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Old 02-11-2003, 08:08 PM   #1
Janette*
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Question What should i do?

I'm just looking for some advice.

About 4 days ago, I started having chest pains.. They would vary; some being sharp pains in the breasts, or general pains that would move up to the shoulder, or pains in the center. I figured something was wrong with my heart, because I've had a history of heart problems (abnormal palpitations a few years back).

So I set up an appointment with my doctor. They gave me an EKG, and it came out completely normal. They told me my heart was perfectly healthy. Then my doctor started pressing down on parts of my chest, and I felt no pain. But when he pressed on my stomach, just under my right rib, it *hurt!* I was very surprised by that.. because I had no pain there before.

He then told me that I had a stomach acid problem. He asked me if I drank soda or ate fast food or spicy foods, to which I replied "no." I eat healthy, and I exercise a few times a week. Well, I guess by simply figuring out there was pain in my stomach (well, it's really pain on and below my right rib) he concluded that I had a stomach acid problem, and prescribed me some heartburn medications. And then he was done with me.

Well, I had never had heartburn before, so I really didn't know if it was supposed to feel like that or not. When I got home, I asked my friend what heartburn was supposed to feel like. He told me it was a "burning" feeling in the chest, and said "you'd know when you have it."

I can tell you that my chest pains were not burning sensations.. Like I said before, they would range from sudden, sharp pains to a general discomfort.

Since I don't believe what I have is heartburn (which is what he diagnosed), i didn't buy the heartburn medicine.

To me, it just seems like he made this up. He barely even looked at me.. I think he just wanted to hurry and send me on my way.

But I don't know.. The chest pains have passed (thankfully), but my lower rib is still tender.. Do you guys think I should just try the medicine? See a different doctor? Thanks for reading

[This message has been edited by Janette* (edited 02-11-2003).]

 
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Old 02-12-2003, 12:21 PM   #2
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Hi Janette*:
Even though you eat right and never had it before, it may be heartburn.
It can feel exactly as you described. I once had it so bad that I felt like it was a heart attack.

You can get heartburn when you eat if you have insufficient exercise, over-eating, eating too fast...and all kinds of other reasons.

You don't necessarily need medication, but you may wnat to try it if the problem reoccurs.

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Old 02-12-2003, 04:18 PM   #3
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Tree Frog, thank you!!

I'll try the medicine if this happens again.

But I have one question, can you get heartburn even if you havent eaten anything?

 
Old 02-12-2003, 04:47 PM   #4
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I get a pain in my left rib on occasion. If I press on it, it hurts like heck. As I understand it, it's costochondritis (an inflammation of rib cartilage). It, in turn, may have been brought on by IBS and all its many effects.

 
Old 02-12-2003, 06:44 PM   #5
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Hi Janette*
You can get heartburn from excess stomach acid, so yes, even if you have not eaten. You can even get an ulcer from the acid when you have no eaten.
It may be an ulcer. Taking the med should help allow the ulcer to heal, if you have one.

It is worth a try to see if this helps.
If the pain persists in spite of the med, then go back to the doctor and let him know. Of course, it could be something else. But the DX process has to sart somewhere! This is a reasonable start.

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Old 02-12-2003, 10:16 PM   #6
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Thanks, Tree Frog. I didn't know that!

I'll think about trying that medicine. It's just that im so reluctant to take *any* meds. Though, I'd much rather force myself to take medicine than develop an ulcer...

 
Old 02-13-2003, 08:02 AM   #7
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Hi Janette:

I too had the same problems that you described and even ended up in the ER as I thought I was having a heart attack.

I do not have a "burning feeling". My docotr prescribe Rantidine for heartburn. It has taken care of most of the problem. I really do feel a lot better but there are still days where the med does not cut it out all the way.

Take of yourself!

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Old 02-18-2003, 06:09 PM   #8
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i am not sure if this will help you. even though you haven't aten spicy food it could very well be your gall bladder. i would get checked out

 
Old 02-19-2003, 02:09 PM   #9
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Just a thought, but I had this same thing a sharp pain under my right rib, it would come and go, lasted for month. I was extremely nauseated at times, then ok for a day or two until one night I woke up and felt like I was being stabbed on my right side.
Turned out I has been misdiagnosed 3 times, heartburn, cysts, female problems- turned out it was my appendix and I had to have emergency surgery and it burst while they were removing it. I was sick for 7 days in the hospital. Just a thought but you may have appendicitis..
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:35 PM   #10
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If you don't think your doctor diagnosed you properly, you need to either see another doctor or tell him point blank that you don't feel he took the time and made the effort to really find out what was wrong with you.

If you start taking the heartburn medication (and this could alleviate the problem as he may well have gottent the diagnosis right) and the problem goes away, then that's great, but if it doesn't and you have to see him again, make sure you TELL him that you don't simply want a prescription and to be shoved along the assembly line anymore. If he doesn't have time to take a good look at your symptoms and diagnose you properly then he isn't doing you any favors. Ask him to tell you WHEN is the best time to see him when he won't feel pressured to pack you off and see the next patient. I realize doctors are busy people, but so is everyone and they really don't need to behave as if their time is so much more important than yours. Your health needs more attention than just "this is what you have, this is what you take to fix it, thanks, come again." I have had doctors that prescribed serious medication to me without even bothering to examine me at all. They had a lot of patients to see, it was late, they wanted to go home and so did I, but it isn't going to help you any if they misdiagnose your problem.

Just my .02

 
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