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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Hypertension

Question: chest pains + pin+needles and numbness in hands and feet

 glitterbeeb - Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:42 pm


I have had sharp pains in my chest sporadically since I was a teenager, sometimes while lying down in bed. More recently, (the past 4 yrs or so) I have also been getting pins and needle in my hands and feet, (at least once/twice a week) and numbness in my fourth toe, which shooting pains sometimes are felt in.

I also for the last 7-8 yrs feel like I am running a fever most days (esp if I haven't slept properly) but have always put this down to allergies/side effects of anti-depressants but have stopped taking anti-depressents 2 yrs ago! (I also do not have a fever when I measure it with a thermometer-but I feel so shivery and hot in thr face and eyes, this makes no sense!)

My joints often ache, in my knees and fingers and sometimes I feel dizzy or faint. My heart feels like its racing when I wake up and I feel nauseous and headachey.

What is this? Is it my blood pressure? or is it just bad allergies plus pins and needles with a bit of stress thrown in?

I should say I am being treated for sleep hypopnea, and have alopecia, but not being treated for that. I have been taing anti-histamines every day for several yrs, and don't know if there are any problems with doing that.

I hope someone can help,
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sun May 03, 2009 10:10 pm

User avatar Hi there --

Sharp or stabbing chest pains are rarely cardiac related and can be caused by any number of neurlogical, GI or orthopedic things. The tingling or pins and needles in your extremities may be related to this in terms of a neurologic or orthopedic issue, and in fact specific shooting pain in your fourth toe does suggest some sort of nerve problem, possibly due to something being impinged upon, which could overlap as an orthopedic problem as well. It's of course difficult to even guess at a distance, but I would definitely bring this to the attention of your doctor, who might then refer you to either a neurologist (my personal preference for starters) or an orthopedist.

The apparent racing heart should be clarified -- and you can do this by counting your pulse while this is going on, by sitting or standing still and counting your heartbeats either at your wrist or your carotid artery in your neck (next to your larynx) for 15 seconds, then multiplying by four. This would give you an idea of whether or not your heart is actually racing, as this is often a mistaken perception that doesn't seem to jive with the sensation. Anything between 60-100 would be considered normal generally, and you can even establish what is normal for you, resting, seated, and then compare this with what you feel is "racing." Sometimes it is racing, but if it's under 120 beats per minute we'd have to consider all else going on at the same time,so if you can sit down when this happens and do the count, that would be helpful in sorting out the symptoms. I suspect this may be separate from your other symptoms and of course sometimes can be caused by certain antihistimines as well.

I hope this is somewhat helfpul at least. Please follow up with us here as needed, maybe try and give us a resting and "racing" heart rate. Good luck to you.
 glitterbeeb - Wed May 06, 2009 10:54 am

Thank you for such a long and detailed answer.
I am glad sharp pains are not usually cardiac related. I will certainly start measuring my heart rate. I will also go and see my doctor about the pins and needles etc.

The sharp pain is like a stitch when I breathe in....I have to stop breathing for few seconds until it goes away. If it's neurological that might make sense as I had some strange electric-shock like sensations in my head too. (Perhaps I have posted in the wrong forum?!)

I take it feeling like you are running a fever, but having a normal temperature is not a widely recognised symtom of anything? It could just be stress, but it is so constant, not correlated with stress, I don't think. Will consult my doctor, but don't want to sound like a hyperchondriac!

Thank you!
 glitterbeeb - Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:32 am

My bloods and blood pressure were normal at the doctors, but my pulse is 80 at rest, but 104 when I feel it beating and as if in my throat. Is this normal for a bit of adrenaline? It's not dangerous? It is everyday. Very uncomfortable.
Thank you

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