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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Left Chest Pain and dry cough?

 PaulPT - Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:45 am

Hi All, (sorry for the long post but I am trying to give as much information as possible).

I am a 38 year old mail having intermittent chest pain for almost 3 months now. Let me give you my recent history. This started 4 months ago with episodes of near syncope and heart palpitations (no pain) for no apparent reason. It would happen at any time of the day and follow no pattern. I had several trips to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. They couldn't find anything in the ER and said it was probably stress. The episodes lasted on average for about 30 seconds to 10-20 minutes. After about two weeks of these I started having very mild chest pain just to the left of my sternum. Since then the syncope episodes have all but vanished, but I am having singificantly more chest pain and it seems to be broadening laterally across my left chest. I have also developed this chronic non productive cough. It is hard for me to inhale or exhale completely withough coughing and feeling like something is tickling the back of my throat. I also get fatigued very easily now. I used to be much more active with sports and such but just don't have the energy. I have had numerous EKG's, and and Echocardiogram, the only thing they found was slight left atrial dilation. The valves all worked normally. My blood pressure is normal, cholesterol and blood sugar tests also came back normal. I was tested for H-Pylori and blood in my stool but both were negative. I had a CT and MRI of the head which were normal. X-rays of the chest were normal. I have been in and out of the doctors office at least a dozen times since this started. They have tried putting me on Prilosec which hasn't helped the chest pain at all.. The last visit in the doctors office about a week ago I asked him about the possibility of lung cancer or lymphoma. He seems to be stuck on thinking it's GI stuff. I asked isn't there some kind of blood tests or other tests they can do to screen for it? He said a lot of cancers don't have markers they can look for... I am wondering if he is giving me a brush off or is this true? I get the feeling they are not taking me seriously. I am a physical therapist and am somewhat trained to look for red flags in my patients. Right now I feel I have a few, but because I am fairly athletic and don't smoke or drink, I don't think the doctors I have seen think anything serious can be wrong with me. What do you guys feel about this? What other tests should be done? I know x-ray is not a gold standard for cancer screening..does this sound like GI stuff.
Oh another thing my cough and chest pain seem be better in the AM, or after laying supine for a while. I tried eating a lot of food befor bed a couple of times to see if there was reflux/gerd symtpoms overnight, but still my symptoms are better in the AM...I swear if one more doctor tells me it's anxiety I'm going to have anxiety just to spite them....I'm just kidding, but this has been going on way too long and I am a very relaxed person. I don't stress too easily. I just feel like if this is something very serious we should be treating it as soon as possible instead of waiting till my condition worsens and possibly become more serious...any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in Advance

P.S. Iposted thisin the Lung Cancer Forum, but I read that they don't answer questions unlessw someone if Dx with Cancer, so I thought this might be a better place fot it...
 matthew111 - Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:08 pm

Ive pretty much got the same symptoms as you...

I have had a dry cough for months now and recently I started to go running again... When I started to run I had these bad chest pains in upper left of my chest, My heart never dropped below 80 all day then... but resting is at 50 now. So I went to doctors shortly after and she listened to chest and never found anything. She refered me to get an X-ray done and blood tests. I had the x ray done today and blood tests in the morning so I probably wont know the results untill sometime next week. I hate waiting this time because symptoms seem to be getting worse....

I look after myself probably better than anyone I know and most of the worlds population. I 'don't smoke or drink. I eat extremely healthy, mostly Vegetables, fruits, fish and low GI foods. but for some reason... I seem to be prone to more illness than anyone else!

unlucky genes ! :cry:

Since Im in the same situation and can't get a straight answer untill next week, possibly. I'll let you know how mine turned out. I originally suspected that the cough may of been caused by an allergy or something. the dry cough feels like its caused by some irratation in my throat.
 JMP123 - Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:10 pm

