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Old 08-02-2004, 03:22 AM   #1
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Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

Moved to West Africa last week and my symptoms have got worse. The chest and throat pressure are unbarable and my pulse seems to be even faster. My partner keeps telling me that it's just anxiety but I can't stop worrying that it's caused by some serious heart problem.

Before I came here I had numerous tests - ecg, x-ray, stress test, echo, 24hr ecg, blood tests etc and several doctors including two well respected speciaists told me that my heart was fine, but I can't help thinking that they're wrong(how can anxiety make me feel soooo ill). I'm only 26, and I can't remember what it feels like to be well - these symptoms have taken over my life. Also, beta blockers seem to ease the chest pressure and shortness of breath which makes me think that it must be heart disease.

I know I'm not alone in this, but how do you all cope??? I think I'm really coming to the end of my rope.

Last edited by Soodle; 08-02-2004 at 03:23 AM.

 
Old 08-02-2004, 04:12 AM   #2
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Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

Hey Soodle, you poor thing. It must be horrible.

You've got to believe your doctors though.
Here's the thing - you felt pain, not normal, got it THOROUGHLY checked. You did the exact right thing and you should let yourself feel good for that, it's a lot to put yourself through too - all those tests are highly stressful. So feel good that you put your body first. You need to tell yourself it IS anxiety. I began having it at 26 as well, I'm now 31. Also my partner had the chest pains too. They are horrible I know.

I believe that beta blockers slow the heart down or relax you (I could be wrong) but that's probably why they make you feel better. Hopefully somebody on this wonderful board can enlighten you here more than I can.

Go get some chiro or osteo work done. WHY - I think it could help. My eldest brother got really sick a few weeks ago, and he had really bad chest pain that spread to his arm. He went to Docs very frightened, and it turns out that 3 of his ribs were misaligned. An osteopath fixed them, and although his ribs are still a bit sore, he's heaps better.
Hang in there, and try not to worry, if it was something bad, it would have shown in the numerous tests you had done.

 
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

The beta blockers are supposed to relax you. Maybe you need a higher dosage. I know that a person is usually started on a low dose and it can be raised.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 12:50 AM   #4
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Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

I take 75mg of Atenenol when I need it (which is most days) and this seems to have a slight affect on my chest tightness and shortness of breath. Does anyone else have shortness of breath which is not linked to hyperventilation? I get coinstantly short of breath (particularly after a large meal) but I'm not hyperventilating - at least not that I know of. The chets tightness also seems worse after a meal but not exclusively (sometimes it comes on when I'm sat at my desk).

All the best to you all.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 03:55 AM   #5
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Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

The shortness of breath is so common. Because it seems to happen to you sitting down then perhaps it really is muscle or bone related. Try the osteopath, you never know. It could do wonders.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 06:06 AM   #6
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Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

I take Atenolol for my panic attacks, its subtle hyperventilaton syndrome we have during the anxiety period, that we aren't aware of, its not the full blown, you know your hyperventilating. Also the atenolol works by blocking some of the adrenaline surges that causes the rapid heart beat. I still can get some rapid ones, but the bpm are no where near the numbers I was getting in my attacks.

You might want to check into GERD related anxiety since you experience it after a big meal, your symptoms are magnified, its quite common with anxiety/panic. Try eating lighter meals, as the digestion process causes by nature for our bodies to work harder during this process.

 
Old 09-02-2004, 03:42 PM   #7
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weight39 HB User
Re: Chest symptoms worse than ever - terrified

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soodle
I take 75mg of Atenenol when I need it (which is most days) and this seems to have a slight affect on my chest tightness and shortness of breath. Does anyone else have shortness of breath which is not linked to hyperventilation? I get coinstantly short of breath (particularly after a large meal) but I'm not hyperventilating - at least not that I know of. The chets tightness also seems worse after a meal but not exclusively (sometimes it comes on when I'm sat at my desk).

All the best to you all.
You may have reflux. I'm 29 and have suffered from chest pain for about 8 years or so. I'd get chest pain, often minor, throughout the day. However, the real severe attacks would come in the evening. ....after dinner.

Now when I had my first really severe, "I think I'm having a heart attack", attack was a few years ago. I went to the dr. Had the tests: blood work, ekg, chest x-ray, echocardiogram and a 24hr test where they monitor your heartbeat via a holter monitor. All these came back negative, of course. This put my mind at ease, greatly. The years that followed would find me having an occasional attack. I'd just suffer through it, knowing it would pass.

This past February, I had another. This time I really freaked out. Went to the dr.. ...ordered an upper gi series to test for reflux. Yep, I have "slight reflux". This test, of course, has opened the anxiety floodgates. Sadly, I haven't been the same since. This summer's been filled w/ worry.

So, my, bad advice, is to assume it's reflux. Since you've had the major tests performed. And if you have no history of family heart disease, chances are it's not your heart.

Here's a thread you may find informative, scroll down to post #16: http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=47495&highlight=reflux
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