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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Dull Left Chest Pain After Eating

 justjen1021 - Thu Dec 25, 2008 9:49 pm

For the past few weeks, my boyfriends continuously experiences dull chest pain on the left midchest area after eating meals.

He is 6'4", weighs close to 300 lbs, and has high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

He has no other symptoms, just the dull ache in his chest. Area of pain is between sternum and left nipple area with the center of the pain being about midway from the sternum to the nipple.

Could this be heart related or digestive system related?

Your advice is appreciated!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:07 pm

User avatar Hi there -

The pain could be either heart or GI related. It could also be something entirely different. However, it would be wise to have heart disease (most likely structural because of his height and weight -- certain structural diseases of the heart are more common in athletes and very large people). Sometimes eating can provide enough additional stress on a heart that has a sturctural defect, to cause some mild symptoms. An echocardiogram and resting EKG, at a minimum, would be necessary to rule out this sort of problem and would also probably expose any suggestions of coronary artery disease (CAD) as well.

If both structural defects and CAD are ruled out, then it would be wise to move on to try and determine if there is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or esophogeal spasm causing the pain. If so, there are many medications which could help resolve this problem.

Obviously the most important thing would be to rule out any sort of heart-related problem. While you haven't mentioned his age, just based on his height and weight he is statistically more inclined toward certain types of heart problems, and with the location and nature of the pain, it should be explored.

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck to you both. Please follow up with us here as needed.
 justjen1021 - Sat Dec 27, 2008 5:19 pm

Thank you so much!
He is 37, will be 38 in February. He has never really had any previous health issues. He has not always been close to 300 lbs. He was average for his height. He changed careers which led to a more sedimentary lifestyle and gained 75 lbs over the course of a year and a half.

I shared your response with him and he was most grateful. I will get him an appt with a doctor first thing.

Thank you again!!!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:21 pm

User avatar Hi again -

That's a pretty large gain to pick up in one year, so it may just be the body is reacting to the load (and its placement) with some pain where things are being stretched a little. Best to know for certain, however.

You're very welcome and I'm glad your boyfriend will be getting checked soon. Best of luck to you both.
 empleh - Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:38 pm

Hi, I've been having the same problems. After I eat an unhealthy meal (typically fast food) I have been experiencing a dull chest pain on the left side of my chest between the left nipple and sternum. I am only 18 years old and am 5' 11" and about 140 lbs.

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