I feel for you matthew. :( :(

I wish the doctors actually read this forum and would atleast tell us if we should see a doctor or what....its no fun not being able to breathe correctly
 PaulPT - Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:11 am

Hi Matthew,

I can tell you the results of my tests and treatments so far. I have had several chest x-rays, all I have been told were normal. I have has several EKG's most of them indicated left atrial enlargement but otherwise normal rythyms. They did an ehocardiogram whih also showed silght left atrial dilation but all valves worked properly and no signs of stenosis. I just had a treadmill stress test yesterday, don't have the official results but I was told my heart did very well. I lasted 13 minutes and got my heart rate up to 182 bpm (which isn't something new for me, I regularly get it at least close to that high when I exercise). I also had a pulmonary function test which I haven't gotten the official results from the doctor yet, but the tech told me that my inspiration was normal, and I had a little decreased expiration flow rate, which improved some with albuterol but still wasn't quite normal. I have seen a GI doctor and he stated it very well could be some kind of acid reflux, I think he said something like 70+% of chronic coughs are caused by GI problems. So I am scheduled for an edoscopy in September. (I hate the waiting also). I have a hard time thinking it's reflux just because I have this cough mostly on expiration, and a full stomach doesn't seem to affect it that much. One interesting thing though, I had these chest pains before they thought it was GI stuf, but they tried putting me on Prilosec. I had been taking it for a little over 1 month regularly and the chest pain and coughing was getting worse, so last Tuesday I stopped taking the prilosec because I really hadn't been getting heartburn and my symptoms were worsening. By last Thursday my chest pain had almost completely gone although the cough persists. When I saw the GI doc this past monday he thought it was interesting but said to cotinue with the prilosec anyway. So I have been taking it all this week and I get a faint glimpse of the pain every now and then but it lasts only a couple of seconds. The cough still remains.

I know how you feel but unfortunately diagnosing the human body is not an exact science and some diagnosis' are made by excluding everything else that could cause your symptoms. So let us hope for the best, and hopefully we will figure this thing out.
 matthew111 - Sat Aug 06, 2005 6:49 am

I might have an idea what are causing my symptoms. I've been monitoring my BP and it is always around 100/60 and resting heart rate around 50. So no probs there.

Today I was thinking of all the possible things it could be and thought about hygiene and where my cough is usually worse. Well it happens to be my bedroom where I do a lot of studying at the computer and sleeping, of course. Im good at hygiene when it comes to preparing foods but really bad at keeping this place tidy and keeping good hygien. So I took a look at my bedroom where i work at most and sleep and there is soooo much dust, even mold in some places where bits of food havnt been picked up. So I've gone through everything today and cleaned any item in my room. It was a complete mess. I have a feeling that my symptoms are because of litrually months of letting mold and dust accumilate where I spend a bit of time each day. I've also got my mother to agree to smoke outside the house now. Maybe this is the problem for me, I don't know... But I believe its worth a go. Unfortunatly i don't know how long it will take to recover after months of living in this.

At the moment the doctor agreed to put me on antibiotics, he said It is possible that I could have a mild infection but not certain.. So I will take these untill i get X ray results and blood test results and go from there. Hopefullly by cleaning daily the accumilation of dust and other things, my condition will improve.

I do have HayFeve, the immune system over reacts basically.. So Im considering that I have the same probs with dust and mold.

Hopefuly This is the problem and now can be resolved! :roll:

About my genes

Although there are 2 people that have or had heart dissease, they didnt lead the most healthiest lives. My grandfather died of a heart attack before I was born I believe and my mother had 4 heart attacks but due to complications and smoking. I on the other hand should have a much lower risk... I practise Calorie Restriction with optimal nutrition which puts me at an extremely low risk of disease ( read up on it if you wish ) and I have lead a very active life style so far with no probs untill now.

Obviously I do get worried about 2 people with heart disease in my family... but I feel they were self inflicted and other people in my close family have had lives upto 80-90 without major complications through life.

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