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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Pericardial Diseases

Question: Heart beat only on left side of body.

 mgeli02 - Thu Aug 28, 2008 4:21 pm


My name is Michelle. I'm a healthy 26 year old female. I have never smoked and I occasionally I drink 1 or 2 glasses of red wine socially.

Earlier this year (January 2008) I was diagnosed with very mild pericarditis due to a viral infection. Cardiologist put me on steroids. After course of treatment echo showed no more fluid. (he mentioned 2 murmurs and a leaky valve. I have no idea what it means)

It is now August 2008 and my symptoms, pain have not dissapeared. I have been in and out of the hospitals since then with horrible pains with no diagnosis:

1) I feel my heart beat on my left hand and my left foot. It is extremely uncomfortable as I'm feeling this constantly. the sensation is as if I had a bruise and it was beating very hard due to the pain.

2) I have a "pressure" on the left side of my chest. Right above my breast and under as well.

3) Pain comes and goes on my left side as well. Feels like a needle is being inserted in me and after about 15 mins it dissapears. this happens various times during the day.

4) I have developed anxiety due to this ongoing condition. I have palpitations every single day and i'm often very light headed.

5) I have had ekg's, brain scans, x-rays done you name it. everything negative and apparently healthy. I'm very active. I work out every day. After all this started I have slowed down the intensity of my workouts but continue to do them.

I am terrified. Pain is everpresent. I can barely sleep. I feel as if i'm dying every single second. Pain on my left side leaves me so exhausted. I'm constantly tired. All I want to do is sleep. I saw a neurologist and I have a buldging on my neck and a herniated disk on my lower back. I do not know if this has anything to do with any of my symptoms.

Any help whatsoever will be extremely appreciated as dr's now think that i'm nuts.

Thank you and many blessings.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:05 am

User avatar Hello -

What you describe (with the exception of the forceful pulsing in your left extremities) does sound very much like chronic pericarditis. If this has been ruled out -- if it is certain that there has not been a recurrence of the inflammation with fluid -- then you may have developed a pericardial friction rub or even an adhesion, wherein a small part of the formerly inflamed pericardial sac becomes "stuck" to the heart muscle, causing symptoms without any fluid showing up on x-ray. The adhesion may not even be visible on echocardiogram, so is sometimes difficult to pinpoint. The symptoms would suggest this, however.

I have no idea why the pulsing in your left extremities in this case, but it is sometimes caused by a congenital narrowing of the aorta. This would almost certainly have been picked up during your prior care for pericarditis, however, so I'm at a loss to guess what may be causing that. If it's not coarctation of the aorta then it's probably not really significant, but the pain and palpitations suggest there is still some problem with the pericardium. It is rarely truly dangerous, but can be very uncomfortable, and that at least should be treated.

It's encouraging that you're able (and want to) continue your exercise regimen, and this should also help ease your mind as to your ability to tolerate exercise, as it means your heart is functioning well.

Again, the symptoms suggest possibly a recurrence of pericarditis or perhaps a pericardial adhesion. It's unusual but not impossible.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you.
 mgeli02 - Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:43 am

Thank you Dr. Kenyon for your prompt reply.

I am seeing a cardiologist in the next few weeks and I have printed your response so that I can discuss this posibility with the Dr.

Thank you once more as you have put my mind at ease. I will keep you updated as soon as I have any information from the Dr.

Best regards,

Michelle Geli
 swon888 - Mon Sep 08, 2008 5:10 am

Michelle, if you do not mind, please post your updates with the doctor you have visited. I have the same issue and it is very scary to know that no one really knows why and undetectable. Thank you.


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