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Forum Name: Heart Failure

Question: Chest pain, sudden feeling of cold


 GKovacs1982 - Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:10 am

I am a 26 year-old male. Two times in the last couple of months, I experienced strange heart problems. The symptoms are the following:

- my heart once or twice beats a large one that I can clearly feel as abnormal
- soon after I feel cold, like if I had a fever, but my temperature is normal
- and sometimes I'm short on breath

The first time I experienced this I went to the emergency room right away, and they told me I have pericarditis. The prescribed medication kind of worked; for a long time I felt good. A few weeks ago, however, the symptoms of pericardtitis came back; with the exception that now it effects my entire left side, including my arm. Most of the time it results in a dull uncomfortable feeling around my heart and in my left armpit.

Today, however, I experienced the same abnormal heart beat and cold-sweat kind of symptoms as once before. It went away in about an hour, but it worries me if it is something serious.

Just for the record, I often feel weak, though it may be the result of the lack of proper exercise. I also have high blood-cholesterol and I am under a lot of stress. The positive side of things are that I am not overweight, and I do not drink alcohol, nor smoke. Also, I had three EKG in the past few months, since I started having problems, and all three were good.

My question is that what can cause my symptoms and how can I prevent it? Also, if someone has high blood cholesterol, can that person reverse the damage with proper life changes, or only prevent it from worsening?

Thank you very much!
 Dr. A. Madia - Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:51 am

User avatar Hi,

Sorry for a late answer but yours is a good question and I feel I can clear a lot of air here about cholesterol, chest pain and irregular heart beats.

Almost every human being on this earth gets an occasional Skipped beat or what you call a 'large one' once in a while. It is entirely benign and does not indicate any serious heart disease. So apart from its nuisance value of causing undue anxiety in the person, it is of no importance.

How were you diagnosed to have a 'pericarditis? Pericarditis is an inflammation of the covering membrane of the heart, often associated with a fluid collection too. Most common cause is Viral infection, second one is tuberculosis. The patient would be having severe chest pain, increased in getting up from bed or bending forward while sitting. There would be fever. Shortness of breath. severe fatigue. The EKG will show classic upward concave ST elevation. The Echo will show fluid collection if any. The treatment of pericarditis is a long drawn out one. Viral pericarditis involves administration of strong anti inflammtory drugs, Cholchicine, steriods etc. Tubercle pericarditis calls for 9-12 month course of anti tubercle drugs in addition to steroids.

Your high cholesterol. It is true that high cholesterol is a predisposing factor for development of coronary heart disease. However not every person with high cholesterol will have it. Secondly, the definition of high cholesterol. It is recommended that a person with a history of heart disease should have his LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dl. A person with two risk factors but no history of heart disease it should be below 130. And a healthy person with no hostory neither risk factors it should be below 160.

So where do you fall in this pattern? Sometimes people unnecessarily get worried because of their percieved ilnesses, largely contributed by the media and in no less manner the pharmacologic industry.

An occasional 'large one' as you say will cause some transient discomfort. But it should be ignored. Try some regular aerobic exercises. This will go a long way to improve your heart muscle, your vagal tone and a generalised sense of well being.

Take care,

Apurva
 Yuki - Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:58 am

I'm only 17 years old but I'm kinda having problems in my chest.
Whenever i lie flat in my bed i feel uncomfortable. something in my chest is aching.
i cant breath easily and the difficulty can be felt from my neck to upper abdomen and in my chest. after that i feel so weak and cold.

what should i do?
what might be the cause of this?
how can you explain me having this unnecessary chest pain?

please answer me.. I'm afraid that something might have been happening to me.

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