A few questions on chest pain

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Chris711
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 5/15/2007 5:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
 
I went to my doctor a little while ago with chest pains. He said it was non cardiac and probably acid reflux. I'm an otherwise healthy, active 24 year old and I've had blood tests and an ECG Part of a routine 'work' medical, so anything more serious seems unlikely, but recently I've been worrying about the pain a bit more. Wonder if people can address a few points. Are these normal?.....
 
1) It happens predominantly when I'm stood up - was told by a friend acid reflux would only affect you lying down. This doesn't sound correct to me, but thought I'd check!!
 
2) It happens frequently and not necesarily soon after food
 
3) The 'pain' is usually fairly mild discomfort, although it does sometimes come on stronger. What worries me is the position - usually off to the left hand side, about 2/3rds way up my sternum. Exactly the spot the films lead you to believe people clutch during a heart attack! I do get discomfort on the right hand side, but this is far less frequent.
 
I haveve also had other GERD symptoms like an acidic feeling, tickly throat or a swollen feeling in my throat. What's strange is they seem to alternate - one is the predominant symptom for a few weeks, then they dissapear for a bit or swap over! I also seem to be having more bowel movments.
 
Recently I've been having pains in my arms, again principally my left. These come and go in one place at a time (these don't pulse down my arm or anything) and aren't specifically linked to the chest pain. I think they're orthopedic to be honest, but they're a bit worrying when you also have persistent chest pain on your mind!!
 
Logically I shouldn't be worrying - as well as my age and an OK from the doctor I'm a keen mountain biker and several times a week I put my body through the sort of think that would probably kill someone with a genuine heart condition. I don't experience any more pain at these times, if anything it eases when I do excercise.
 
Sorry, excuse me waffling on - I'm just a bit anxious and in need of reassurnace  sad   

Justine
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 5/15/2007 4:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you been checked for GERD? Maybe that would be something to follow up with. There are many other sources of chest pain besides GERD and those of cardiac origin interestingly enough. Sounds like more assessment is needed.

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 6/7/2007 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
This is odd to me, because I am dealing with the exact same symptoms. I though, am a 26 year old female. But I too have been having the same issues. It is scary, and annoying, and frustrating.

I wish I could offer you some answers, but I can't, seeing as I am looking for some myself. I figured I'd just welcome you to the board...I am new too, and say Hang in there...I hope you are able to figure out what the problem is, and I hope I can too!

Best wishes to you!

Abos
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/8/2007 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Same here. 8 months ongoing chest pain that generally gets worse at night (sometime dull presence of pain in the middle, sometime bad pain on either left of right side).
At times pain is severely interfering with my life. EDG showed an inflammed esophagus, hiatal hernia, and mild gastritis.
Removed gallbladder three weekes ago due to gallstones + HIDA scan showed underfunctioning gallbladder (too early to say how much gallbaldder was influencing GERD).
Using Prevacid twice a day and nothing seems to be helping. So, hang in there and we'll hopefully get to the bottom of this.
 
 

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 6/8/2007 2:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I hope we can get to the bottom of this. THis is a horrible thing to be living with. It is uncomfortable, and a bit freaky at times. It is also ANNOYING! Ugh. I wish life could go back to what it was before I started feeling this way....

:(

Motherly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/28/2007 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chris711, I too get pains in the left side of my chest.  I've had 3 stress tests, stress echo's etc. and have been told it is not my heart so that's a relief.  I really believe that it's a digestive thing going on.  I find that when my bowel movements change (don't mean to get personal but...) like constipated, then I get that pain all the way up in the left side of my chest.  I don't know where the connection is and the Dr's look at me funny but I swear they have something to do with each other.  Would love to hear from anyone else who have experienced the same thing.  Anyway, hope you're feeling better.  Angela

Val1203
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/3/2007 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   

New to the board and fairly desparate to find out anything since my doctors seem unconcerned, but I too have chest pain (dominant symptom).  I've had both my family doctor and gastroenterologist tell me they don't think it's cardiac in nature, but since I'm "effectively being treated for the GERD" (that was from the gastro doc), it must be something other than GERD.  Sometimes I have the 'typical' GERD burning in the middle of my chest; sometimes more of an annoying discomfort to the right or left side of my chest.  I'm taking 40 mgs of Protonix daily (since the 1st of March) ... some improvement but not complete.  I seem to have some level of discomfort / pain on almost a daily basis and it's much worse when I lie down ... explaining why I'm up in the middle of the night reading about GERD.  I only sleep (1) when I've reached the point of absolute exhaustion or (2) when I've taken Xanax, and only then when the pain isn't bad enough to cause me to panic badly.  I've had a gallbladder ultrasound and HIDA scan, so we know my gallbladder is is working order; my gastroenterologists doesn't feel an upper GI or EGD is necessary because I had one 3 years ago and it revealed gastritis which was alleviated by 2 months of Pepcid.  I've had a recent resting EKG (in the ER when I was convinced I was having a heart attack); everything cardiac-related looked good except for a few skipped beats which the ER doc said was 'fairly normal'.  I have noticed that neither food of any kind nor activity of any kind bring on the pain / discomfort immediately, but brisk walking or some foods will cause the pain later.  I also have some left arm ache - not pain - and it doesn't radiate from anywhere.  It is sometimes in conjunction with the chest pain and sometimes not.  It feels like it's muscular.   Before the Protonix, episodes would typically end with me doubled over from chest and abdominal pain and a bout of diarrhea.  Now the pain is confined almost completely to my chest; diahhrea isn't such an issue, but like others that I've read on this board, I sometimes have relief from a BM.  Not to be gross (but I know it is ... sorry), but that only happens when it's a particularly 'cleansing' (i.e., large in volumne, not size of stool) and follows a couple or three days of constipation. 

