Chest Pain/Shortness of Breath

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LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/23/2014 3:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi - I have been having sharp pains in my chest and trouble breathing when lying flat on my back for a couple months. My cardiologist has done an EKG, Echo and Holter Monitor and all came back normal. He insists that it's just bad heartburn, but medicine for that doesn't seem to be doing the trick. I'm 30 yo and in good health other than this, not overweight and I eat healthy/exercise. Should I be satisfied that my heart is ok after the tests I've had run? Nervous...

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/23/2014 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Welcome to HealingWell and I certainly do understand why you would have concerns re your issues. 
 
Wondering if your Cardiologist suggested you follow up with a GI specialist?  Some of the conditions causing chest pain are less serious but still require physician diagnosis (e.g., GERD uncontrolled by nonprescription products, panic disorder, peptic ulcer disease, chest wall pain). GERD = gastroesophageal reflux disease.
 
I would kindly suggest you see your PCP or a physician who specializes in problems with your GI tract.  We have a great forum for people with GERD or GERD type symptoms.  I will post the link to our GERD Forum so feel free to post your questions in that forum also:
 
 
Do let us hear back from you re how you are getting along.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/23/2014 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you! I have seen an ENT for the heartburn...hopefully that is all it is and not a heart problem. I have a bit of health related anxiety so I'm so it doesn't help the issue. Appreciate the response!

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/23/2014 3:54 PM (GMT -6)   
 
Health Anxiety - people who worry about other things such as paying the bills,  ? whether their work was up to standard ? is their house tidy enough ? did your friends  like your new car?  If you get into a angst about anything else then you are more prone to worry about your health too.
 
I suspect that you will find your heart is OK and your anxiety is contributing to the chest pain and shortness of breath or you have another issue going on that may be bothersome but is not a threat to your cardiovascular system.
 
Keep on talking with us as we are here to support you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.



"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."

JungRulz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 1/23/2014 8:49 PM (GMT -6)   
One thing is, do you have heartburn at all? Is it effected by diet at all?

Seeing a GI specialist may indeed be the best thing to do. You mentioned an ENT, but they would usually confine themselves to the throat, and as such may consider the upper esophagus, but ordinarily, not down to the stomach.

The Holter should have shown your heart's activity as you were lying down, for that matter, to a degree even the echo. These tests give you good reason to feel comfortable about your heart.

But the GI specialist can look for other things, one that comes to mind would be a Hiatal Hernia. Even if it's not a hiatal hernia, GERD can cause symptoms as well.

my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/hiatal_hernia/ts_overview.aspx

www.healthline.com/health/gerd/shortness-of-breath?toptoctest=expand

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/27/2014 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure if it's heartburn but I'm assuming? My ENT has me taking omeprazole 20 mg once a day. My only symptoms are sharp pains in my chest that occur after eating and when lying down along with gas (belching) frequently after meals. I don't have the "burning" sensation that others experience which is what concerns me. I have had a barium swallow and all looked normal, they ruled out a hernia. I'm just not sure what else could be causing the pain if not heartburn (and all "heart" tests have come back fine).

Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 1/27/2014 4:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Did you ever think about making significant changes to your diet rather than just going on medicine to counter the problem that may very well be created by what you eat?

I've heard of many people overcoming GERD and the related symptoms via a significant change in diet.

I hope you do understand how GERD works.

Look at your quote...
" My only symptoms are sharp pains in my chest that occur after eating and when lying down along with gas (belching) frequently after meals."

I mean, come on, can it be any clearer than that?
You need to experiment with foods.
High fat and greasy diets can easily produce such symptoms.
Try a couple weeks eating in a entirely new way. See if the symptoms go away.

(I might add that what you think is a normal healthy diet, might still be causing the problem. The standard diet of most Americans leads a huge percentage them to eventual heart problems.
Also leads lots of them to GERD. So I'm not just talking about a truck stop diet or all fast food.
What you take to be normal might still be producing your problem)

Post Edited (Franklen) : 1/27/2014 2:15:47 PM (GMT-7)


LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/27/2014 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I most definitely understand how GERD works...I have cut tomatoes and caffeine (my favorites) out of my diet to see if that helps and very rarely eat high fat foods. I had my gallbladder out in 2009 and have dealt with these symptoms since then. Believe me, I would rather not take medication but don't like feeling like I'm having a heart attack.

Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 1/27/2014 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
" I had my gallbladder out in 2009 and have dealt with these symptoms since then."

Well that makes a huge difference.
You say you rarely eat high fat foods.
It may be with your gallbladder removed that you'll have to go farther than just avoiding what most refer to as "high fat foods"

Meaning even "regular" fat foods may not work for you since having your surgery.

Have you ever tried going all out for few weeks on a nearly completely plant based diet with almost all fat removed. Meaning nearly vegan but with perhaps only small amounts of lean protein from some animal sources.

I'm not saying it would work, but given your situation and gallbladder out, it seems like some experimentation might be in order. Especially if the drugs aren't giving you adequate relief.

In fact some of the more extreme diets, Ornish, McDougall, etc. recommend exactly those diets for their heart patients and those hoping to prevent heart related problems.
BTW, they also suggest such diets for digestive problems, including GERD types.

Anyway, I'd certainly experiment. Only by doing so may you find what works for you long term.
Everyone is different. You may be able to get completely off the drugs if you find just the right diet.
Just saying, I'd give it a try. Whats to lose?

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/27/2014 8:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree and I'm willing to try anything at this point. The only meats I eat are chicken and fish, so always lean. I'm a big garlic fan though so I'm going to try and cut that out for awhile along with citrus fruits. Only time will tell I guess, I'm just relieved to hear that others experience sharp chest pains as a GERD symptom.

Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 1/28/2014 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Keep experimenting with your diet. Even go to the extent for couple weeks of cutting out the chicken and fish.
Make sure you keep a note book so you can refer back to see exactly which dates you cut out foods or groups of foods. Without keeping careful notes you may not see the patterns.

I have a question. I know it seems simple, and no doubt you've already done so during experimentation.
Have you raised the head of your bed by 4 inches? And have you done so while doing the dietary changes?

I'd do both the more radical dietary changes along with the simple GERD 101 changes like raising the bed.
Again, for a couple weeks or more. If you find relief, later on you may be able to add some items back in.
But you must keep precise notes so you can see the dates and your notes about how you feel each day after 14 to 21 days.

No doctor is going to lead you in all this experimenting and note keeping. They don't have time for such and will often just say "take this".

You have to have some faith and persistence to find the solution that unlocks the success.
I don't doubt something will work if you make a project out of it.

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 1/28/2014 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I have not tried raising the head of my bed, I do prop my head up with pillows but I know that's not the same. I will give it a try. It's definitely worth the experiment :) Thanks for the advice!

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 2/5/2014 2:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I seem to be continuing to have sharp pains in my chest regardless of whether or not I take omeprazole. Is there any way to distinguish between cardiac chest pain and other causes? My doctor said that if it doesn't stop he will have me do a stress echo but I hate to continue with the testing if it truly is heartburn. I'm sure stress is a factor as well because I worry over it :(

lilac7
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 2/19/2014 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Could be GERD related. Does lying on some side make it better? Get a complete physical check up done. Including a lung x ray

LCV2014
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 2/19/2014 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, lying on my right side seems to help for some reason. I have had a chest x-ray and it was clear...is there a specific x-ray done for your lungs? Thanks!
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