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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 7/6/2011 10:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I don't know if anyone remembers me but I've posted here before (as well as on A/P and GERD). I stopped posting because I just got too busy trying to find answers. I tried not to google symptoms but see doctors instead. I tried not to post on forums but to get advice from doctors instead. But alas, I'm back here to let you know that nothing worked.
I've been battling 'atypical' chest pain for years now, and right up to this day, I am still in pain. In fact, it's worse than ever. 
I've now spent a TREMENDOUS amount of money on doctors and tests that revealed nothing. Echo stress tests, angiogram, endoscopy, xrays, blood tests, ECGs, and the list goes on. I've seen regular doctors, specialists, even a chiropractor...heck, I even caved in to a friend's advice and went to see a 'traditional chinese' physician. I was desperate to get better. I am now literally broke, and my pains are getting WORSE.
I have a hiatal hernia which they say is not supposed to cause the type of pain I've been having, and I think they're right. I have mild asthma. I have a problem with gas (tried probiotics and all sorts of antacids and meds that dont seem to work long term). Basically that's it.
I am not having anxiety over it (since nothing seems to work, the doctors have told me, again, that it might just be anxiety). No, I know how it feels to have anxiety; what I have right now is depression. This is making me horribly depressed!!!
I JUST WANT THE PAIN TO GO AWAY. It's ruining my life. I am 29 this year, I have a family, a child, a job. I am constantly distracted and crippled by the pain.
For the past 8-9 days, I've been chest pain that comes and goes, back pain that usually coincides with the chest pain, pain in my left forearm(including wrist and hand), pain in my left leg and bottom of my left foot. The doctors don't seem to want to see me anymore.
My husband suggested seeing a "pain management doctor". You see, I would do that, if only I know the source(s) of my pain. After all those tests, NONE of the doctors were able to give me a proper diagnosis. It was maybe this, or maybe that.
With the amount of pain and discomfort I am facing, I won't accept maybe for an answer.
And I'm posting on this forum because heart disease runs in my family and I believe I might have some heart-related issue that is still not discovered yet. My own father spent years trying to find a cure to his
"gastritis/indigestion" problem; ALL his ECGs were normal even when he had his final massive heart attack. Only when he was minutes from dying did they find out that he had a major blockage that was too late to do anything about. Only after he died did they tell us that he had numerous heart attacks before the massive one that killed him. Duh, he had bad chest pains so many times before but the ECGs were always normal so nobody took him seriously.
All along the doctors just told him it was NOTHING. Because their tests said so.
So yes, I do believe there is something going on with me but I have nowhere to go for answers already.
Maybe I (or my family) will know when it is only too late.
But for the sake of my husband and child, I really don't want that to happen. I am at my wit's end. I've tried everything in my power. What else can I do?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 7/6/2011 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry I would like to add...does anyone have the same symptoms that I'm having right now? Perhaps if I could get a test for something specific, that might help.
I am sick of people telling me it's psychosomatic, because, believe me, it's not. I would love to hear from people who perhaps have the same symptoms as me and what your diagnosis is.
"Don't just think positive, BE positive."

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/7/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there good friend, I am glad to see you here.  Dang I understand your concerns re your 'atypical' chest pain. You have a right to be scared and frustrated.
Unlike the classic symptoms of cardiac pain , atypical symptoms are similar to the symptoms that are seen in respiratory, musculoskeletal or gastrointestinal disorders.
Hiatal Hernia has been called the "great mimic" because it mimics many disorders. A person with this problem can get such severe pains in their chest that they think they are having a heart attack. You may want to talk to a GI specialist re your hernia, asthma and chest pain.
I wish I had better info for you, Pinks !
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 7/9/2011 12:08 AM (GMT -6)   

Thank you so much for replying. I really appreciate it.

I am wary of doctors now. I told the GI doctor that my chest pain is really bad, and he only heard the 'chest pain' part and said of course, there will be discomfort. When i told him about the radiating pain, etc, he looked at me like I was making it all up.

I've also given up on my regular doctors.

It sucks to be in pain all the time and worrying about it :(

Thank you again for your reply dear Kitt.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/9/2011 1:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Do you have constant pain or is it mainly after eating, including an hour or two after eating?

