Chest Pain - centre/right on walking or laying down - Help!

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walrus52
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/11/2005 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, if anyone recognises these symptoms I'd appreciate any help identifying what's wrong with me: 
 
I'm male 53, overweight, been intermittently a heavy smoker but quit for good 7 months ago. I've suffered severe acid reflux for some years which I control with over-the-counter antacids. The acid problem is a lot less since I quit smoking but I still get it sometimes when I turn over in bed.  Around the time I quit the ciggies I tried to diet to prevent massive weight-gain.  My idea of a workable diet tends to be mainly grilled fish, huge salads, fresh fruit and probably a little too much dry white wine.  It kinda worked as my weight rose a little but slowly came back down again.  But, I began getting a regular chest pain which has not gone away all these months.
 
The chest pain is focussed to the centre, radiating just right of centre, of my upper chest. If I draw a line between my nipples, I'd say the pain is centred about an inch above that line. It typically strikes every other day and usually in the late afternoon or evening. It's triggered by my walking even a short distance, not necessarily uphill or relating to any kind of real exertion. It also comes on sometimes when I lie down in bed.  To get rid of the pain I have to either sit down and lean forward, or if I'm outside walking I must stop and lean on a wall or whatever. The pain goes away in less than a minute. There is no shortage of breath, no sweating or dizziness and no palpitation.  There is no sensitivity on the surface although the pain doesn't seem to be very deep.  Describing the pain is difficult.  I'd say it is a 'hard ache' and feels as if I've swallowed a chunk of rock and it's lodged in my chest.  It doesn't seem to matter if I've eaten or not, or what I've eaten, but it does seem to occur at times of day when I'd normally be eating.  I have a history of hypertension but my blood pressure has been under reasonably good control for many years by taking a daily cocktail of Atenolol, Nifedipine, Losartan and Aspirin and getting regular check-ups.  I was told I had a 'slight systolic murmur in the aorta area' about 18 months ago but I was smoking heavily at that time.  If I go see my doc about this problem I know he will give me his usual lecture about my being overweight/obese as he has done for every complaint I've consulted him about for the last 20 years.  I've read about Barretts and hiatal hernias, GERD and gallstones ... what's happening doesn't really seem to fit any of those exactly.  Anyone have any ideas?  It's almost disabling me and scaring the hell out of me to be truthful.

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 11/11/2005 11:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Walrus, Welcome to the Forum! I'm sorry your having a difficult time. Your symptoms could very well be GERD related, but always a good idea to check with your Dr. Have you ever been diagnosed with GERD? You indicate having a Murmur, have you been seen by a Cardiologist, or had an Echocardiagram?

Diet is very important with reflux, grilled fish, most fruit, and even salads have caused reflux in me on occasion, so everyone has trigger foods that may not bother others.

I sometimes get chest discomfort on both right & left side of chest, but I'm not extremely concerned when it's only on right side;seems GERD related. I'm a little scared when it's on my left side, although, it had also been GERD related. I have also gotten chest discomfort on movement in the past(walking, bending, etc...).

I was diagnosed with an Aorta Insufficiency (Heart Murmur)23 yrs ago. The constant chest pain led me to the ER, it initially appeared like heart burn. I was extremely athletic at that time in my life;just a teenager. I continously complained of chest discomfort, but dr's could never connect it with the Murmur itself. I had every cardiac test done, and all returned relatively normal.

In my opinion, I believe it was definitely related to the Murmur, maybe not theoretically, but very much related. In the winter months, I need to walk a little slower, in order not to over exert myself, afterall, the Valve does not open and shut properly, causing leakage, making the heart work harder. I haven't experienced chest discomfort assoc w/murmur in yrs. Last Echo indicated that murmur has closed a little;very slight now. I take Antibiotics prior too any surgical or dental procedure.

Congrats on smoking cessation as I'm well aware of how tough it is to give up things we enjoy. You are also doing a fine job w/your diet. Please don't let your dr intimidate you with your weight. In my opinion, I think you should discuss your constant chest pain with your dr immediately, just to be safe, also ask for referral to Cardiology and maybe GI too.

Please let us know how everything works out.

Vanessa

walrus52
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/12/2005 4:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vanessa and thanks for all that.  It's nice to know I'm not alone with this.  I've had a few panics in recent years which turned out to be severe indigestion attacks and had several ECG which always showed up normal. I've also had an echo cardiogram done which showed nothing abnormal, but of course these tests were more than 18 months ago.
The fact that the pain only appears when I lie back or walk about makes me feel it is gastric.  Also the fact that I can make it go away so fast simply by leaning forward on my elbows. I know I should seek medical advice for this.  I've been working out of the country this past 2 months and have suffered with it every couple of days or so.
 

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 11/12/2005 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Walrus,
Since this appear to be Gerd related, you might want to consider your food intake. Some members here are contributing High Carb intake to be a culprit, amonst many other foods, and diary products. Also, the OTC Antacids may not be strong enough to correct your system.

I'm not sure if your having any stress due to working out of the country, but, stress also contributes to reflux in many of us. This chest pain you're having is happening quite regularly, which has to be somewhat miserable for you. But, clearly we understand!

Are you able to see a GI for proper DX?
Maybe, just closely watch your food consumption in the meantime.

BTW, have annual ECHO's been recommended? And, Do you take Antibiotics prior to surgical or dental procedures????

Walrus, I hope your able to get some relief soon.

Please let us know about your progress!

Vanessa
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