pain in the left chest at the back

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vgintx
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/29/2007 3:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I have GERD and a lot of muscle aches and pains, so it's natural for me to think of one of those when I have pain.  I had been moving heavy boxes a couple of days ago, and drinking carbonated drinks because I was hot.  When I got a sudden sharp pain in the left middle ribs, at the back, my first thought was muscle pain, then I thought I shouldn't have had the carbonated drinks.  However, my muscle pains are usually dull continuous aches.  Since Monday I've had intermittent stabbing pain, seems to be unrelated to position, always at the back, mid ribs.  The first pains were quite severe, but it seems to be lessening in intensity.
 
I am a 57 year old female, 50 pounds overweight, and had a cardiology workup for chest pain last summer that was good - normal stress test, normal EKG and blood tests, echo revealing only mitral valve prolapse, cause of pain at that time determined to be GERD.  However, this pain is different than anything I've ever felt before, both in the type of pain and the location.  I have been sweating a lot here lately, but it's been hot.   I'm taking my GERD medicine, BP medicine, and aspirin, to try to cover all the bases.  Trying to figure out if I need to go to the doctor.  Hate to go because (1) of the expense (2) I just started new job and hate to miss work and (3) docs tend to blow me off, just blame everything on the GERD.

Chemist54
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/29/2007 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I would get checked out at the ER just to be safe. 

faldlou
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 8/29/2007 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   

Any chest pain that increases with exertion is usually never GERS, if you are getting the pain only during exertion it could be serious cardiac Ischemic. This is what happen to me,  I thought I had  reflux, but after I told my doctor that the only time I get the pain was when I was exercising ,and it stop when I rested, at that point he knew  it was a cardiac issues and order up a cardiac stress test.


vgintx
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/29/2007 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Well, thanks - that is somewhat reassuring, because it doesn't increase with exertion.  Sometimes it happens when I am lying down or just sitting, or driving home from work.  I actually didn't have any pain for several hours today, but then it happened again on the way home.  Thanks for your post.

els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/30/2007 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi vgintx, welcome to healing well, we are very happy to have you join us here.  It is difficult to say what is going on but I would make an appointment to get checked.  Never let any kind of chest pain go without having it checked out by a doctor.  Granted you need to follow a good diet and I am sure you also know exercise is important too.  But you dont know what is going on in your body so be sure to follow up on it.

I have an extensive family history of heart problems and was checked myself when I was 21 for possible problems.  Everything came back clean...no wonder huh? I was just a kid.  Well, 2 years ago at the age of 31 I got a pacemaker for bradycardia...very slow heart rate (it was beating in the 20's).  Funny how when that happened they found several differant structure problems with my heart. 

So any chest pain go to the ER or get an appointment with your doctor.  It is very important


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


vgintx
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/31/2007 5:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm not going to the ER, because it's been so long now, but I guess I could go to my primary. I hate going there and paying money because every time I've been for the last few years they say it's GERD. Allergies and post nasal drip? They say it is GERD. Backache? They say GERD. Can't sleep? They say it is GERD. Lost my voice, can't sing? They say it is GERD. I think I could break a leg and they would find some way to blame it on the GERD.

vgintx
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/1/2007 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Of course I've thought about the fact that I need to lose weight and exercise. I was once normal size and very, very, active, running, taking dance classes, gardening, doing a physical job for 11 and 12 hours a day at the Post Office. Painful back, knee, and heel joints forced me to radically cut back on exercise at age 37 and change to a clerical job. I gained most of the weight in the following year. By the time I realized what was happening and began to decrease my intake I was able to stop the increase, but have never been able to reverse the changes.

I've tried many, many food plans, but my stomach HURTS when I get hungry. I've never found a plan that actually allows me to lose weight without this problem. Of course I gave up coffee and diet soda when I found out I had GERD, and I eat less than I want at every meal and stay just on the edge of painful hunger, but those extra pounds have been on for almost 20 years, and my metabolism is slower with age, so it seems rather hopeless.

The only exercise my body allows me to do without injury is water exercise, which at the current time I am unable to afford. Even stationary bicycling hurts my knees. The doctors say that my weight is not bad enough for bypass surgery, my knees are not bad enough for surgery, my back is not bad enough for surgery. It leaves me in a difficult in-between place - too unfit for most forms of exercise, not unfit enough for surgical correction that would allow me to be more active.

