Chest pain, GERD & Nitroglycerin...

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/3/2005 11:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello.  I am new to this board but am sure thankful that it exists.  I will try to make an exceedinly long story short...
about three years ago, (when I was 30), I began experiencing "chest pain/pressure" along with severe shortness of breath.  Sometimes the pain would radiate to the upper back and neck.  My family doctor referred me to a cardiologist who ran all of the tests known to man and found everything to be "negative".  The weird thing was that nitroglycerin worked!!  So, I was sent home with a script for nitro patches.  Later,  I was referred to another specialist because everytime I took my prozac, I would get SEVERE heartburn and a burning coming up the back of the throat.  Tests showed that I had/have acid reflux disease and a small hiatal hernia.  Nothing to get too excited about.
It is now three years later, and things have started to flare up again.  The chest pain is getting more intense and frequent.  I have numbness in my feet and up to the knee on my right hand side.  (This comes and goes).  Sometimes the pain goes into the underside of the left arm and occasionally on the right.  Once again, nitroglycerin works.  I had an ECG done today because I looking to get a referal to the cardiologist again.  However, the ECG was "fine".  My family doctor would rather I see an internist.
I am thirty-three years old, 1/2 a pack a day smoker/occasional drinker.  My blood pressure runs on the extremely low side but my cholestrol is quite high.  The last few days my BP has been around 60/40.  I am exceedingly dizzy and nearly ready to pass out at any given time. 
I am convinced that there is a problem here.  My dad (who is still alive at 64 after suffering 4 heart attacks and a quadruple by pass surgery) experienced his first heart attack at 36. 
Thank you for reading this and please let me know if you have a similar scenario or any advice.  Thank you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 11/4/2005 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW Leanne.  Sorry I can't help you much but I do know that heart problems are sometimes difficult to diagnose in women and it is common to sometimes be diagnosed with GERD when there may be a problem with the heart.  Having both would make it even harder to diagnose I would imagine.  Have you had a heart cathetur done?  From chatting with others on these heart boards it seems like that is the best test for finding problems related to the arteries.  Hopefully some here that have experience similar problems will be along with some better suggestions.  God Bless, Pat

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/4/2005 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much for responding.  Yes, I did have an angiogram done about 3 - 4 years ago.  However, they indicated that everything was OK there.  I'm just wondering as time passes on that the story may be different now.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2003
Total Posts : 525
   Posted 11/6/2005 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
It is so frustrating when we have these pains and can't seem to get diagnosed!  Hopefully the appointment with an Internist will be helpful!  I had a heart cath about 3 years ago also and recently had a strange episode with chest pain and dizziness.  I thought for sure they would do another heart cath but instead they did the nuclear stress test.    The
results were good as far as the heart but I have more faith in the angiogram!  They had no explaination for the chest pains!  sad    Let us know how your doing.  God Bless, Pat

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 216
   Posted 2/22/2006 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Leanne.Did you say that you had a catherization done?If not I would ask the doctor about having one.Thats how they found out I had 5 blockages.I also had quadrupal bypass surgery at age44 after having a heart attack.Im not trying to sccare you, I just think you should have that test to be sure everything is ok. Good Luck to you and keep us posted.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 600
   Posted 2/22/2006 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
:-)  Hi Leanne, some of the things you describe i have also been diagnosed with. the hernia and the gerd. i also have tremedous burnign in my upper back and it usually fluctuates between a 5-6 level of ache but when i went on prozac 6 weeks a go it instantly jumped to a 9-10 level of discomfort so i went off the prozac,  after much discussion with different sources it seems that the stomach problems can show up in your back area. you sound alot like me as far as that problem goes.  i had two stents placed a little over a year ago, and it took an angiogram to find them, noone thought there was anything wrong with me. i had taken a stress test just a year earlier and it showed that i was in 60% better condition than other women in my age group, so you can imagine what i think of those stress tests. that sure was a low blood pressure readign, that would cause dizziness and fainting feelings, also, are you still on the prozac?  my bp got really low 90/60 while i was on it too, supposedly that only happens in 1% of the cases. also could be the culprit for your other pains,  just my opinion, i am no expert, just thought i would share the similarities. be safe 

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 2/23/2006 12:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the HW Leanne; If your concerned i would pursue it. Talk to your DR and tell him you want to see a cardiologist. Be firm with him it's your health thats being disrupted and your dollar paying for it. He should gladly refer you. I'll keep you in my prayers. DELTA

{ Listen to your body talk. } Deltacece

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 3/24/2006 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Leanne,

I went through something very similar.  I am also diabetic.  I had severe chest pains that the doctors all thought were  heart related.  about 7 years ago I went through a thorough cardiac workup and the results were all negative for cardiac problems.  The cardiologist saw acid fluxing during the tests.  Then I had another bout 18 months ago.  Again the cardiac workup showed nothing.  Earlier this month I was again hospitalized for the same symptoms that you've reported.  Again I went through a thorough cardiac workup (Echocardiogram, EKG, Thallium stress, Check for cardiac enzymes, etc.).  I was then referred to and endo doctor who performed an endoscopy.  The endoscopy revealed a hiatal hernia with reflux next to the esophagus and gasitritis.  The endo and the cardiac doctors both agreed that this often mimics cardiac problems.

So--just food for thought, but you might want to see if an endoscopy could help you as well as the cardiac workup.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 3/24/2006 9:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Marburg,  I wanted to welcome you to Healing Well forum and the Cardiovascular Disease Board.  We are glad to have your input and advice.  I was wondering if your symptoms have now been taken care of or if they still return from time to time? 


New Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/22/2011 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Over 25 years ago after several - chest pain radiating from the back to the front - and several visits to the ER, a physician prescribed me a nitro patch for this pain.  It is gerd and a hiatial hernia.  
This pain comes after spicy foods, medicine on an empty stomach and or severe stress. 
I apply the nitro patch, drink a room temp carbonated drink, burp and the pain is gone.  I immediately take off the patch so i will not get the nitro headache. 
This is a miracle.  I too had several tests checking for heart problems.  i have none.
Hope this helps!

potty girl
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 835
   Posted 3/22/2011 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I have heart problems and acid reflux. the nytro does help with the pain of the reflux. my chardio doctor told me it helps relax the esophagus. But with that said some things dont always show on alot of the test. if you want to know if you have blockage get a cardiac cath done. I t saved my life, after they told me It wasnt my heart I had the dr. do cardiac cath and needed a double bypass.
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