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Old 12-11-2007, 02:05 PM   #1
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Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

I have for at least 2 years now had chest pain, been to the cardiologist had ekg's, echo and stress test about a year and a half ago. Tried to tell myself it is not my heart but all the pain is really causing me to have a hard time believing. My most recent thing is arm pain, in both arms about 2 inches above my elbows up to my shoulders this has been going on for about a week and a half, just wondering would this go on this long without acutally being my heart.
I guess more info would help, Dr seems to think I have reflux, but the medication really hasn't helped a lot. I am 36 years old,female, and I do smoke. Any one with any kind of answer would be much appreciated. I am tierd of being in constant fear of having a heart attack.

Last edited by ryleetn; 12-11-2007 at 02:21 PM. Reason: adding

 
Old 12-11-2007, 04:02 PM   #2
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleetn View Post
I have for at least 2 years now had chest pain, been to the cardiologist had ekg's, echo and stress test about a year and a half ago. Tried to tell myself it is not my heart but all the pain is really causing me to have a hard time believing. My most recent thing is arm pain, in both arms about 2 inches above my elbows up to my shoulders this has been going on for about a week and a half, just wondering would this go on this long without acutally being my heart.
I guess more info would help, Dr seems to think I have reflux, but the medication really hasn't helped a lot. I am 36 years old,female, and I do smoke. Any one with any kind of answer would be much appreciated. I am tierd of being in constant fear of having a heart attack.
I had congested heart failure due ischemia going on 4 years.

Heart failure happens from a heart attack (can be silent without pain) and happens due to insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle, or viral muscle damage. Lack of blood/oxygen kills heart cells/tissue and the heart loses its strength to contract effectively causing low cardiac output.
Heart related pain can be as you describe, but almost always the pain happens with exertion and goes away with rest. Then may advance to pain with or without exertion...I don't believe you are there!

I doubt very much that you have a heart problem as you would/should also have shortness of breath and muscle fatigue after such a long period of time if symptoms were heart related.

Last edited by started04; 12-11-2007 at 04:09 PM.

 
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

I have had a heart attack, but it was the classic or Hollywood type, and I am a man. Many women experience a different set of symptoms. I don't know that I have ever heard of a man or woman experiencing pain in their right arm. It doesn't matter what I know or have heard though. Angina or CP is a really different type of pain.

Many women have vague symptoms of generally feeling ill, and can have nausea, along with discomfort in their left arm, jaw, shoulder or back. They do not necessarily have the dull but burning angina, that radiates out from the heart, up the jaw and down the left arm as I did.

Listen to your body. Many times it will try to warn us of an impending heart attack. If you suspect that you are having a heart attack, the AMA suggest chewing 2 adult aspirins and dialing 911.

Remember, back/spinal chord injuries can cause strange feelings to occur anywhere in our bodies. Poor blood circulation to nerves can cause their destruction and a condition known as peripheral neuropathy (PN).

Left lower arm pain alone, can be a sign of stroke usually in the elderly.

Good luck to you.

 
Old 12-11-2007, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

Thanks for the replies, I have been reading on this board and the acid reflux board and you can have exactly the same symptoms with reflux as a heart attack so how in the world do you decide? I literally have pains almost everyday, and do not want to camp out in the ER, especially the one here the typical wait time is about 3 hours, I am going to hope for the best I guess.

Last edited by ryleetn; 12-11-2007 at 09:28 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 12-12-2007, 05:06 AM   #5
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

Just FYI, there are tests that can rule out reflux and medications to treat. I would mention this to my PCP and see if it warrants looking into at this time. I take a tablet everyday for excessive acid production that can help with the epigastric type pain often mimicking heart attack pain. Be on the safe side and get it checked. It will give you some sense of security if you know for sure that the GI pain is the culprit. Good luck to you.

 
Old 12-12-2007, 08:27 AM   #6
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

To distinquish angina pectoris from reflux, there is almost always immediate relief with a nitro tablet or patch when pain is heart related.

Nitro immediately dilates coronary arteries and vessels providing more oxygenated blood to deficit sites. Ask the doc for a sample.

...additionally, for those with angina pectoris, any change in the frequency, duration, or intensity of the attacks, or symptoms that don't respond to nitro see the doctor immediately.

Last edited by started04; 12-12-2007 at 08:55 AM.

