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Old 09-13-2007, 03:57 PM   #1
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Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

Hey Guys,

Long story short - I started having some dull, aching pains over the left side of my chest, right where my heart is. I called my MD but he was closed so I went to the emergency room. This was 6 weeks ago. I've had 4 EKGs, Chest X-Ray, Echo and Stress Echo - everything has come back as "normal". But I'm still having these chest pains.

I don't think I am anxious about anything. It could be anxiety but I'd rather rule out all the medical issues before resorting to "anxiety". My doctor said it could be acid reflux. I think it might be gas pains because I sometimes burp around the time when the pains get the strongest, but not always.

I have been running 2-3 miles every day for the past week, with my heart rate around 155-165bpm. I wouldn't say the pain gets much worse when I exercise as opposed to when I am just sitting at 70bpm. I am 27 yrs old so my doc said this is normal. I don't have any history of heart disease in my family, so I know my risk of coronary desease is statistically low, but I still don't know what the source of the pain is and it's really bothering me.

My friend is a Physical Therapist and said that I could have something known as "thoracic outlet syndrome" but he said I would feel a tingling in my left arm if I had this. I might have had a slight tingling in my left arm a few weeks ago but nothing since then.

So to sum it up, my cardiologist thinks if had any heart problem, I wouldn't be able to run the 2-3 miles per day without significant discomfort (and at worst I only have mild discomfort).

Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? What would you suggest is the next step? Any advice is appreciated - I just want to put this behind me and move on with my life!

 
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Old 09-13-2007, 04:38 PM   #2
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Update: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

A few more things I forgot. When the cardiologist read my echo report, he said "everything looks good". On the actual report, it indicates, "trace mitral regurgitation" and "Trace to mild tricuspid regurgitation". From looking this up, it seems like many people have this and it's nothing to worry about, but I just figured I'd mention it for completeness and accuracy.

Also, it seems when I drink coffee (decaf) or when I lay down, the discomfort might become a bit more frequent. The cardiologist suggested I stay away from caffeine so I've switched from regular coffee to decaf but I still seem to have this discomfort after drinking coffee.

Help!

 
Old 09-14-2007, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

I do not have anything to offer in reference to the chestpains as being related to the heart since I am new in this journey myself but if the doctor thought that it might be related to acid reflux have you thought about seeing a gastroenterologist? I know that I had chest pains several years ago and after being tested every way possible it was determined by the gastro doctor that I had a bleeding ulcer. It mimics chest pains. Perhaps if you are still concerned you could have that checked out just to make sure.

Terry

 
Old 09-14-2007, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

Thanks for your post Terry. Can I ask what your specific symptoms were? My cardiologist also mentioned acid reflux and I'm seeing him again on Monday. I think he's going to suggest I see the gastroenterologist next.

 
Old 09-14-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

Actually the only symptom I really had was this stabbing pain right between my breasts. It was not a burning, but pressure and stabbing pain that went through to my back. I also experienced this with my gall bladder last year. It was almost the same pain. I have been told there are several things that could mimic chest pains. Of course you did the right thing by having it checked out by a cardiologist and it sounds like he/she is doing a good job making sure to completely test you before ruling out your heart.

Good luck!

Terry

 
Old 09-15-2007, 10:43 AM   #6
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

I have both heart disease and acid reflux. It is sometimes hard for me to tell the difference between reflux and the angina I experienced before I had a stent placed.

At your age and with your family history, I seriously doubt it is cardiac in nature. Especially if it is worth after coffee or lying down (both indications for GERD). Get thee to a gastroenterologist is my advice. And in the meantime, try some OTC Zantac and see if that helps.

 
Old 09-15-2007, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

Thanks for the insight Terry. I've read a lot about all the things that chest pain could be when it is in the center of your chest. The thing that concerns me the most is that it's always on the left side of my chest - never the center or the right side. Sometimes it feels like a freezing sensation (maybe others would define this as burning, but it almost feels cold).

Hopefully if there is someone reading this that has had pains always by their heart with symptoms similar to mine, they will let me know what they found out and how they are doing.

I find it very hard to just pretend this doesn't exist and just move on. I keep telling myself that if it were anxiety, I would have other issues/pains other than this same dull ache on the left side of my chest by my heart.

Anyone?

 
Old 12-21-2007, 08:46 AM   #8
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Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

-i would be willing to bet the farm that it is one of the two. Either
1)costoclavicular syndrome/anterior scalene syndrome - TOS components
or
2)hiatal hernia.
--do a little research on these two. both are amongst the leading causes of E-room visits with concerns of heart attack. do you have any gastrointestinal irritation that accompanies the pain. both can cause this. heart palpitations can also occur in both due to the innervation of the vagus nerve(CN10) - it innervates the stomach, diaphragm, colon,(amongst several other anitomical structures) and it passes from the medulla and travels around, down, and anteriorly where it splits between the anterior and medial scalenes. so in the case of ant scalene sysndrome you can have a compression/impaired communication of the vagus nerve to its target organs resulting in palpitations, GI problems, and some studies have enen shown an associated increase in blood pressure. Now with the other case - hiatal hernia the portion of the stomach will protrude through the stomach resulting in excess gas and bloating as well as other GI related issues, well this air that gets cought in the fundus(upper portion of stomach)will "brush up against" if you will the vagus nerve and cause a tickling sensation of the heart because that portion of the gut is putting pressure on(due to structural changes and things being where the should not be) the pericardium which is the space that the heart occupies. not only can this lead to the afformentioned heart abnormalities but a CONSTANT amount of pressure substernally and this IS the leading #1 misdiagnosis and reason for E-room visits all of last year(study didnt discuss extended timelines).
- well there you have it. and like i said i would bet the farm that it is one of the two. look into these extensively and i'm sure you will be relieved that you can atleast start looking at treatment options. good luck!

 
Old 02-15-2008, 01:04 AM   #9
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johnson1111 HB User
Re: Pains in upper left chest (right by the heart)

any luck on finding out your trouble?

 
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