| | Spasm of Esophogus?
Hi, everyone. I'm a 31-year-old male (overweight, but losing weight methodically through Weight Watchers) and have never had a reason to see a doctor...until now, I fear. As of May of this year, I weighed in at 290lbs with a height of 6'1". I'm down to 260 due to changing the way I eat and through occasional exercise (2-3 days per week I ride my bike for 30+ minutes).
One month ago, I began experiencing what I thought were heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats. It feels like a rapid fluttering right in the center of my chest with no other immediate symptoms other than an occasional urge to cough immediately afterwards. After about a week of this happening 1-2 times per day, I also began experiencing chest pain, sometimes on the left, other times on the right, and other times right at my sternum. It never lasts for more than a couple of seconds and again, no other symptoms. I took my BP a couple of times per day for several days and it remained quite normal for me (slightly high overall at 135/85). Another symptom that happens occasionally is what I've heard called "air hunger," where I can still take a deep breath, but feel like I have shortness of breath. I never experienced ANY of these symptoms when excercising...only while I'm sitting at work or laying on the couch at home.
How does this apply to Digestive Disorders? Well, I talked it over with my Dad, who suffers from GERD (and a hiatial hernia (sp?) and, knowing that I have an appointment scheduled with a doctor for mid-September, he suggested I try taking otc Zantac for a few days to see if it helped. I stopped at the grocery store on my way home and bought my first ever package of Zantac 75. Took one when I got home and continued taking one every 12 hours for 2-3 days and, whaddya know? My symptoms basically went away! Fluttering decreased in intensity and frequency, chest pain disappeared and shortness of breath only happens 1-2 times per week.
Thinking I'd test it out just to make sure this wasn't coincidence, I stopped taking the Zantac earlier this week and again, whaddya know? My fluttering kicked in again today, I had a quick sharp pain in my chest and the shortness of breath returned, none of which occurred simultaneously. I'm going back on the Zantac and will talk it over with the Doc next month.
Based on all this, do you think it's worth moving up my Dr appt to earlier if possible, or am I probably safe in assuming it's gastro-related, not heart? Are there other things I can be doing in the next couple of weeks pre-doctor visit to alleviate my dependence on Zantac to stop the fluttering, which I assume is my esophogus spasming?
I get so much from reading these boards...thanks in advance for any insight you can give me!