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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Does this sound like heartburn?

 Kecia08 - Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:27 am

I am a 24 year old female, who is about 70 lbs overweight, but otherwise healthy.

For the past three days, I have been experiencing pain on my left side, right under my left breast. Here's how it started: I was lying in bed Tuesday morning, playing around on my laptop computer, lying on my left side. I felt the sharp stabbing pain down the left side of my sternum, so I rolled over to my back and attempted to stretch those muscles by rolling my shoulders back...that didn't help so I decided to get up and move around by taking a shower. The pain was pretty constant for about 10-15 minutes, and seemed to be getting worse everytime I bent over (this could have been my imagination since I get panicky when I have chest pains). I ended up having what I believe was a panic attack in the shower, but after I calmed down the pain went away.

So all day Tuesday and Wednesday, the sharp stabbing pains have been coming and going. Some times they are a little lower than my left breast, but they are all localized. When the pain isn't occurring, the area feels a little discomfort, almost like soreness. Yesterday morning, I also had some nausea let started when I woke up, and latest until about lunch time, along with the pain. Also had diarrhea the past three days...not bad, just everytime I have a bowel movement (1-2 times each day). So far this morning, I haven't had a problem.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and she feels my pain is from heartburn. I have never experienced any burning sensations, so I feel a little doubtful about this diagnosis. She also thinks I have asthma, and the heartburn is aggravating it. Again, I think this is wrong since I've never had trouble breathing, and asthma doesn't run in my family. She said it was either asthma or early stages of bronchitis. I was given an inhaler, allergy meds, antibiotic, and Prilosec OTC...I am finicky about taking meds, so I really don't want to take them if I have been misdiagnosed.

I kinda feel the pain is due to my inactivity, or because I slouch when I sit. The sharp pains are similar to those I feel after I've been sitting in front of the computer too long, since I do not sit up straight. Usually, once I stretch the muscles, the pain goes away. Stretching doesn't seem to be helping this pain though. I haven't lifted anything heavy recently, and it's not tender to touch the area where the pain is localized.

I am just looking for a second opinion here, as my insurance doesn't cover many local doctors so I can't really afford to go to another. Oh, and I do suffer from palpitations. I have had several tests run on my heart....2 EKG's, an echo cardiogram, 24-hour heart monitor, and a stress test (walking on a treadmill) all determine my heart is fine...All these tests were run at the end of 2007/beginning of 2008. The conclusion there was they occur with fatigue, because I feel them more when I am tired.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:49 am

User avatar Hello,
The course your doctor has chosen for you is a safe way to determine if this is the problem. I would definitely follow her orders and go back in a few weeks if it is not improving. Sometimes diagnoses must be made by trial and error. We make an educated guess based on labs, symptoms, and exam, then go ahead with a course of treatment. If we rule out one problem, we go on to another. We're just not yet precise enough with non-invasive diagnostic procedures to always know exactly what is going on. If the treatment helps, this confirms the diagnosis. If not, we go back to the drawing board with more information now available.

Best wishes.

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