I complained of chest pain for years, passed stress test, everything else, was told I was just out of shape. I did have high cholesterol and was about 40 lbs overweight. A few weeks later I had a heart attack. It came on after one of my chest pain events after eating a bowl of lovely cereal with dried fruit and working a little in the garden. It had one odd feature - enzymes nearly normal.

I had associated all my chest pain events with eating, especially certain foods. After the heart attack I worked with an allergist to find out if there was a food allergy trigger, and found it. I also read articles about cardio-esophageal reflex or linked angina. Basically, a trigger in the esophagus can trigger the coronary arteries to spasm. This can cause a plaque rupture, if you have cholesterol buildup, which becomes a heart attack.

Hopefully this is not your scenario. I don't think there is a test for any of it, and there is probably no doc, unless he is researching the specific subject, who has even heard of it. The only thing you can do is make sure your cholesterol and weight are under control and get plenty of exercise. Keep an aspirin in your wallet. That's what saved me.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 7/9/2011 3:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alcie,

Thank you so much for your reply. Yes I do have high cholesterol. I am thin but high cholesterol runs in my family, go figure. I have been watching what I eat and exercising as often as I can. I have completely changed my diet because I want my cholesterol numbers to drop.
I find that I get these pains either when I'm very hungry(haven't eaten for hours) or very full(after eating a heavy meal). This was what made me see a GI doc in the first place.

I have read about cardio-esophageal reflex and linked angina. My primary doctor agreed that it's possible, but since there was lack of evidence(all the negative tests, etc) , there is nothing they can do about it.

The cardiologist informed me that my arteries are ok, but I have smaller arteries and if there was any plaque buildup there, it was not detectable. His theory was that my pains could POSSIBLY be due to spasms, but again, there was lack of evidence.

What was your angina/chest pains like prior to the heart attack?
What was/were your heart attack symptoms?

I really do not want this to end badly for me. I'd like to help myself as much as I can. This is taking over my life. :(
Oh, and yes, from now on I'll keep an aspirin with me.

Post Edited (Pinks) : 7/9/2011 2:47:58 AM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/16/2011 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pinks - in this video, the female heart patients advocate "persistence, persistence, persistence" after going long periods without being properly diagnosed - but the one salient point comes near the end of the video when one of the patients says... everyone should remember that chest pain is not normal.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 7/16/2011 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Pinks -
I had a feeling of a huge bubble in my stomach often after breakfast - after eating cereal with dried fruit usually (which I found out much later is on my list of food intolerances). This would often trigger tachycardia and pain (angina) for a few minutes, especially if I was driving. I could always get it to stop if I stopped and tried to burp - pushing hard with my abdomen, which is basically the same thing as Valsalva maneuver. Now I know a few good coughs can often do the same thing - give the heart a good kick and get it to go back to normal rhythm.

Before the heart attack I had a bad "bubble" feeling, was bending over gardening, got tachycardia, then sudden crushing chest pain radiating to left arm and neck - typical MI symptoms. But in hospital my enzymes were very low, angiogram showed a tiny pinched point in an artery. A stent was needed to open it. I probably saved myself by running into the house, chewing 2 aspirin and dialing 911.

Of course there's no evidence! It's probably impossible to diagnose unless they happen to have you on a Holter monitor and catch one of the tachy events. Even then there's no way for the doc to know if you were having esophagus or stomach symptoms at the same time - unless you are keeping notes and they believe you. There aren't any tests! Ridiculous!

The only thing you can do is keep a very good journal to help you figure out if you have events related to eating certain foods or activities. I once even had a bout triggered by an abcess in my colon, often have it triggered by gas in the gut. I can easily trigger it if I eat too much of a food I am sensitive to. Up in the search box you can find my posts (many) about keeping a food log. Avoiding my trigger foods is keeping my events to a minimum now.

Do you take baby aspirin on a regular basis? You might ask your cardiologist if you should. DON'T take ibuprofen. I was taking them for pain. They can worsen the situation. Use a whole aspirin or Tylenol for pain.
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