It 1st started off with Burning Tongue Syndrome about 3 days after I had my son who is now 10 months and I still have it. I asked my Dr for an Upper GI due to already diagnosed Hiatal Hernia 3 years ago. I thought it was getting worse. Well I had 3 cups of the Barium and about a week(give or take) after the test I started getting a pain in my left side by the mid to end of the stomach area. It has been 8 months since the test and it has only gotten worse. I had an CAT Scan of my abdomen and nothing was out of the ordinary. I have had blood tests for Gluten= negative, Celiac- negative, I just had a test to see if it was HPlyori but I have a feeling that will come back negative. My pain wasn't there until I had this upper GI. I can only get that connection. I just want to find a way to get my whole system the way it was prior to this. I don't know what else to do.
I suppose CAT scan didn't show any changes to hiatal hernia? Hiatal hernia, like you thought originally, causes symptoms that are pretty similar to acid reflux or GERD. Especially if your symptoms tend to happen more often after having a meal. And the thing is, H.pylori would cause you the same symptoms - this much I know from my experience. After a regular meal - noting special like mashed potatoes and chicken, or if I ate anything late at night - it stated first like a pressure, then straight out pain from my stomach to pains in either side. If H.pylori is the cause, then at least the good thing is that it's fully treatable. And did you mention the connection between the tests and symptoms?
Wish you all the best,