionally?

Posted by mama

Female, 37, BMI 27-29, generally healthy, active, stay at home mom. Diet: better than most; rarely fried foods, includes raw veggies and fruits, low fat meats, whole foods. Weight: heaviest I've ever been with horrible difficulties in loosing. Recent pregnancies/births (ages 2 & 4) both with bed rest, borderline diabetic (runs in family), enlarged/cystic thyroid but values are within normal range. Do not take perscription meds. Rarely drink alcohol.

Recently, upon occasion, I've had this excruciating pain just below my sternum. This has occurred 4 times in past 6 months. The first time I almost went to ER despite not having insurance, but chose to suffer through it. Nothing out of the ordinary prior occurs but maybe haven't eaten much that day (kids keep me so busy I don't get to eat full meals sometimes). Upon first bite of food or drink this pain bolts just below bottom of sternum, and little bubbles/gurgles can be heard and felt when pressure is applied. Pain causes dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath, white spots in feild of vision. It is also accompanied by the sensation that my stomach is "sucking" in air. Very mild, temporary relief can be gained if deep breath is taken then held with severe pain resuming within seconds. If I swallow (food or drink), it feels as though it drops like a brick right to the point of pain. Then following, excessive, painful belching occurs. I've taken Tums and/or Gas-Ex and cannot tell you if this helps it to resolve. Laying in a knee-chest position with head down seems to be most beneficial. It lasts 3-4 hours then pain and gurgling (below sternum) slowly subsides with abnormally large amounts of flatulence and belching. Maybe passing once of very loose stool occurs. Oddly, an overwhelming sensation of hunger lingers for a while. If I do eat or drink, then the whole thing starts over again so I refrain until the next day. The following day, there is some slightly uncomfortable gas pain in abdomen, mild tenderness below sternum, just noticable breast discomfort, and I resume my normal diet without problem. I've not experienced this at any other time prior, other than the recent episodes.  

What is causing this and is there something I can do to prevent it or quickly resolve it when it occurs?

Thank you! 

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