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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest Pain - alcohol and drug use

 ty1erdurden - Mon Aug 06, 2007 10:46 pm

I am a 24 year old male. I have been experiancing chest pain, palpiltations, light headedness accompanied with weakness in jaws, and sometimes pain in my left arm. I have gone to the ER several times thinking that something was horribly wrong. I have had chest x rays, stress test, 24 hour heart monitor, EKG, echocariogram, and catscan. The doctors all say that everything seems very healthy and this could be anxiety.

I have been drinking heavily since I was 18... typical college behavior I assume. I am not a smoker. For less than a year I had a minor fling with cocaine. The last time I did cocaine was in Febuary 07. I don't believe I have done much of the drug... at least compared to other people. However this problem of mine first occured while using cocaine. It was much much more intense at this time. Since I have stopped the drug I still get daily chest pain, rarely palpiltations, akward heart beats, and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and my whole body feels numb. My symptoms will sometimes go away for a week or so. My symptoms hardly ever occur during activity. I have greatly reduced my alcohol consumption. I used to drink up to 5 times a week, during football season I would sometimes drink over twenty beers in a day. Now I only drink about once every two weeks or so.

After I drink I will seem fine for about a day sometimes two... but then the symptoms will come back strong and slowly fade away in a period of 1 - 3 weeks. I never feel any symptoms at the time of alcohol consumption.

I have a hard time convincing myself that this is anxiety for the following reasons...

1. I have never really stressed about anything, I actually think that stress is something that I lack

2. All my symptoms started from what seemed to be a cocaine related incident

3. Symptoms are intensified by alcohol.

Any suggestions to what my problem may be and how i can cure it would be greatly appreciated. I hate losing sleep and walking around everyday in constant pain. I am a good kid with high ambitions and I really feel like my bad decisions may have injured me.

thanks so so much!!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:15 am

User avatar Hi Ty1erdurden,

Your symptoms are a bit perplexing. There are some people that lack an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase that can cause ill feelings and some of the symptoms you are feeling when they drink alcohol. Usually, though, the symptoms appear pretty fast after ingestion of alcohol.

Perhaps seeing a GI doctor may be of help. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Best wishes.

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