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  • sharp chest pain, heartburn, nausea, digestion problems

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    Old 11-01-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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    sharp chest pain, heartburn, nausea, digestion problems

    Hello! This is my first time posting. I am unsure if this is even where I should be. I am a 26 year old female, 125 pounds, non smoker, moderate drinker. In early June I went to sleep with what I would describe as extreme heartburn. I woke up with a sharp stabbing pain in my chest, right below my left breast that shot through to the back. I also had an odd tingling/pain in my left arm. I was reluctant to think that it was a heart problem, but went to the ER anyway. I had an EKG, Chest Xray, and blood work done. They decided it was just anxiety.

    Well the chest pain has been there since that day. Five months! Here is a list of all my symptoms:

    Since June...
    *Sharp chest pain that feels like a knife is going through just below my left breast to my back. Sometimes it is more of a pressure than a pain, but it is there 70% of the day, gets worse when I eat or sit for long periods of time. It does not hurt if I press the area and it does not respond to antacids
    *PVCs usually when I eat a large meal or drink alcohol
    *Pain/tingling that radiates from that chest pain to the left arm and left leg. Also sometimes includes the left abdomen, ribs and pelvis
    *Constant left ear ache
    *Tingling in my left cheek
    *Very itchy throat and roof of mouth
    *Slight Breathlessness when doing simple tasks
    *Fast heart rate doing simple tasks
    *lost 15-20 pounds. Was 135-138lbs in May. Went down to 120 during the summer, back up to 125 since the beginning of Sept.

    Since late August...
    *A lot of undigested food in stool, also sometimes very green or very light
    *Dizziness when I stand up
    *EXTREME Restless legs, constantly feels like ants are crawling all over my legs
    *Slight blurred vision
    *Trouble concentrating
    *Nausea, no throwing up
    *forehead pressure

    I have seen so many doctors and specialists. Here are the tests I have done. All have come back normal unless otherwise specified
    Holter Monitor (PVCs)
    Brain MRI (hypersensitivity in right external capsule "nothing to worry about")
    Thoracic spine MRI
    Abdominal CT
    Chest Xray
    Upper endoscopy
    Kidney, Liver, Pancreas tests
    Autoimmune test showed slight ANA abnormality but further tests were negative
    Ferrtin (low at 24, just started taking Iron supplement)

    I was put on Nexium in July for 8 weeks because it was assumed that this was all heartburn. The Nexium made things worse. I could not eat for weeks, had trouble swallowing, undigested food. I then got the endoscopy because they thought it could be an ulcer. Nothing was found. I stopped taking the Nexium in late August.

    My questions:
    1. If PPIs and antacids don't work to suppress the pain, and my upper endoscopy was normal, does this mean the pain can't be from heartburn?
    2. Can Nexium cause low iron stores in just 8 weeks?
    3. Can PVCs be triggered by eating or drinking?
    4. Any ideas as to where this pain is coming from?
    5. I know digestive issues can cause pain in the left arm, but can it cause it in the left leg too?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am only 26 and can barely make it through an 8 hour work day without feeling like death. I sleep 10-12 hours a day. I just feel so terrible and I am spending SOOO much money.

    Current Medications: TriNessa (oral contraceptive) Iron, B12
    I also traveled to Peru within the last year where I ate and drank local a lot of weird things. I sometimes wonder if I ate something there that made me have these issues.

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    Old 11-02-2013, 04:14 PM   #2
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    Re: sharp chest pain, heartburn, nausea, digestion problems

    Jay, I wonder if you actually saw or have the results of all your tests. Sometimes there are subtle clues that get glossed over and never mentioned that could be meaningful. Since your ANA was the only abnormality in all these tests, it might be worthwhile to pursue that a little further. It would be helpful to get pancreatic enzymes checked, as inflammation of pancreas can cause left sided pain, made worse by eating and alcohol. This would be a lipase and amylase. Has anyone checked your spleen, also on left side for enlargement? Is any of the chest pain brought on by taking a deep breath? I would start by getting copies of all your test results including xrays, MRI etc and carefully look them over for clues. You can always get help here with that if you need. Generally anything outside the normal range or borderline may be significant. What if anything, runs in your family? Were your thyroid antibodies checked or just hormone levels? Did any of this start before your trip to Peru? Sorry for all the ???. You may have more than one thing going on, and with so many symptoms, it is hard to sort out without a little more information.

    Old 11-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #3
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    Power on HB User
    I concur with Ladybug you should never have a test done without getting a copy for yourself Dr will overlook things plus if you have all the test when you goto a different Dr you will have all you results with you. Also the more you can educate yourself the more you can help the Drs I am currently having ULQ pain that started as a 2 min episode while driving home of intense burning stabbing pain in the area and has been there as a low grade on and off pain ever since had a upper endo and colonoscopy within the last 3 month with no results the investigation continues.i to have a lot of the same issue as you mention I am currently on omeprazole 20 mg twice a day it keeps it just in check I currently am in what I call a good spell for a couple of weeks but they seem to never last I was also told that from a recent blood test that maybe I had a touch of pancreatitus but another dr said my levels were not high enough although from the blood work I am on the very high side of the amylase and lipase result I was told that they would be 3 times that if it was pancreatitus so I ask could this be early signs of issues they don't know I have more upcoming test but the abdominal ultrasound came back normal with no enlargement of any organs.

    Good luck I would suggest trying supplements since taking a few recently things have been much better for me
    Tumeric twice a day
    ashwagandha once a day
    Ginger root extract 3 times a day
    My Dr has ok. Me to take them but believes they will not help so far so good fingers crossed

    Old 11-04-2013, 06:00 PM   #4
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    Jay13 HB User
    Re: sharp chest pain, heartburn, nausea, digestion problems

    Thanks for the great advice! I will definitely spend some time this week getting copies of all of my results and looking them over. I did have a copy of the abdominal CT scan. The spleen and pancreas were normal. The only abnormal thing I see is the kidneys: mildly prominent right extrarenal pelvis. From what I have read, this is nothing to be concerned about, but I will read more about that. My chest pain does not hurt more when taking in a deep breath.

    As for the pancreas blood work:
    Lipase Level 17 Unit/L (11 - 82)
    Serum Amylase 30 Unit/L (29 - 103)

    It is funny that you ask about my family history and thyroid mom just had her thyroid completely removed on Friday! Both my parents have thyroid problems. My dad is hyper and my mom was hyper and then severely hypo. Her thyroid was a hot mess. That and diabetes (grandma/grandpa) run in the family. Here were my results:

    6/6/2013 16:43 Free T4 1.0 ng/dL (0.7 - 1.5)
    6/6/2013 16:43 TSH - 3rd Generation 0.94 uIU/ML (0.40 - 4.00)

    What are the other thyroid tests I should possibly look into?

    Other noteworthy results from my blood work:
    Sedimentation Rate (L) 1 mm/Hour (2 - 25)
    Bilirubin - Total (H) 1.1 mg/dL (0.0 - 1.0)
    Alkaline Phosphatase (L) 28 Unit/L (34 - 104)

    I have a referral to a rheumatologist. I will definitely go there and have them further investigate the ANA. Thanks!

    Power On, I will look into those supplements and see if any help. thanks and I hope your good spell lasts!

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    movielover40 (11-05-2013)
    Old 11-05-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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    Re: sharp chest pain, heartburn, nausea, digestion problems

    Your Mom's story sounds like autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's disease) which is often hereditary. It can cause a + ANA as well. I would ask to get antithyroid antibodies (anti-TPO and anti-TG) run on blood, which your PCP could do.

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