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Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Recurrent Chest pain for 6 years


 jennygregory - Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:49 pm

Thank you for taking time to read my post.

I am 26 years old, 6 years ago, after my first child was born, one evening I started feeling a little tickle in the area of my heart, it felt very deep, not skeletal related. This scared me, I went to the ER, had an EKG and chest x-ray, was told I was fine and sent home. Had a follow up with my Dr. and she put me on Naproxin and told me it was due to separation of the cartl. between my ribs. The medication did not help. The tickle has gone away, or should I say turned into full blown chest pains. For the past 5 years it has been like a stabbing sensation on the left side of my chest, mild discomfort in my left arm and tingling, which was probably due to anxiety over the pain, pressure like feeling that I can pinpoint on my chest. I have had numerous EKG's, a stress test, and an echocardio a few years back, everything came out normal, so again I just endured. You do start to just "live" with the pain after so long, my philosophy was if it was't my heart, it isn't so bad, I can live with that. And I have, up until a few months ago.

My chest pain started to get worse, migrating down under my left breast, and now I have an extreme burning sensation under my arms, in the area of my lymph nodes, primarily was on the left side and radiating into my arm, but the burning then spread across my chest and into my right arm and nodes there as well. i do not have any swelling, all of my blood work has come back normal for a cardio screen, and another EKG showed that I have a short Q-wave, but I was told that was nothing to worry about. I went through a week of this intense chest stabbing pain, and pain in my left shoulder blade, right across from where the pain is on the front of my chest, night sweats, and anxiety, fatigue and nasuea (sp?) and the tips of my fingers were tingly, I also had another chest x-ray and was told that it looked like I had viral pnuemonia, then it all suddenly started to go away. I chalked all of this up to the pnuemonia making everything much more intense until last week when it all came back again, only worse, the burning is horrible, I have the stabbing pains on the left side and directly in the middle of my chest, and sometimes over to the right side now as well, my inner arms feel like they are on fire, I am sick from stress and from body exhaustion, I have a stabbing into my left breast on the side, but no the actual breast, just in line with it, the left side of my neck is very achy like I have been running a marathon or something, and my doctor has no idea what it is. I have not gotten any real answers.

I do work at a computer all day in an office, I am fairly active, single mother with two children who keep me very busy when we are home. I do smoke cigarettes, but with this last bout have found it even difficult to keep that bad habit as I am naseated most of the time over everything.

Would a short Q-wave be a problem? What does that mean? Why do they NOT think it is a problem?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Mar 01, 2005 8:13 pm

User avatar Dear Jen,

Females of the child bearing age are naturally protected against coronary disease unless they have had major risk factors for coronary disease for a long period of time. You only have smoking as a major risk factor for coronary disease and the characteristics of the pain that you are describing are absolutely atypical as compared to those of chest pain related to coronary disease. So, the probability of this pain being due to coronary disease is very low.

i recommend to have the echocardiogram (the ultrasound of the heart) repeated to specifically look for mitral valve prolapse. This is a condition which is very common in young otherwise healthy females which is very notorious of causing atypical chest pain. It only needs to be followed if you have it and the pain can be controlled with some medications of the beta blockers type.

The symptoms that you are describing (pain under your arm extending to your chest) could be due to:
1. Neck problems. Very common cause of chest pain. i recommend having a ct scan of the neck and upper back to rule out any problem.
2. Shingles infection or a condition known as post herpetic neuralgia (pain after shingles) even if you did not have a typical case of shingles. But, it is most atypical for shingles to cross the midline except in immunocompromized patients.
3. Other viral infection that caused an inflammation of the muscles and possibly ribs/cartillages. i recommend that you retry stronger pain relievers/anti-inflammatory medications.
4. Even though it is atypical for reflux disease to cause such symptoms, yet i would still recommend you trying some over the counter anti-acids, as reflux can sometimes present with real strange symptoms (without even having heart burn).

Thank you very much for using our website http://doctorslounge.com and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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