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Old 02-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #1
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Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Hey guys

First, i'm a 22 year old male, and weigh about 115 pounds. I don't smoke or drink. I've had recurring chest pains of varying degrees for about 6 years now. i've already been to the E.R for this multiple times. Sometimes its a dull aching pain, other times its a sharper more acute kind of pain. It normally always originates from the left part of my chest. Some times, this pain is accompanied by pain in my left arm as well.. Other times my left arm will slightly tingle, or feel like its falling asleep. I've told the DR. about these and they insist its inflammation of the chest wall. Does inflammation of the chest wall include pains/tingling feeling in the left arm?

Also, some times the chest pain will originate from me breathing in deeply, but not EVERY time. Some times the pain will increase when I go into a standing position from a bending position. Once again, this does not occur everytime. The pain seems to come and go randomly. The only time I can get the pain to go away "on command" is if i'm doing something that requires my full attention, and it makes me "forget" about the pain.

I've been to the E.R for this multiple times, and the first time they did a blood test and a stress test as well as taking my blood pressure. All was apparently normal. That was about two years ago give or take. This past week i've been having the same pains, but normally they go away throughout the day, so I just ignore the pain since i've all ready been to the E.R and they said everything was fine. But this time the pain has lasted longer then usual (i'm on day 4 now, it was day 2 when I went into the E.R), so I decided to go to the E.R again to check it out. This time they took an E.K.G test, chest X-ray, and checked my blood pressure. Once again they said everything was fine so they sent me home. The dr. suggested that I had inflammation of the chest wall. I'm still in some pain right now, and its been on and off this past week. I figured I would get a second opinion.

Also, today i've been getting the urge to burp. I wonder if this might be related to the chest pains? I burped up a bit of bile today as well, does this indicate anything? I'm going to have a check up with the cardiologist that the e.r doctor referred me to this week just in case, but I thought i'd get a second opinion from you guys as well.

Last edited by Angrylobster; 02-15-2009 at 06:54 PM.

 
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Bump. Can I have some assistance please? The pain is getting slightly worse, and the tingling in my hand is getting more annoying. I still haven't been able to go to the doctor because I need to confirm some stuff with my insurance and I don't have the ability to go back to the e.r. when I was just there a little under a week ago. Does my problem in the first post sound like angina? Is it possible for someone my age to have angina? I'm definitely not over weight so i'm really hoping that isn't the issue.

 
Old 02-17-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Hi Angry,
Obviously there is something undiagnosed here and you are right to follow it up until you are happy with the diagnosis. Telling you what it is NOT is helpful - but there are a hell of a lot of illnesses.
I am surprised your doctor is not keeping up with the testing - most I know are only too happy to tackle a tough problem - it appears they like the challenge. Of course it doesn't hurt their back pockets either!
At 22 it's unlikely to be a common type of heart disease, although the symptoms you describe would fit some with heart disease, maybe a smoker, in their 60's or 70's, and with a poor exercise performance. I can't see how that can apply to you.
If it's heart disease you want to check I would be looking at my family history (parent's illnesses, and age and cause of death, if they are deceased).
One thing they found years ago as an indicator of impending heart disease (in fact the best, better even than an angiogram) was to exercise to your age-related capacity, stop, then look at how QUICKLY your heart rate returns to normal. A slow return to normal identified (indicated) those that subsequently suffered heart attacks or died. They did a 6 year follow-up as I recall. That was work done in 1999. However I doubt that sort of thing would apply to someone so young and fit as you. BUT it would be useful to know if you could easily achieve your age-based peak heart rate (for someone FIT 85% x (220-your age) for 12 minutes). However Angry I must caution you not to try this as you have undiagnosed symptoms and there is a chance - very remote perhaps - that it could be serious! So let's find out what it is FIRST.
Just to finish - first, check your family history, then think about how fit you are. Review exactly what was done and said in the stress test (get hold of the results if you can - stress test results can have all sorts of qualifiers).
I wonder if there is anything lifestyle-related that might be important. Your job activities, and even chairs, sleep position and mattress could be worth changing around. Also some gastrointestinal problems can appear at first like heart problems - so that need to burp could be an important new indicator.
Personally, I would go back to the doctor, making sure he knew about the "burping" and see if that sheds light on it. Failing that I would suggest an appointment with a good physiotherapist.
Hope this helps mate,
Beefy