I know I'm taking a lot of time and space here, but I find it somewhat encouraging that at least some other folks have the same or similar symptoms and they don't seem to be cardiac related.  I've become afraid to exercise for fear of bringing on a heart attack and, as a matter of fact, am being treated for generalized anxiety disorder, which seemed to begin with my health concerns around this chest pain which, by the way, sometimes seems to go through to my back.  After I eat anything other than a small meal, I get a 'full up to my throat' feeling and often feel as if I haven't quite swallowed the last bit of food.  It's sometimes hard to take a really deep breath right after a meal.  I have discovered, not surprisingly, that the more I stress over the pain, the worse it gets so I use every mind-calming exercise I've ever heard of, and then add chemical assistance (1/2 .5 mg Xanax) if nothng else works.  Sometimes I have to repeat the Xanax in a few hours but usually I will become calm enough to relax and sleep.  Tonight being one of the exceptions. 

Anyway, thanks for listening (reading) and if anyone has any suggestions ... I'm more than happy to hear them.  I'll try to make my next posting less of a novella.  :-)


Motherly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 7/3/2007 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Val123, I know how frightening it must be to think that your symptoms are heart related but you have to trust your Dr.'s.  Don't stop living because you're worried about having a heart attack.  Take care of yourself, eat right, stay at a decent weight, don't smoke etc.  But don't stop working out because you think you might have aheart attack.  Sometimes you have to leave the decisions to the man upstairs.  You went to the Dr. and got a clean bill of health, leave it at that.  We're all going to die of something sooner or later so LIVE now!!  Don't worry, be happy.  I can say this to you now because for 10 years I was treated for stress and anxiety disorders because I kept getting this funny feeling in my chest and throat and chest pains, etc.  Which put me into constant panic which led to panic attacks which led to me changing my lifestyle to accomodate my attacks, which meant I didn't do anything strenuous etc.  Well after 10 years, I went to a cardiologist who diagnosed me with PVC's.  Premature ventricular contractions, or, an extra beat.  Kind of sounds like what your Dr. heard.  This is nothing that is "going to take us out", as my Dr. put it!  So now, after wasting all those years, I am off Xanax and I work out, and do a ton of strenous things!  (And I haven't had a heart attack) Hope this helps you.  Please write anytime, sometimes it makes you feel better to know you are not alone.  Angela 

TroubledTummy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 7/3/2007 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes the medication makes you worse, not better.  I was on Prevacid for about 8 weeks, for the first month I thought I had found th miracle that I had been looking for, then about week 5 everything went down......I was having chest pains, jaw pain and arm pain just as though I was having a heart attack all of the time, every day and night...It as awful!  I went off of the Prevacid and have started trying to manage my GERD in different ways (not always successful, but at least not with some medication that makes me sick) and have had very few bouts like the ones I had on the drugs...  I too had the anxiety and sleepless nights and it made everything worse.  Remember that anxiety makes your GERD 10 times worse.
I have been reading alot about warm water or chamomile tea mixed with honey as relief so I am going to try that next.
 
Take Care of you!!!
Good Luck!
TT

Motherly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 7/3/2007 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi TT, I have a lot of digestive problems myself.  I have an RX for Prevacid but don't take it faithfully.  Want I want I want to ask you is, do any tea's bother you?  I love tea but they really mess up my system.  I don't know what it is, it's not that I get a stomach ache or pains or anything in particular but my whole digestive systems gets upset.  Someone said that Chamomile is missing an ingredient that all the other teas have that might be upsetting me.  Have you heard of this?  Thanks, Angela

TroubledTummy
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 7/3/2007 10:17 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Angela...I am a total tea drinker both hot and iced.  When my reflux really started to get bad back in March I had to stop drinking tea and I thought I was going to die....  I find that for me it is mostly the brand of tea that I cannot tolerate(Lipton kills me, but I do okay with most of the China Mist varieties).  I always water down my tea, I find that strong tea is worse on my stomach.  Also, decaf/herbal tea do not bother me quite as bad.  I can tell by the first drink if it is going to bother me.  I don't have too much problem with green tea either.

I have not had a problem with the chamomile with honey, not to say that I won't...with me it depends on the day of the week and the time of the day as to what is going to bother me...something will be fine today, and tomorrow it will kill me...I sure wish I understood this whole darn disease.

Be careful with that Prevacid..it really scares me. 

Best of Luck to you!!!

Take Care of You...

TT

 


Val1203
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/5/2007 2:29 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks, Angela and TT for your encouraging words.  It means a lot to know that I'm not crazy (over-reacting maybe, but not crazy) :-) to react with some degree of anxiety over chest pain, even though logically I KNOW it's digestive-related.  Angela, I'm going to try to take your words of wisdom to heart; and today, spent a few hours walking a local flower garden and taking a ton of pictures.  My symptoms weren't necessarily any less bothersome, but I did manage to continue on without a lot of thought to what was going on inside my body and focused on the sensory experience instead. 

On the subject of tea ... I have found that green tea with honey (hot or cold) works pretty well for me, as long as I stick with the decaf.  I'm going to try the chamomille next.  Also, white tea - again decaf - isn't too upsetting to my digestive balance

Thanks again for the support.  I'm hoping I can pass it along some time. 

Val

 

 

 

 

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