Pericarditis—Need Answers.

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TDW3M8
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/21/2015 7:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I have had a dull, occasionally sharp pain in my chest and back for 5 months now, and I can't stand it anymore. I have been to the doctor, and have ruled out cancer, rib injuries, and serious heart conditions, and I believe that I have Pericarditis. I will list all of my symptoms and timeline here, if anyone here can help me, you will be putting an end to 5 months of absolute torture.

First, I am a 24 year old male. Healthy, not overweight, and no family history of heart problems. My symptoms first began one night in late February. I went to bed and noticed a minor discomfort in my chest. I thought nothing of it until the pain persisted the next night. This continued until eventually the discomfort became a noticable ache in the left side of my chest/back. I went and had a chest x-ray and EKG at an urgent care facility that both came back normal.

Fast forward to today, 5 months later. The discomfort is with me now predominantly during the day, constantly. It bothers me at times during the night, but lying down doesn't seem to make it worse. The only time the pain becomes markedly worse is when I tilt my head down towards my chest, or lean back and take a very deep breath. I find myself winded after my walk to work, though I can't measure this against my endurance before my symptoms because I have been somewhat out of shape in that time. I have not had any fever-like symptoms.

The only other piece of information that might be important is that a month before my symptoms started, I had an ear infection that I treated with antibiotics.

Please help me. Even if you can tell me that it is not Pericarditis, I want to know what is happening to me. Thanks you.

theHTreturns...
Elite Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 20279
   Posted 9/24/2015 3:55 AM (GMT -6)   
hi and welcome. was the doc a cardiologist? this is my best advice. has gastro stuff been ruled out. gastro esophageal reflux? (gerd) others will pop in who have pericarditis.
THE HAPPY TURTLE.

A QUOTE FROM THE HAPPY TURTLE THAT REFLECTS ME.

"COMPLEXITY IS MY WAY OF EXPRESSING MY NEEDS IN A MANNER THAT IS NEITHER DESTRUCTIVE, NOR NEGATIVE"
'

Melissuh
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 9/24/2015 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't have Pericarditis. But I've been getting that slight dull ache feel for a few weeks, I've seen a cardiologist, ruled out everything. I'm getting an event monitor to make sure. I'm ALSO ruling out any stomach problems, I DO have GERD. If you haven't seen a cardiologist, then I'd see one, also see a gastroenteroligist.
Health Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Costochondritis, Panic Attacks, PCOS, pre-diabetic, Hypothyroid, & GERD.

25mg Levothyroxine
20mg Cymbalta
25mg Hydroxyzine

TDW3M8
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/25/2015 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your responses! I've been to my GP several times and he seems to think it's something musculoskeletal, which I don't necessarily agree with. I'm trying to get a referral to a cardiologist now.

Melissuh, is your ache localized anywhere? mine happens on the left side of my chest exclusively. I'd love to hear what your doctors ultimately say!

Melissuh
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 9/25/2015 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine is the center of my chest. I've also been told they think it's a mix between my anxiety and musculoskeletal!

The cardiologist didn't seem worried at all, I've had about 15 EKGS in the last 6 months. I'm patiently waiting for an event monitor now.
Health Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Costochondritis, Panic Attacks, PCOS, pre-diabetic, Hypothyroid, & GERD.

25mg Levothyroxine
20mg Cymbalta
25mg Hydroxyzine

TDW3M8
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/26/2015 10:24 AM (GMT -6)   
My GP told me the same thing! anxiety and the like.

One final question for you: does your pain disappear when you take any sort of medication? Mine is minimally effected by Advil and Aleve, but (as weird as this sounds) it goes away after I've had a drink or two of alcohol.

Melissuh
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 763
   Posted 9/26/2015 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I haven't taken anything for pain in 6 months, my anxiety stems from getting heart palpitations which may actually be caused by GERD the cardiologist told me. So I stray from all pain medications.
Health Anxiety, Agoraphobia, Costochondritis, Panic Attacks, PCOS, pre-diabetic, Hypothyroid, & GERD.

25mg Levothyroxine
20mg Cymbalta
25mg Hydroxyzine

Flaming Heart
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/26/2015 9:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with pericarditis last November. I actually diagnosed myself since the first visit to the emergency room was useless. I have also colitis and I think in my case the pericarditis has an autoimmune component. For me the pain started on the middle of my chest and got worse every day for a week. It was particularly noticeable when I bend down. The pain then moved to my shoulder neck and left arm.

During my first emergency room visit, they did an EKG that showed nothing. Then they did an X-ray. They were looking for pulmonary embolism. Once they were convinced that it was not it, they send me home. I was back a couple of days later with excruciating pain. Again the EKG was normal and nothing showed on the X-ray. Because of the medication I was taking at the time for the colitis, I knew that pericarditis was a rare side effect, so I kept bugging them about it, so they finally did a CT scan that was not very helpful. It showed a light shadow that might or might not be something. The cardiologist that saw me ordered a ultrasound. That is the test that will really tell if you have pericarditis or not. In my case it showed some effusion but not enough to be drained. I was admitted to the hospital after that. Also my inflammation markers were high so they knew that something was off, but it was hard to convince them to test for pericarditis.

Pericarditis is rare, not that many doctors have to deal with it first hand. While in the hospital I was lucky to meet some knowledgeable cardiologist that checked my heart the right way. They listen for a particular sound that your heart makes, called the "rub", when you lean forward. Also they took my blood pressure and monitored the vein on my neck. Apparently the amount of effusion will make the vein pulse in some particular way. Finally, as they take the blood pressure, they listen for some sound or count the beats between sounds that will give them a clue about how bad the effusion is. Sorry, I wish I remembered better.

Most cases of pericarditis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or even a short treatment with prednisone. My case has an autoimmune component so I have taken prednisone since November and had tried Imuran to try to get off the steroids without success. I just started Methotrexate to see if that will work. So TDW3M8, try to get an ultrasound so you can get some peace of mind. It is better to know what is going on than just let anxiety get the best of you. Good luck.

_____________________________

Colitis since 2013, pericarditis since November 2014

Tried:
Lialda, which put me in remission but unfortunately caused rare renal toxicity
Prednisone, works great for me both for the colitis and pericarditis
Colchicine, not sure is really doing anything for the pericarditis
Imuran, only got to lower prednisone to 10mg, got flare after that
Entivyo, for colitis, just started, so far so good
Methotrexate, well see if it works

Post Edited (Flaming Heart) : 9/26/2015 8:54:39 PM (GMT-6)


pericarditisUK
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2015
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/28/2015 4:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey,

If I'm honest your symptoms sound very different to mine when I had pericarditis. Mine came on suddenly for me and felt like an elephant sat on my chest. I literally was unable to move without extreme pain. Even just being sat still was ridiculous. There was no possible way to sleep with that pain. The initial anti inflammatorys and the eventual steroids have allowed the paid to completely dissipate.

The ECG was able to show the pericarditis. The echo after that could show the effusion on my heart very clearly. I hope whatever you have gets diagnosed and treated as I sounds horrid. I guess being undiagnosed is the worst as until then you cant really work towards fixing it.

Good luck
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