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  • Possible angina?

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    Old 08-05-2014, 10:44 PM   #1
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    notheroic HB User
    Possible angina?

    To preface this post, I am 30 years old. I weigh about 200 lbs and am 5'7. My cholesterol numbers are not good, but not supposed to be out of the spectrum bad either, Trigs a borderline high at 195 mg/dl, total cholestrol at around 250 mg/dl. So overall, I don't have the greatest profile in the world. Anyways, I've been suffering with what I would see as alarming symptoms in my body. It doesn't seem to particularly have that stable angina pattern, but as I know anxiety really quite well, it DOES not appear to be that either. My symptoms are as follows.

    - Tight chest, more so on left side, sometimes feels like grabbing
    - Pain beneath the sternum, also feels very full
    - Pain on the top of the chest wall, I guess more to the side or neck. Alternates back and forth between right and left.
    - Dizziness and inability to really pull off anything physical I have been able to for at least a month.
    - Heart feels like it's slinging around, as if it were a big fat ball junking around in my chest, feels unnatural, and unstable.
    - Chest pain that comes and goes, mostly mild, but the pain isn't what alarms me, it's the feeling of faintness, dizziness and etc that comes along with it. I stress again, at this time I have no ANXIETY like feeling or panic feeling. My system feels calm itself, but my heart does not feel right..
    - Heart races but not SUPER fast, but it feels uncomfortable, and it's not due to me feeling anxious. Fatigue is heavy.
    -Pain in my wrists which usually is very achy. Happens more often then not, and was the first symptom I have had. Seems to connect to the chest, referred.

    I'm pretty convinced with everything going on, and due to the fact that it isn't getting better at all but very much WORSE, that I have a blockage or several going on in my heart. But seeing as I'm only 30, Doctors have a tendency not to take me at all seriously. And where I live, I'm pretty sure I'd have to go to the city to get an angiogram to know for sure if I was okay. And any doctor I've talked to was even dismissive of giving me a stress test, attributing whatever I was feeling just to pure anxiety and the like.

    I know you can't offer me medical advice, and I mean, I know you can't tell me what things are going on, I just want to know based by experiences you've had with angina yourselves, is this something that sounds familiar?

    Should I be really pushing for more testing?

    Last edited by notheroic; 08-05-2014 at 10:50 PM.

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    Old 08-05-2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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    notheroic HB User
    Re: Possible angina?

    I should also point out that I've tried taking medication for GERD, and have taken medication for anxiety with no effect. I see minimal change. Negative completely outweighs the minor positives.

    Old 09-12-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
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    Voxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB UserVoxx976 HB User
    Re: Possible angina?

    It sounds to me most like hypervigillantism but remember the criteria for stable angina: a pain or burn in the chest, neck, jaw or left arm that comes on with exertion and quickly goes away with rest (like 5 minutes.)

    Best homespun diagnostic tool is to get on a treadmill and go to 80% of maximum heart rate for 10-15 minutes and see if that brings on the pain. If it does, then stop and sit comfortably for 5 minutes and see if the pain stops.
    Basically that describes a poor man's stress test.

    If it DOES bring on pain that goes away with rest, see a cardiologist and insist on a nuclear stress test.

    Last edited by Voxx976; 09-12-2014 at 10:52 AM.

    Old 09-14-2014, 12:53 AM   #4
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    Re: Possible angina?

    I don't think I'd recommend someone with chest pain trying to do a self-stress test.

    That said, I think anxiety can be very insidious. As a sufferer myself, especially health anxiety, I can say that it doesn't *feel* like Im anxious either. I've had the exact same symptoms as you and for me it is anxiety. I figured that out from believing that they weren't caused by heart issues and then having them go away over an extended period of time. I believed that because, multiple, highly recommended, cardiologists did several tests to rule out cardiac issues, including stress-echoes and testing with nitroglycerin. It is a common misconception that anxiety symptoms will just disappear immediately once the inducing stimulus is removed. It's another misconception that anxiety medication will just immediately address the symptoms as well. For me, most symptoms still remained although often some of the worst symptoms (like swallowing difficulty) were eased by taking anxiety medication.

    On the other hand you do have at least 2 risk factors for cardiovascular issues. My suggestion is to self-refer or get a referral to a cardiologist. Calmly tell him the major symptoms you are feeling and also make sure he is aware that you have elevated cholesterol, and BMI. If you don't come off as anxious, I would think he would take you seriously even though you're only 30.

    Without a family history of early cardiac issues (which you didn't mention), I think it's not likely your symptoms are indicative of something serious. I think a follow-up with a good cardiologist can't hurt, however, and will lead to some answers. If those answers point toward anxiety there are many medications to try that may have a better side/effect reward profile than those you've tried. CBT is also extremely useful in dealing with the problem. Remember that it takes time to address the underlying issues that lead to anxiety symptoms.

    I hope that you get the answers you need to feel healthy again. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    Old 02-05-2016, 10:38 PM   #5
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    Beezer81 HB User
    Re: Possible angina?

    I'm wondering if this post is still active? I'm also wondering if my symptoms sound similar to anyone else.
    -constant chest pain that started Nov 2014. Went away after several weeks.
    -sporadic episodes of dull/heavy chest pain that would be constant for a few weeks then go for weeks. Running made it worse but I could just switch to something with less impact and it wouldn't be as bad. No other symptoms.
    -chest pain returned September past as dull across chest. Exercising did not make it worse. By end of September it was more left side sharp stabbing and was horrible to lie down. I literally had to sleep upright for a week. It was constabt chest pain. Not made worse by breathing or coughing and not painful to touch. Tender sternum but not painful. Had left arm pain that went into hand and middle and ring finger. Was fatigued, short of breath but no fever.
    -it backed off a bit mid oct to mid nov and if only feel it reaching or turning a certain way or when I got really upset and slammed the door.
    -mid Dec it came back but was more central- mid sternum. Dull/burning sensation. Was worse bending over and when if initially lie on my side.
    -now it's still the same dull almost always there mid sternum discomfort with occasional quick pains radiating sternum to throat (lasting a second or 2) sometimes I get a quick pain or cramp under my left Breast and sometimes pain moves over more so on the right. I've had upper back pain, pain in arms, etc. in the last 2 weeks I've had 2 occasions of having left arm pain whilst walking up 2 flights of stairs. Pain did not last 2-3 minutes either time. The last one I didn't rest I got up the stairs and continued to walk and it went away after 1-2 minutes. No other symptoms.

    I am 34
    Endurance athlete
    Never smoked
    Grandfather had first heart attack at 64. No one else in immediate family has any issues at all.
    BP 100/73
    Resting heart rate 61BPM
    Lipid panel excellent

    I've had a cardiac MRI with contrast, 2 EST's, an echo, 4 chest X-rays, a 24 halter Monitor and about 20 ECG's. Endoscopy. All normal.

    Can anyone relate to any of this?

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