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Old 04-13-2010, 04:02 AM   #1
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back pain and left arm pain/ heart??

45 year old woman 131 lbs 5 foot 4 inches
non smoker, very active, work out and run several times a week
mother 65 years old, history of heart disease but she's a heavy smoker, overweight with diabetes type 2 and hemochromatosis. No history of heart disease on father side
I suffer from chronic upper back pain due to my profession but recently suffered from much worst pain. I don't know if it's associated to my back worsening (impossible to see this on xrays, muscular problem) or from sports, or I'm worried about it being my heart. I've also felt some pain in my left upper arm once associated with the back pain, which lasted minutes, and another time a slight jaw pain.
I sometime get chest pains but these are always (that I can think) with gas, so I am almost certain that they are acid or gas of some sort, I usually am very gassy at the time.
Not sure if I should worry about this being my heart or not. NEVER feel pain while running or anything, not out of breath, not weak during any of the episodes.

I appreciate your help

 
Old 04-14-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Re: back pain and left arm pain/ heart??

Any chest/left arm/jaw pain is considered cardiac until proven otherwise. Always get it worked up and be safe rather than sorry. If your workup is negative it's very possible you have reflux or GERD causing the pain.

With your mother's hemochromatosis diagnosis, have you ever been worked up for iron overload yourself? You have a 25% risk of being affected. It's a very good idea to have the right iron screening done and watched over time if you haven't already.

 
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:54 PM   #3
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Re: back pain and left arm pain/ heart??

I don't know if I've had a special test for hemochromatosis but I have mentioned it to my doctor in the past. I've had regular blood test screening. When I gave blood last fall, I was borderline for iron, more on the anemic side. If I had hemochromatosis wouldn't it be the other way around?

 
Old 04-16-2010, 05:46 PM   #4
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Re: back pain and left arm pain/ heart??

You have to get the right testing done. Just a hemoglobin that most blood banks do won't pick up iron overload and you can actually have low hemoglobin and high iron. It's just a good idea to get screened if you've got a family history. Ask your doc for a ferritin, TIBC, Serum iron, and transferrin saturation to get a better idea of your iron status and get copies of your labs to make sure you aren't being overlooked (most doctors are pretty clueless about this unfortunately).

 
Old 04-17-2010, 04:06 AM   #5
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Re: back pain and left arm pain/ heart??

Thanks for the help
I'll put in a request to get this done and I'll tell my doctor about the back/chest pains.
These have been investigated in the past but it's been well over 6 years.

 
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