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- Sat Jan 07, 2006 12:21 am
This is my first time on this forum. I am a 31 yr old woman. Had a very stressful few years with the loss of my parents, financial, job, relationship stress. I also have high expectations of myself so things have been tough all around. May 2005 I felt chest cramps 45 mins, left side. Since then chest pain constant. Left arm, neck etc. I didnt have health insurance at the time. Finally saw a few Drs. in july. Chest xray, multiiple ekgs, echo, stress test - thankfully all normal. All blood work normal. except cholestrol 240 with 1:3 ratio of hdl to ldl. I lost my dad to heart disease when he was in his early 50s. Mom in late 50s due gallbladder cancer caused by geographical/environment.
I feel EXTREMELY EXHAUSTED. I used to be able to work etc 16-18hrs. Complaint - I also get constant heaviness, tightness off and on and mild pain left side chest. Especially when I press the ribs above my left brest below my collar bone and below my left breast. I have never had any chest injury. Last couple years ive stopped working out. don't know why. Ive been working from home for the past yrs too and sit on the couch with my laptop and work away. I usually keep my laptop on the right side and type with my right hand and left hand reaching across me. (don't know if ergonomics is an issue. (I also have sciatica in my left leg, old hamstring injury). Also since this week i get the similar pain when i press on my throat. (This worries me) As well my throat feels dry and I feel like a dry cough 1-2 times a day for few seconds, prickly feeling.
I get easily frightened when it comes to health issues. I don't have health insurance at the moment. I was brought up taking herbal remedies / esp. homeopathic. Im not sure what to do. I want to figure it out, who to see, what to do, and get help without further delay. I feel so exhausted all the time. However I havent lost weight or anything like that. I weight 115 pounds and donated blood last week to do a good deed ! and my blood pressure was 96/68 when we began and I came home and had a blackout :( for 5 mins. Had gallons of water for 3 days. Felt better after, but weaker too.
What shall I do? I want to feel better.
Thanks and happy new year.
| Dr. Safaa Mahmoud
- Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:57 pm
The chest contains many organs, like the heart, lungs with its pleural covering, esophagus, muscles, ribs, tendons, and nerves. They all can be the source of the pain felt in the chest.
Overexertion of the chest wall muscles or their inflammation are common causes for chest pain. This usually occurs after attacks of asthma, shortness of breath, chest infections and cough, when the respiratory and chest wall muscles are overworked and in spasm or staring. Pain due to rib or chest wall bone disease is also another cause of chest pain. They all are associated with tenderness over the affected areas. In all of these conditions the chest pain is usually aggravated by taking deep breath and cough.
Anxiety and rapid breathing is one of the known causes of chest pain, probably due to exertion of the respiratory muscles, hyperventilation effect, indigestion and nerve pain. In this case the pain is usually felt as pressure inside the chest that radiate to the neck and shoulders all around the sides and the back. And is sometimes associated with the feeling of numbness around lips and hands. In this case all what would help you is to lie down, relax and try to slow the rate of breathing. Breathing also inside a bag kept loosely around nose and mouth would improve the symptoms. I should emphasize that this diagnosis is made primarily after exclusion of all other causes of chest pain by careful history taking and physical examination by your physician, in addition to all the required investigations.
I advise you to keep on follow up with your consultant and inform him with any change in your condition, by complete history and physical examination, the correct diagnosis can be reached.