Posted 8/15/2005 12:28 PM (GMT -7)
I have bloating, some chest pain, and lots of fluttering in the chest. The fluttering is the most irritating part of it all. Here's my story:
I am male. I drink occasionally. I am a quitting smoker of about four years. I just turned 29 years old. I have never done illegal drugs.
In May, I started waking up with chest pain and tons of fluttering.
One day, under a decent amount of stress, while driving, I felt like I was having a heart attack. I just happened to be near a hospital, so my wife and I pulled in, and went to the ER. They treated me like I was having a heart attack, just in case, even though my vitals were normal (120/75 bp, normal EKG).
In the ER room, they gave me a nitroglycerine pill. That made me feel *horrible*. Vomiting, cold sweats, and significant drop in blood pressure. The nurses said that was a sign that I was probably *not* having a heart attack.
The ER doctor tested the blood they took during triage for all kinds of stuff. Blood sugar, cardiac and pulmonary enzymes, etc. He also did a chest x-ray which showed that I had some slight bronchitis (at the time, I was a 1 pack/day smoker).
At the end of the evening, he said, "I don't know what's wrong with you, but it's not your heart. Quit smoking and go see a GP".
Two days later, I ended up in the ER again. Same basic story, except they did not treat it like a heart attack.
So, I went to my GP. She said she thought I had GERD, gave me Nexium (40mg/day), but sent me to a cardiologist just in case.
The cardiologist did a stress test, and a cardiac ultrasound. Both were negative for any abnormalities. He also told me to quit smoking.
After a while on the Nexium, I was doing better, but started having stomach pain right below my ribcage on the left side, and a bit in my side and back. This ended up being constipation from the Nexium side effects. Just to rule out any bigger problems, an abdominal ultrasound was done, which was negative for any problems.
Since being on a proton pump inhibitor, I have been very constipated, and have had a *ton* of discomfort due to gas.
I next decided I was done feeling like crap. I went to my doctor to have her refer me to a gastroentrologist. She started me preemptively on 2000mg/day of Amoxicillin, and 1000mg/day of Clarithromicin.
I had a consultation with the GE at the end of July. He said I needed to quit smoking, and possibly get on Zoloft for a possible anxiety disorder. Honestly, the only thing I have any anxiety about at this point is feeling like crap. I don't like drugs, so I'm avoiding the Zoloft currently. At this point, I had cut back to less than 5 cigarettes/day. I also switched to AciPhex (20mg, twice/day).
I had an Endoscopy on Augsust 1st. I have a 2cm hiatal hernia, as well as some slight erosion at the LES. I also have moderate to severe gastritis in my stomach (the picture is just a big red blotch). Also, my biopsies and blood tests showed no anemia or H. Pylori. At this point, I cut back to AciPhex 20mg/day.
On my return visit to the GE to discuss my test results (Aug 10th), he said I just need to quit smoking and this will all go away, but I'll probably need to take pepcid AC since I have a hiatal hernia. So, at this point, most days I have no cigarettes, but occasionally, I'm giving in and having 1 or 2. So, I haven't quit, but I'm almost there. Would 1 or 2 in a day really cause this much discomfort?
Currently, I still have fluttering in my chest(It's mostly while I sleep), and get pains in my chest and back that seem to be relieved when I burp. I also get tingling in my hands (mainly the left hand). However, I'm an IT worker, so that may be tendonitis or carpal tunnel. I also get pains in my left arm and shoulder, which, once again could be carpal tunnel. I smoke very little (trying very hard to quit). I drink very little (probably 1 or two whisky and water drinks per week). I've upped my fiber intake, reduced my fat, salt, and fried food intake, and have increased my water intake. I have also eliminated carbonated drinks. I do have occasional iced or hot tea I have lost 20 pounds since this started in May. I am 5' 9" tall, and weigh 156 pounds currently (I have always been a bit thin).
The only other significant stats is that my HCL cholesterol was a bit low (upping fiber and some other things to try to counteract that), and my ALT liver enzyme is a bit high (54, should be 40 or below). All of my other blood tests have been right where they should be.
Does anyone know what the fluttering is? Or are we just all in the dark on this one?
Anyone else have a similar story?