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Old 01-05-2005, 02:14 PM   #1
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heike65 HB User
chest pains

For the last 4 days I've had sharp pains in my upper back and chest that almost take my breath away. They last for a second or two, and come and to for anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. I had such a sharp pain in my back it actually woke me from sleep, which scared the heck out of me. Today out of the blue I had a sharp pain on my right side of my right breast, close to the front of my underarm. Once again I had trouble catching my breath. I went to the ER about 6 weeks ago for some stabbing back pain/shortness of breath. After a normal EKG and chest X-ray, the doctor said it was not necessary to do further exploratory tests, but as usual, wasn't able to tell me the cause of my pain. My regular doctor says it's my stomach, but I'm failing to see how my stomach can affect the pain radiating from my shoulders and upper back. I'm 39yo female, 5'2", 150lbs. No exercise, non-smoker, drink 2-3 wines per day (could alcohol use be messing up my heart?). I'm convinced I have underlying heart problems and the doctors are missing something. It's like I'm always anticipating a heart attack, constantly telling myself "Oh no, this is it!". What should I do now?

 
Old 01-05-2005, 06:26 PM   #2
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Re: chest pains

My ekg was normal also, but my stress test was not .. I then had a cardio cath where they found a blockage, I had an angioplast and stent placement... I am 34 ... Get a second opinion....

 
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Old 01-06-2005, 05:16 AM   #3
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: chest pains

heike,

Don't worry; it's probably nothing but an inflamed muscle or tendon in your chest wall resulting from just one wrong stretch or lift.
Heart pain isn't usually stabbing (more like squeezing/crushing/burning) and rarely is felt in the back. The telltale sign of chest wall pain is the pain involved with a full breath, whereas the heart makes problems known with SHORTNESS of breath on exertion.

The "stomach" diagnoses is a bit off the wall but the gall bladder has a tendency to refer pain to the shoulder (I forget which one)...but that's only a slim possility.

Last edited by Lenin; 01-06-2005 at 06:09 AM.

 
Old 01-06-2005, 02:17 PM   #4
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NineLives HB User
Re: chest pains

Heike

I would seek a second opinion. My EKG and stress tests have always been normal and I have had a stent and emergency heart bypass. Even the nuclear scan was normal. I was 41 and I was also told that it was my stomach. After repeated trips to the ER they finally after 6 weeks decided to do a cath which showed 75% blockage at the top of the LAD. It needed to be taken care of immediately.
My pain at first was sharp quick pain and involved the chest, shoulder, and back. As it progressed it became more crushing and would occur often at rest. The disease presents itself differently in females. What are your risk factors such as family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, low HDL, high trigs? I seriously doubt that alcohol is the cause of your pain, but it can raise your triglycerides so get checked out.

 
Old 01-08-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: chest pains

Quote:
Originally Posted by heike65
For the last 4 days I've had sharp pains in my upper back and chest that almost take my breath away. They last for a second or two, and come and to for anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. I had such a sharp pain in my back it actually woke me from sleep, which scared the heck out of me. Today out of the blue I had a sharp pain on my right side of my right breast, close to the front of my underarm. Once again I had trouble catching my breath. I went to the ER about 6 weeks ago for some stabbing back pain/shortness of breath. After a normal EKG and chest X-ray, the doctor said it was not necessary to do further exploratory tests, but as usual, wasn't able to tell me the cause of my pain. My regular doctor says it's my stomach, but I'm failing to see how my stomach can affect the pain radiating from my shoulders and upper back. I'm 39yo female, 5'2", 150lbs. No exercise, non-smoker, drink 2-3 wines per day (could alcohol use be messing up my heart?). I'm convinced I have underlying heart problems and the doctors are missing something. It's like I'm always anticipating a heart attack, constantly telling myself "Oh no, this is it!". What should I do now?
I dont want to scare you, But please get a second opinion.
I had chest pain for over 3 months, and I kept going to the doctor, after about the 4th time she gave me a ekg and again said it was in my head and she tryed to give me zannax. She kept telling me I was to young (40) to worry about my heart after the last time of me seeing her 1 month.......Guess what I had a heart attack and I blame her for it, She could have helped prevent it but she refused to listen to me and because we always trust our doctors I believed her when she kept saying it was gas, heartburn, ect..... Damn I wish I had got another opinion

Last edited by SternFan; 01-08-2005 at 12:01 PM.

 
Old 01-14-2005, 05:24 PM   #6
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Re: chest pains

"What are your risk factors such as family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, low HDL, high trigs?"

No diabetes or major heart problems in my family (exceptions: my grandmother died of stroke at age 76, my father has high bp). My bp is normal-low, normal cholesterol, no diabetes, not sure about my trigs count. My bloodwork is always normal, but my platelet count is slightly elevated, but for the past 10 years, every doctor I have went to (about 5 or 6) has said not to worry about that. Can that be causing a blockage? About 10 years ago I went to a cardiologist (I was 29 at the time), I did the treadmill and he looked at my heart with the ultrasound. I also wore a heart moniter for a week. He said my heart was operating as normal, etc. Can my health deteriorate in 10 years to the point that I might now have heart problems? Maybe I now have a blockage that is newly developed? Are blockages caused by high cholesterol? Oftentimes I feel chest pressure, then let out a big burp. That makes me think it's just indigestion. But then again, my anxiety makes me obsess it might be something more. I have gone to 2 doctors (plus my ob/gyn- not her specialty, I know, but...) about this problem, and all say it's not my heart. But it's stories like yours that they might be missing something which turned out to be heart problems that gets me worked up. I'm scared, so who should I go to next. A heart specialist?

 
Old 01-15-2005, 06:26 AM   #7
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NineLives HB User
Re: chest pains

Things can change in 10 years, but the burp relieving the pressure in the chest would indicate to me also that it's not the heart. Your gyno is not the one to see for these sorts of problems though. I would suggest your primary care physician. I would rule out gastrointestinal problems.

 
Old 01-18-2005, 03:45 PM   #8
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heike65 HB User
Re: chest pains

So if my bloodwork, ekg, chest x-ray, and blood pressure are all "normal" and my ch-hdl ratio is low (I think it was 3.3), what sort of heart disorder might I have? Can I have still have blocked arteries? I've still been having chest pains, but also I've been burping alot, which alleviates the pressure. Should I go to a heart specialist, or back to my gen. practitioner, whom I'm quite positive he will take more bloodwork, ekg, and it will (hopefully!) come back "normal", and will tell me, once again, it's my stomach/anxiety.

 
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