 
Old 02-18-2009, 07:25 AM   #4
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Angry,
Just to answer your question - I don't think it's got anything to do with angina. Angina is just not possible at your age. Further, based on the times you have been seen at ER, and number of tests you have had, I don't think it's heart-related at all. (Still, check your family history. It may be useful knowledge to have.)
I think the gastrointestinal "burping" needs to be brought to your doctor's attention, and if it's still not a clear diagnosis, then talk to him/her about seeing a physiotherapist.
Others here may have some different ideas to shed light on it.
Cheers, Beefy

 
Old 02-18-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Thanks Beefsteak, you've really helped to set my mind at ease. I used to be a lot more physically active (lots of cardio basically) when the chest pain first started, and it never seemed to increase the symptoms at all. In fact, it seems if i'm doing some type of physical activity it helps the pain go away: i'm not sure if this is because it just takes my mind off of it or what. Once again, Thanks Beef.

 
Old 02-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

It sounds to me like reflux induced by anxiety. You mention that the pain subsides when you are not thinking about it. Are you preoccupied with your symptoms? Anxiety can cause chest tightness, pressure and discomfort. Do you feel pain when you press on the upper part of your chest?

 
Old 02-23-2009, 01:20 AM   #7
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Alright, new symptoms have arised. Now i've been getting a tingling sensation in my jaw as well. I've also had instances where i've had very odd feeling headaches where sometimes it'll feel like water is dripping on my head that isn't actually there. I'm not sure if this is all connected or not

Earlier today I also had pains on the right side of my chest, when I breathed in deeply for an hour or two. That went away on its own. All of these different symptoms are driving me crazy

Last edited by Angrylobster; 02-23-2009 at 01:35 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Hey Angry, I'm a 20 year old male weighing in and around 180. I'm having the exact same symptoms as you, only it started with me about a month ago. It was fairly sharp at first, I'd be sitting in class, mind wandering, and I'd get a pretty sharp pain under my left chest that would freak me out and kind of make me gasp.

A couple of weeks before that I had been having discomfort in my lower left back and I had an x-ray. The x-ray showed that I had possible calcification in my left kidney. I was ordered to have a CT scan and a couple of days before I had it, I started getting these chest pains. Did I have anxiety about this? Yes because for some reason I was afraid something else would show up on the CT scan, I don't know why.

So the night before I had my CT scan I decided enough was enough with this chest pain so I went to the doctor. I don't think I described my situation well enough and he diagnosed me with Acid Reflux after my EKG and x-rays showed up just fine. Well, I took Prilosec OTC for a couple of weeks (knowing that it takes a week or so for it to work), feeling that reflux was definitely what I had. When I had that state of mind, the pain never got back to the intense level that caused me to go to the doctor.

Ok, so I had that CT scan on my kidney and it showed that I had Congenital UPJ and I saw the pictures and the kidney looked really messed up. So I was worried about that, I knew it wasn't life threatening but it still really worried me that it might have to be removed or fixed. The urologist had to run different tests on different days to determine if it was salvageable and in between those days I started getting the chest pain again along with an awareness that I was really high-strung anxious, unable to get that much sleep.

I went back to my doctor that I had been seeing at school (not the one that diagnosed me with acid reflux) and I convinced him and myself that the Prilosec wasn't working and that I believed I was just really anxious because of my kidney problem. I've never been so worried about something for such a long period of time because I usually get healthy quickly. He prescribed me a small dose of xanex, of which I took for only 2 days and I felt less anxious and little (but still lingering) chest pain. I decided to keep taking the Prilosec that I had been previously prescribed because I was burping a little bit more than normal and so I figured, hey... maybe I do have acid reflux. Well, I took it for about 2 weeks and the slight pains kept coming back, only now I also had it in my left shoulder blade and on my left side a little under my arm pit.

I went to my doctor today and told him everything and I included that I had been burping a little more than usual. He ended up diagnosing me with chest wall inflammation and said that they (the health center) see that a lot. He gave me naproxen and I've yet to take it because he wanted me to call my urologist to make sure it was ok for me to take that with my kidney condition. I really hope that it works for me but I realize that anything is possible.

