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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Strange sensations in chest and shortness of breath

 pjcag - Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:56 pm

I have suffered intermittently for 2 years with an odd sensation in my chest. It is right between my breasts and the best way to describe it is like butterflies or sort of quivering sensation and i get short of breath when it happens. I have been to a pulmonary dr and had lung ct and xrays and lung function tests...all normal (1 year ago). They sent me to my gastro dr because i have severe heartburn and he has upped me to 3 prevacids daily and done 2 endoscopes...shows acid scarring (mild) and states it could be some type of esphogeal spasms and put me on levisin. Sometimes I think it helps and sometimes it doesnt. Since it comes and goes its hard to say if it has helped or not. This has been a bad week with it. I feel like somthing is squeezing me in that spot. He said it can mimic heart problems and I don't think there is anyway to know. I have not been to a cardiologist. When it is bothering me it feels like I need to cough up something that isnt there. Can you have heart disease with normal blood pressure and heart rate? I have recently been diagnosed with mild diabetes (take metaformin) and have taken lipitor and zetia for many years for high cholesterol. I am 54. My sister had quad bypass at 52. Also, if it were heart related could it come and go like that? It is increasingly getting worse whatever it is. thank you
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:02 pm

User avatar Dear pjcag,

Whether or not the chest pain that anyone sufferes from is due to coronary disease depends on the risk factors that the person has for coronary disease and the characteristics of the chest pain itself.

As regards to risk factors, you have a positive family history of premature coronary disease with your sister having a bypass at the age of 52. You have high cholesterol. You never mentioned whether or not you smoke. You don't have high blood pressure or diabetes. You being diagnosed with nash most probably means that you are on the obese side and also you never mentioned anything about your activity level.

As regards to the characteristics of the pain, even though the pain has one charateristic of the typical pain of coronary disease (which the sqeezing sensation) yet, you never mentioned whether or not it is related to exercise, whether the pain goes somewhere else or just remains in the middle of your chest, what are the things that make it worse or better and what are the things that are associated with it (if any) such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, palpitations, etc...

You have other conditions that can cause the chest pain like you mentioned, and this can be really confusing sometimes.

Personally, i think you need a stress test to start evaluating this pain. At this point, if the pain improves, i don't think you need a cardiologist to see you. The stress test could be done by your primary care provider and only if the stress test results come back abnormal that you need to see a cardiologist.

If this chest pain is getting worse, i would suggest that you seek medical attention by going to the er to be evaluated by having an ekg and blood work.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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