When I see people jogging I always wonder if they, too, are doing harm to their bones and muscles in order to make their heart strong. The fact is, when someone who is very active has to cut back on exercise the result is often not good. I've become a firm believer that young people should be discouraged from being extremely active, so that they will be able to continue moderate exercise throughout their life.

I didn't mean to get on a rant but I do get tired of people assuming that overweight people aren't making any effort to improve their lot. Some of us have been borderline hungry for decades, just to keep from gaining any more.

at wit's end
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 565
   Posted 9/8/2007 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I know how you feel vgintx. I too thought I was having heart problems back in February of this year. Have on and off bouts of tightening in the chest. Pain in my back. I was diagnosed with acid reflux. Although I never have had a endoscope to actually verify the diagnose. However, I am on Protonix 40mg once a day. I had an episode back two weeks ago. We had just gone on vacation to the gulf coast. We went to Bellingrath Gardens on Saturday morning before going over to the beach house. I did totally fine walking throughout Bellingrath Gardens. We then proceeded to go to Battleship Park to visit the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship and the U.S.S. Drum submarine. We got a Dr. Pepper out of a vending machine prior to going on the battleship. That was a mistake for me. Not long after drinking that, I have been avoiding soft drinks. And coffee due to reflux. Well, needless to say we had to climb level after level of steps in the naval ship to get to the top deck. My chest was tightening up more and more the higher and higher we climbed. It took me two days to get over that. But the rest of the time at the beach, we took two walks a day, with me having no chest discomfort whatsover. We have walked twice since we got back from vacation, and I have had no pain upon exertion. But the short walk I just did up into the hot attic to bring down some clothes has me out of breath and I am sweating. But it is hot up there. But I had a full heart workup back in February, I was kept overnight in the ER hooked to a heart monitor, had blood drawn about 4 times overnight, had several EKGS overnight, had a stress test the next morning early, no pain upon exercising, and then had to have some kind of heart scan where I laid really still on this table while this machine slowly rotated across my entire chest taking pictures of the front of my heart. Then when I was done on the front, I had to lay on my stomach and they did the same on my back, taking pictures of the back wall of my heart. Everything looked fine. And I exercise regularly, eat fairly well, am only about 13 pounds overweight for my age and size. I get tight chested when having stress and anxiety. And when I have reflux, I can hear and feel gurgling in the middle part of my chest. But since I had the dizzy spell the other night I am worried more. But I think my inner ear is full of fluid. I can tilt my head sideways and I get dizzy. I hope this is all it is. I am not wishing anything bad health wise on myself.

vgintx
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/9/2007 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, at wit's end, that is a lot of symptoms you are having.  I take Aciphex and have had good luck with it.  I also have what I have always thought was sinus/allergy problems, with some nasal symptoms but a LOT of "stopped-up" ear feelings, and have been on chronic antihistamines and decongestants for years, but now I am told that even this may be due to the GERD.  I've been told this by several docs now, so I'm going to try to wean myself off of the 5 prn sinus meds I've been on and just follow my strict GERD diet and take my GERD medicine.  I'm told that t's possible that all the stuff they had me on for "allergies" has been aggravating my GERD situation. 
 
This is pretty low-tech, but one thing that helps my "stopped-up" ears is blowing hot air on them with the hand-held hair dryer.  Also, I've had friends suggest it, but after even an allergist suggested it I've finally learned to use the nasal saline wash (I use Neil brand, but you can make your own if you use the right kind of salt).  If I am successful at weaning myself off of sinus meds I will still do the saline sinus wash each day.  I have a lot of hair and I'm told that hair acts like a dust mop and attracts pollen and dust during the day, then when you lie down at night it gets all on your pillow.  The solution, if you don't want to wash your hair every day, is the saline wash in the morning, to get all that junk out of your nose.  
 
Good luck with that ear.  My right ear and the right side of my throat have been bothering me for over 20 years, and I've had all kinds of tests which rule out infection but don't tell me the cause of the discomfort.  The idea that it could come from the GERD is new to me.  If anyone else knows anything about this, I'd like to have their input.  Thanks for your post.
 
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