So, as you may have noticed, I received the most severe chest pains when I was most nervous, which led me to believe that it was my heart. I feel like the "inflammation" of the chest wall though (if that indeed is what it is) has been caused by my anxiety. I have never had any serious health problems and when the kidney problem cropped up, so did this chest pain. Personally, I don't think it is my heart. I feel like having this pain causes me to be more anxious, making it an endless cycle of anxiety.

6 years is certainly a long time to have that and I hope you find an answer soon. It really is nice to know that you aren't alone either, I hope you feel the same.

Let me know how you're doing and what your doctor visits result in. I'll do the same. We may very well have different problems but the symptoms seem to me to be very very much alike. If anyone has any questions (or answers) let me know.

Nick

edit: I don't have jaw tingling or a feeling of water dripping off my head as you do, but I'm having new symptoms everyday. Oh also, I have no family history of heart problems.

Last edited by nick31; 03-05-2009 at 05:42 PM.

 
Old 03-05-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

i'm right there with you. i first went to the doc almost 4 years ago for chest pain. had a ekg, stress test, echo...all well, told i had chest wall pain and put on steroid pack and anti-inflammatory..back and forth to gp for next 6 months until i made my own appt with cardiologist, echo, nuclear stress test, 64slice ct, perfect,,,went to gi doc and had light put down my throat, gerd and a small hernia nothing that should cause pain he said. i had already been on protonix for 2years. i went to pulmonary specialist, lung scan and asthma test, all good....neurologist-all good..
all that was over 2 years ago. my chest still hurts on and off. i've started keeping a journal of what i was doing, what i ate, stress level..me and gp cant find any related thing. she done a blood test tuesday for rheumatory, called today and it was good. my index finger and thumb are numb right now and inside of arm is stinging.
good luck, i hope they find it for you, it is a great and my only cause of anxiety, i've tried to accept it as nerve damage or gerd related, i am confident in the fact its not my heart, until it starts really bothering me and then you couldn't beat it in my head that i'm not having a heart attack..

 
Old 03-11-2009, 11:54 AM   #10
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

I have aortic insufficiency and a thoratic anuerysm. I started having chest pains...tingling in my arm and fingers. Thought it was my ticker giving out. Well, my heart had gotten worse, but they weren't quite sure about the chest pains...the anuerysm would cause gosh aweful sharp or tearing pains and the valve should make me feel breathless. Well, I started taking prevacid for on unrelated problem, nausea. And my chest pains went away!! It might have been esophagial (sp?) pain. You might want to try prevacid...it can't hurt.

 
Old 11-11-2009, 02:10 AM   #11
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Smile Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

I have over 40 years of cardeology experience, so I know what I'm talking about here. I see a lot of bad information getting posted on these boards. You can believe what I'm saying. There are telltale signs and symptoms of heart problems. If you die, it's a heart problem. If you live, it was probably something else. All you have to do is wait a while and see if you die. Then you can go to the doctor for some heart medicine.

 
Old 11-11-2009, 10:15 PM   #12
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

Quote:
Originally Posted by happyperson View Post
I have over 40 years of cardeology experience, so I know what I'm talking about here. I see a lot of bad information getting posted on these boards. You can believe what I'm saying. There are telltale signs and symptoms of heart problems. If you die, it's a heart problem. If you live, it was probably something else. All you have to do is wait a while and see if you die. Then you can go to the doctor for some heart medicine.
I just got an e-mail that someone responded to this thread and it reminded me that I hadn't given yall an update. It was completely stress, ive been chest pain free for over 3 months now. I was just as convinced as the other guy that I was having a fatal heart problem. You just gotta stop thinking about it and and stop stressing. I suggest not to drink caffeine for awhile for those of you with chest pains still. Hope you guys are all doing well.

 
Old 04-23-2010, 08:04 AM   #13
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Re: Chest pain, numbness/pain in left arm and feeling that I need to burp

hi angry my name is peter and i have the same problem as you how you going with it mate let me no please we might be able to help eachother cheers

 
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