 
Old 12-14-2007, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

the nitro will help an attack of reflux also. it helps the heart right away, but the reflux takes longer. one way to tell. my cardio and GI have both told me to use nitro.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

I totally agree with Goldy. Rule out GERD simply by taking Zantac, otc or another good medicine for reflux. If you think it is necessary, get a prescription for one of the proton pump inhibitors, such as prilosec or nexium.

Most people with heart disease, or who have had a heart attack, have figured out that the very first thing that they need to do is get total control of GERD or acid reflux disease. It is a matter of life or death. I have taken prilosec for years, long before my heart attack and never had acid reflux.

My grandfather and many more people have been found clutching Rolaids or Tums, after a fatal heart attack. My aunt sat around for 4 hours taking antacids when she had a blood clot moving toward her heart. If she had gone to the ER, she would probably still be alive, due to clot busting medicines like Tenecteplase. She had had surgery 2 weeks before the blood clot.

I have heard that fast acting nitro could also help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, but I find it very strange that a gastroenteroligist would prescribe fast acting nitro for acid reflux.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

My GI didn't prescribe it for reflux. He knew I had it for my heart and told me to take it. One way to rule out a heart attack. The ER docs also use it to help rule out heart attacks.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 09:32 AM   #10
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

Sorry, I didn't mean "prescribe" it as in write a prescription. I should have suggested "using" it. I still don't think it is a good way at all to distinguish angina from an acid reflux event. I have had more than my share of angina. It has kept me from dying. It is a warning of an impending heart attack sometimes. It was for me, and has been for many.

The "fast acting nitro dosing protocol" would be totally interfered with, if you expected the nitro to take longer to help reflux symptoms compared to angina.

Fast acting nitro dosing protocol:

"At the first sign of chest pain, 1 tablet should be dissolved under the tongue or inside the cheek. You may repeat the dose every 5 minutes until the pain is relieved. If your pain continues after you have taken 3 tablets in a 15-minute period, notify your doctor or seek medical attention immediately.

 
Old 12-15-2007, 09:41 AM   #11
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

Hey Huck, I know what you mean. It's not a drug to use lightly. Two times I used it for "relux" for what I thought was a heart problem was in restaurants. Severe chest pain, sweating, nausea. It helped slightly so I knew it wasn't my heart ... But, it wasn't reflux for me either time either. My very expensive heart valve causes me to bleed. Wait, the docs say it shreds my red blood cells, something like that. It's all confusing for me, but I now have iron defiecient anemia. I get blood transfusions on a regular basis. Apparently it's more common than people know. I certainly didn't know about it before. Anyways....

Nitro shouldn't be used lightly, but it's a good diagnostic tool also.

 
Old 12-16-2007, 07:23 AM   #12
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

I have had a low RBC count since May. I assumed it was from low iron and have been taking iron supplements. I have not had my ferritin checked, like I should have. I am due a new blood test soon.

I also have pernicious anemia (low B-12). I think the cause is the PPIs like nexium that I take. They prevent breakdown of B-12 in your stomach, due to the lower acidity, and subsequent absorption of B-12 in the small intestine. So, I have to take B-12 injections. What a difference they make!

 
Old 12-16-2007, 07:51 AM   #13
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Re: Question for anyone who has ever had a heart attack or know you have a condition.

You guys sound like you went to medical school! My hemaglobin was down to 6 when I went in for my first cath, so they couldn't do it. Various reasons were given for it being so low. The consences was my heart valve was leaking slowly or I had a GI bleed. I've been scoped up/down/sideways and back again. I had the pill camera that you swallow. Nothing was found that would cause the bleed. Minor stuff is all. All I really know is that if it's red blood, it comes from colon... if it's old stuff, it comes from stomach or small intestine.

So, a year later, after a couple more bleeds and many transfusions of blood and infusions of iron, I have the surgery.

About 2 months later when I was getting ready for cardio rehab I had a major bleed. I had a 12 hemaglobin on wednesday. By saturday, it was down to 8 and going lower even while I was in the hospital. The GI says "why do they keep sending you to me"? It's not GI, it's your heart. I love this man. As it turns out, no one really knows... but they think it is a combo of my heart and small intestine.

This is way too long I'm sure.

For those of you who have the surgery, a couple of the side effects are depression and memory loss. I don't remember anything of my surgery or the next few weeks except that I hurt some. The friends who took care of me know more than I do.

hugs to all,
Mary

 
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