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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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I have had a sharp burning pain beneath my left collarbone

Resolved Question:

I have had a sharp burning pain beneath my left collarbone on and off which woke me up last night. What could that be? Also, a sensation that something is there in upper abdomen that rises to between my breasts at times. I don't think it is gas.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 10 years ago.

How long has this been a problem?

What makes it better or worse?

Why do you think that it is not gas?

What is your height and weight?

Do you take any medication or have any medical problems?

What has your diet been like recently?


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
The pain below my collar bone woke me up last night and that was the first time I felt it. It lasted about 2 minutes. It also happened again today and lasted about 1 minute. Nothing seems to make it better or worse. The pressure feeling has been there about 3 weeks. It seems worse at night laying down. I don't think it is gas because I have been taking GasX before bed. I am 5'2" and weigh 127lbs. Besides the gasX I am not on any meds. My diet has been pretty normal. 2 meals/day with meat and veg. I quit smoking 9 days ago.
Expert:  Pauline replied 10 years ago.

Well done on stopping smoking.

Have you been chewing gum? What have you used to give up smoking?

Do you have a cough or increased pain on breathing in/out?

Do you wake up with stange taste in your mouth or staining on the pillow?


Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I have not used anything to quit. No cough or increased pain with breathing. No strange taste or staining.

Expert:  Pauline replied 10 years ago.

There are a number of reasons for chest pain. At your age then it is unlikely to be heart related unless you had a pre-existing condition.

1. Heart - angina or myocardial infarction will cause central crushing pain, often radiating upwards towards jaw and left arm. Clamminess, Shortness of breath, nausea, feelings of doom are also symptoms of an acute MI

Angina would occur periodically especially on exertion. A diagnosis of angina is usually made on a full history of when symptoms occur and what makes them better eg rest or Glyceryl trinitrate spray. Angina does not usually start under 40 unless there you have some other medical conditions, family history of cardiovascular problems or severe ischaemic disease.

There are other conditions relating to inflammation of heart muscle/valves and walls which can cause central chest pain.

2. Lungs- inflammation of lining/muscles might cause central chest pain although usually associated with shortness of breath. Also a Pulmonary Embolism would cause chest pain and usually shortness of breath

3. Esophagus/Stomach - problems with the digestive tract can cause central pain and discomfort. There are a number of different problems including esophageal stricture, hiatus hernia, stomach ulcer to name a few. Pain on right side may also be related to liver.

As you can see there are a variety of possible causes so treatment recommendations cannot be made until we identify exact cause. Any chest pain needs to be seen by your doctor, speed of visit depends on intensity of pain. I would suggest that you are experiencing gas and stomach acid so a course of omeprazole should help. You may also want to try peppermint tea or peppermint oil capsules as this is very good for reducing your symptoms.

If it were to continue then you should get a test for H.pylori as this is associated with gastric symptoms.

Does this answer your question?


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