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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: fluttering in chest

 ksbecker - Tue Feb 06, 2007 4:40 pm

Dear Sirs,
I am a 39 yr. old woman. About two years ago I was playing on the floor w/kids & went to get up fast & twisted my back so badly it knocked me to the ground. I hurt my lower, right side of my ribs, and I still sometimes feel the pain. Since then I've been feeling a fluttering sensation in my chest, lower right side, when I take really deep breaths, or when lying down. I also started feeling an odd sensation between my lungs,when I lie in my back & take a deep breath, and first get up in morning & take my first deep breath. Then it seems to clear off for the day. I saw a Dr. a year ago, and about 9 months after feeling these things, none of it rang any bells to him, but we did a chest x-ray, and it was fine. He thought that the sensation between my lungs was acid reflux, but I have since seen a digestive disease Dr. and said he didn't think I had acid reflux. No testing was done. He also said he wasn't sure what the fluttering of the chest was, possibly I injured the lining of my ribs. We wasn't concerned with any of my symptoms, but they're still there, and it scares me not knowing what they could be. Not too sure what to do. I can't pin point whether the fluttering is in the lungs or ribs. I am a very anxious person, and can feel EVERYTHING in my body! Am I crazy?
I appreciate your time and any suggestions you may have. I can't afford to run a thousand tests, but not sure where to start. I am very healthy otherwise, no conditions. Seldom drink, don't smoke, and I try to eat healthy foods!
Thank you for your time!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:40 am

User avatar Hi ksbecker - Let's start in reverse order: based on what you've mentioned here there's no reason to think you're crazy. Maybe a little more tuned into your body than some people, and maybe a little anxious, but that's not really unusual and certainly not crazy.

As for the actual symptoms, the "fluttering" sensation sounds like muscle twitching that is commonly called fasiculations. Little areas of muscle just kind of twitch or flutter intermittently, just like one's eyelid can start fluttering for no apparent reason. The larger the muscle the more noticeable it is. It can come and go and usually means nothing. If it persists indefinitely you might bring it back to the doctor's attention.

About the odd sensation in your chest in the morning: I think you are feeling normal morning sensations caused by a whole lot of normal processes that take place during the night, and which might include some reflux (no testing was done, so it's not out ot the question) as well as some post-nasal drainage. The two can work together to create a small amount of drainage into the bronchial tree, which in turn can feel like tightness in the center of the chest when taking the first deep breaths of the morning. (One solution to this would be to not take the deep breaths).

One of the cardinal signs of anxiety (and depression, too) is that the patient takes occasioinal deep, sighing breaths. This is not actually all that normal, and usually reflects some disruption of the normal mood. Also, once one has become aware of one's breathing it becomes difficult to ignore (try not thinkinig about something and see what happens). I suspect that if you make a conscious effort not to take that first deep breath in the morning you may actually start to notice a difference in how you feel. If you are sighing a lot during the day (you likely wouldn't notice it, but others around you might) then you could be irritating the nerve involved in the area where the twitch in your chest is!

You sound perfectly sane and pretty healthy as well. Tuning out our bodies can be difficult, but it can be done. Trust me, when something is really wrong, it will let you know.

Good luck to you.
 ksbecker - Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:41 am

Hi John Kenyon,
this is really something, I just now found your response to my question because I was researching it again. I wanted to thank you so much for your response, even though it's a couple of years ago. I still have the same sensation, and I'm more stressed now than before, and also going through perimenopause on top of that. But I think you're right. The sensation comes and goes, but the more attention I pay to it the more I feel it. I have been told by many doctors that I'm too tuned into my body and am aware of everything that goes on, and to try to tune it out a bit. But it helps to hear it from another doctor.

I wanted to make sure to thank you ...even if it's a couple of years later!

Katherine Becker

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