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Old 02-14-2006, 03:20 PM   #1
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Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Hi All,
I am at a loss - and at square one again - I really thought this cardiologist would help me find an answer to my ill health - I've had SOB since Oct 2005 and Jan 17 had a "attack" that had all the symptoms of a heart attack - but could have been an anxiety attack (lasted for 4 hrs - didn't go to the ER)....I've had constant chest pain and shortness of breath for the last 2 weeks or so....it's worse at night - sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, nausea with chest pain and SOB....the pain radiates to the left of center at times and even into my upper back.....I had an echo in Nov that was "basically normal" and a stress test last week that I was told today was "normal" and that the cardioloist does not think it's my heart....he said to go back to the PCP and look into GI causes (yes I have acid reflux but it is well treated with aciphex) or pulmonary causes - had a PFT showing slight asthma in Nov....I am at my wits end....I'm tired of the chest pain and I cannot even walk around the block without getting dizzy and having chest pain...therefore I cannot exercise and have gained lots of weight (I used to exercise regularly up to last October when the SOB started - I also was not overweight when it started). He doesn't recommend a heart cath at this time until other possible causes are ruled out. My PCP is a family practice doc and while I have great respect for him - he put me on 80 mg of lasix a day last nov and I almost had a heart attack from that because my potassium got so low!! So I feel like I need a specialist....My life is no way to live -I sit in this chair and have SOB and chest pain just sitting here - I don't feel up to doing anything including chores or shopping or helping my Dad....I feel like I'm going to fade away and die in this chair.....and no one will ever know what was wrong with me....I am a shell of what I was....sorry for going on and on - I am just so discouraged - I've had everything - colonscopy, upper and lower GIs, EGD, CT and MRI scans of chest and neck, ultrasounds of neck, blood tests of all kinds, PFT, Echocardiogram, dysphagiogram etc...etc...I am just tired....do you guys know what I mean? I used to be a person who hiked 17 miles at a time, weighed 117 lbs my whole life and was active and productive at a full-time research job....now I cannot hardly move from this chair - I weigh 175 lbs and it's all I can do to try to do some work from the laptop in this chair (my boss has been more than understanding). This all started about 3 years ago....I've had high cholesterol for 10 years....I have a reasonably well treated thyroid condition....have thyroid nodules - that are currently quite small and not making problems.....I take BCP and 150 mcgs of synthroid - could either of these be causing the SOB? I also take 50 mg of atenolol and was on that when I had the event of Jan 17.....If you've read this far, I thank you!! I don't know where to turn - I feel like giving up and just dying in this chair.....I'm sick of no answers....I've been sick for three years and tried to keep my chin up - but I am so tired of it all now...

Thank you for listening - thank you for telling me if you have felt the same and thank you for any expertise you might be able to share with me on my condition.....I am sorry this is so long and full of self-pity! I am just so discouraged....

Best wishes to you all,
Kathy

 
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:04 PM   #2
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Re: Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Ask for an angiogram. You may have to be forceful and say look I believe this may be my heart. It sounds like it's the only test that hasn't been done. I'm telling you from experience that normal stress tests even with myoview are not always correct. I've had a stent and bypass. My artery was 75% blocked before the stent. It got to 97% when the stent failed. I never had a stress test indicate a problem and I could go at a very fast pace without any chest pain or shortness of breath. You will not be able to get on with your life until you rule out heart blockage, Just my opinion. Be persistent. Tell your doctor that you are afraid you are going to have a massive heart attack because you think the tests are missing something. I remember telling them that I was afraid they were going to send me home and I was going to die. They finally listened and did a cath.

 
Old 02-14-2006, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Thanks heartcreature - you are the one who also had blockage at 41 right? I'm 41 and I actually had SOB, extreme dizziness and chest tightness DURING the stress test...I also could only go 6 minutes after which I almost passed out - things went black and I sort of remember them saying in through the nose out through the mouth....what exactly do they mean it was normal?? Is that how most people respond to a stress test at my age??

