Hi there. I suffer periodically from acid reflux/GERD. Symptoms are gurgling acid, terrible wind and lower left abdominal pain. Last year I went to a specialist who performed an endoscopy but all was well. He prescribed Nexium and told me to lose around 12 kilos. I have not (yet!) done this. Recently, nine months on from the all clear, symptoms returned, but with tingling in left part of groin and also some numbness in foot/left leg from time to time. Could this be the vagus nerve being irritated by the GERD? I am going back to the specialist in 2 weeks but could do with some reassurance. I have an annual medical with ECG etc which has always been fine. Basically the discomfort is always left side, from neck to leg through lower left abdomen, ALWAYS with belching and wind. Have also been under a lot of stress in the last 6 months, could that trigger, along with too much alcohol? Thanks.
Person's Gender: Male
Person's Age: 39
There are several issues to consider in this situation.GERD can cause pain in the left side of the abdomen, but it is unusual to cause symptoms that radiate to the groin. It is also not typical for GERD to cause referred pain by placing pressure on the vagus nerve.It is possible that a person with GERD can also have other problems in the gut related to abnormal muscular activity in the gut, such as irritable bowel syndrome, which would more typically cause lower abdominal pain that also radiates to the groin area.Stress is a non-specific factor that has been shown to increase the likelihood of many different diseases, but is particularly shown in studies to exacerbate abdominal conditions, including acid reflux, gastritis, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Alcohol is also a direct irritant of the stomach and can exacerbate any of the acid irritation syndromes, including acid reflux, gastritis, and ulcers. Alcohol can also cause recurrent abdominal pain by a direct toxic effect on the liver or pancreas, and the latter would be more of a concern with left-sided abdominal pain.Symptoms that are radiating to the feet are not typical for GERD or any other gastrointestinal condition. Foot pain is more typical of musculoskeletal conditions. It is possible that musculoskeletal conditions affecting the spine can affect nerves to the gut and can cause abdominal pain or other gastrointestinal symptoms.Interventions to alleviate stress or to diffuse stress, such as self-relaxation techniques or regular exercise, may help ease symptoms. It also would be reasonable to stop or limit alcohol intake to determine whether the symptoms improve.
Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.