Sternum pain and difficulty breathing, could this be from Lupus?

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pink blobs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/29/2011 10:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm experiencing considerable pain and tightness in my sternum as of late. Usually it has been coming and going, but the past few days it has been almost constant. I have had a chest CT scan, x-rays upper abdominal ultrasounds done, and all they have been able to find is that my right lung has a mass called granuloma, which my pulomonolgist thinks is a fungal infection due to an organism called histoplasmosis, especially since my tuberculosis test was negative. He doesn't think my pain is related. My Rheumatologist thinks it's fibromyalgia, but refused to diagnose me with an AI disorder even though she know I do.

My symptoms are:

Pain in sternum--that feels anywhere from crushing or stabbing to just uncomfortable tightness. The pain is worse when taking deep breaths and stops when I hold my breath.

Difficulty breathing and catching breath-especially when I walk up stairs or wake up from sleeping.

Pain in neck and esophagus.

Pain when swallowing, hurts my throat and sometimes the pain feels like it's radiating to my spine.

New occasional choking on saliva, or just a weird sensation of choking out of nowhere.

Pain sometimes radiates to my left side of my chest, and the pain feels stabbing at times, then goes away.



Could these be related to Lupus, or should I blame it on the infection, even though my pulomonologist thinks it's impossible? My symptoms seem way too severe to be simple fibro.

Post Edited (pink blobs) : 3/29/2011 9:04:37 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14103
   Posted 3/30/2011 2:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you considered GERD? Some of your symptoms sound like gerd to me.
Joy

mechiko
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/30/2011 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds like GERD to me as well, although maybe costochondritis could cause some of those symptoms as well.


Kathryn

pink blobs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/30/2011 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I considered that, but my gastro didn't seem to think the kind of pain I described to him sounded like GERD. Also, no antacid has ever made the pain go away. Sometimes I even feel pain in my right rib, near where my lung granuloma is located. I also get double vision and difficulty breathing with my chest pain attacks. I even have a hard time climbing stairs some days, because I get so out of breath. about a month ago I had climbed two flights of stairs and became so out of breath it took me 15 minutes for my breathing to return to normal. I ride the trains to work in Chicago, and I see people twice my age beating me up the stairs. I'm far too young to be that out of shape and I'm not overweight. I'm thinking I could have costochindritis.

mechiko
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 3/30/2011 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus can cause lots of different kinds of chest pain - it's possible that you have a combination of different types. Costochondritis, pericarditis, and pleurisy are all inflammation in the chest that cause pain. Pleurisy could cause shortness of breath as well.


Kathryn

pink blobs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 3/30/2011 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
mechiko said...
Lupus can cause lots of different kinds of chest pain - it's possible that you have a combination of different types. Costochondritis, pericarditis, and pleurisy are all inflammation in the chest that cause pain. Pleurisy could cause shortness of breath as well.


Kathryn


Have you had any of these chest conditions yourself? If so, what were your symptoms, if I might ask?

Some days I feel like someone literally took a crowbar to my sternum, while others I just have mild tightness and shallow breathing or pain near my heart. What scares me is that I also have visual disturbances when my chest symptoms are at their worst.

I've gone back and forth considering that I have had all three conditions you named or not. Today I had an echocardiogram, hopefully that can shed some light on whether or not I have pericarditis.

mechiko
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 4/1/2011 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I definitely have pleurisy, and my rheumy thinks I have had pericarditis as well from the symptoms I describe. I have had a normal echocardiogram, but at the time I wasn't having any symptoms, either. Symptoms of pleurisy are tight, painful chest - pain much worse when you breathe in. At its worst I have shortness of breath with it. The (presumably) pericarditis pain feels like a vise around my heart. I have had bad pain from both pleurisy and pericarditis at the same time and it's definitely two distinct pains.



Kathryn

sharebear37
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 4/3/2011 2:22 AM (GMT -6)   
yes , i have the same thing right now , Pleurisy and Carditis and the two are rubbing. And that is what causes my pain , even if i twist the wrong way it can turn into an attack of where i can't even move it hurts so bad. i find typing is tough as it squeezes your arms together which puts pressure on the sternum .... here is a link to a diagram that may help you. https://ssl.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=10&pid=10&gid=000637&site=morehead2.adam.com&login=MORE6662

pink blobs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 4/3/2011 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the great advice. My symptoms aren't usually so bad I can't function, but it is worrying and uncomfortable more than anything.

Another strange chest symptom that I get is a weird dull pain in my right rib, right above my waist. It never last very long, it hurts for a few seconds but goes away and stops for long periods of time and comes back. The pain reminds me a lot like gastritis, but on my right side. I've wondered if it's inflammation or a liver problem, although my liver blood tests have come up negative, but then again blood tests seem to matter only half the time anymore. I also get nausea and other digestive issues around the same time I goes through periods when it hurts.

Post Edited (pink blobs) : 4/3/2011 9:15:21 PM (GMT-6)


rodreb
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 12/30/2015 1:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I am suffering almost identical symptoms...very frustrating. Cleveland Clinic thought I migh have drug induced Lupus- ( I have long-term Rheumatoid Arthritis, well controlled the past 17 years) But I suddenly got sick, had fluid around my heart and high inflammatory markers, although my arthritis wasn't acting up at all. I have been off the offending medicine for 7 months, and still having an awful time. It caused pleurisy, pericarditis, etc. Pressure under sternum, like someone bolted a steel plate under my sternum. It sometimes moves down to stomach area, feeling like I swallowed a beach ball. My lungs are tight its hard to breathe, I can't do ANYTHING strenuous or get an attack for days and days. I get a feverish feeling and if I eat much, cramps and diahrrea. even though my Cardiac MRI shows the heart issues have cleared up, I am STILL having this...only a little milder. I went from normal active person to total invalid over the past year....if this is lupus, I feel so bad for you all...I thought Rheumatoid Arthritis was bad! Anyway, I also wondered about my lungs-yet a CT scan shows nothing, so I assume this is heart related. My stabbing rib pains have almost quit, so there is very slow progress....UGH. I am so over it. Hope you feel better. Please post your situation now if you get this. Debra

FW
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 12/30/2015 5:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Also sounds like GERD to me. Have you had an EGD done? My most recent one showed severe GERD (which was suspected) and a severe yeast infection (which was a surprise) running completely down my esophagus (attributed to high doses of prednisone because of a lupus flare). I had no signs of thrush in my mouth so the yeast infection took everyone by surprise. And my esophagus was very damaged causing a good part of the chest pain I was experiencing. My symptoms were very similar to yours. I hope you find some relief soon.
Take care, Fran

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 6625
   Posted 12/30/2015 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Original posts were in 2011, so I am locking this thread so folks don't continue to address comments / questions to posters long gone.

If you'd like to continue discussion of chest pains, please start a new thread, that way you'll get more input from people who are here!

Thanks.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & HW's LUPUS 101
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
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