I am not good at being persistent - especially when I am depressed about all the health problems and tests.....That's how I feel - that they will say everything is normal and I am going to die - The only tests that weren't normal were the thyroid ultrasound and the chest CT - They found a small mass in the anterior mediastinum which they finally decided was residual thymus...After a 3 month follow-up CT they decided it hadn't changed in size and so I should forget about it....There was no pericardial infusion shown....It could also be ectopic thyroid tissue which might swell when my thyroid gland does - but no one seems interested in this untrained theory of mine.....I will try to do as you suggest...thank you very much for your reply and support - I really appreciate it!
Hope you are doing well now....
Best wishes,
Kathy

 
Old 02-14-2006, 04:56 PM   #4
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Re: Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxKathy2
... I've had SOB since Oct 2005 and Jan 17 had a "attack" that had all the symptoms of a heart attack - ... I've had constant chest pain and shortness of breath for the last 2 weeks or so....it's worse at night - sometimes wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, nausea with chest pain and SOB....the pain radiates to the left of center at times and even into my upper back... slight asthma in Nov.... I cannot even walk around the block without getting dizzy and having chest pain ... I sit in this chair and have SOB and chest pain just sitting here - I don't feel up to doing anything including chores or shopping or helping my Dad ... now I cannot hardly move from this chair - I weigh 175 lbs ... I've had high cholesterol for 10 years ... I'm sick of no answers...
You could be Insulin Resistant, a very common ailment which is getting a lot of attention lately. To research Insulin Resistance, lookup either Metabolic Syndrome, Syndrome X or Insulin Resistance.

Do you know your average blood pressure during the morning, afternoon and at night?
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
Old 02-14-2006, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Hi Beerzoids,
Would the glucose tolerance test (GTT) have showed insulin resistance? I had that too - had so many tests I forget them.....My BP is pretty well controlled by the atenolol - it's low in the mornings: 117/70s-80s, a little higher in afternoons 126/85 - sometimes late at night when it's time for the next dose of atenolol it can get a little high 140/90.....last spring it ran high for quite a while without treatment....
Thanks for your suggestions - I'll look into insulin resistance - my endocrinologist talked about metabolic syndrome for awhile and then let it go.....
Thanks again so much!
Kathy

 
Old 02-14-2006, 05:45 PM   #6
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Re: Stress test normal and ongoing chest pains (long)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxKathy2
Hi Beerzoids,
Would the glucose tolerance test (GTT) have showed insulin resistance? I had that too - had so many tests I forget them.....
The glucose tolerance test is used to detect Insulin Resistance but if the pancreas is still putting out sufficient amounts of insulin to maintain near normal blood glucose levels, the test will be inconclusive.

Insulin Resistance can start at a young age. It can be hereditary and/or caused by a diet too high in calories. When we consume a large meal, especially one with significant calories, the pancreas goes into overdrive to produce enough insulin to regulate the blood glucose. The body doesn't like large amounts of insulin, so, over time, the body's cells start becoming immune to insulin. As that happens people suffer from a range of symptoms, which get worse as the Insulin Resistance gets worse, and finally results in Diabetes Type II.

Quote:
My BP is pretty well controlled by the atenolol - it's low in the mornings: 117/70s-80s, a little higher in afternoons 126/85 - sometimes late at night when it's time for the next dose of atenolol it can get a little high 140/90.....last spring it ran high for quite a while without treatment....
I'm glad to see that your blood pressure is under control. It's good for you to monitor it. It's one important test that we patients can do for ourselves!

Quote:
Thanks for your suggestions - I'll look into insulin resistance - my endocrinologist talked about metabolic syndrome for awhile and then let it go.....
Thanks again so much!
Kathy
Good luck with finding out answers to your symptoms and health problems. If it is Insulin Resistance, at least it is one ailment that can be completely turned around through a diet of low calories and small, frequent portions.

Regards..... take care.
__________________
CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Diabetes, Asthma doing great

⇒ Avoid allergic & non-allergic irritants/triggers
⇒ Low calorie ovo-vegetarian diet
⇒ Power walk, weight lifts, pushups
⇒ Coreg 25mg bid

 
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