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Chronic chest pain

Discussion in 'Autonomic, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory' started by Horizon, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. Horizon

    Horizon Senior Member

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    Anyone else get chronic chest pain? I've been to the cardiologist many times and am always told I'm fine but I always feel like I'm going to have a heart attack. My rheumatologist blames this on fibromyalgia.
     
  2. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    I had lots of chest pain for a period of several months - luckily it's a lot better now. I was told it was chostochondritis.
     
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  3. Horizon

    Horizon Senior Member

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    I've been told that at times as well and that antinflammatory drugs may help but it's contraindicated for me. Im not sure if it's costo or not. Glad to hear you are better. Do you attribute it to anything?
     
    Hutan likes this.
  4. PennyIA

    PennyIA Senior Member

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    Yep, got it here as well.

    Pain in the chest that can knock you down ... the ONLY thing that has helped me with it is to severely restrict my activity levels. The more I rested, the less it hurt.

    cardiologists - say it's nothing and tell me they 'know what sick looks like, and I'm not that'

    rheumatologist - says there's nothing they can do to help me and have ruled out fibromyalgia and not ruled anything in either, no treatments offered at all

    The issue is that if I do try to rest and take it easy, it's REALLY EASY to let panic build up as ... if it feels like a heart attack (I know mine does)... how will I know if it would ever be a heart attack or just the same-old-pain that I'm supposed to ignore (no doctor has ever offered me any advice on that one).

    I came up with a practice that helped me, maybe it helps you...

    Pain gets bad, try to rest.... give yourself 20 minutes
    still hurts? Try to figure out - could you have pulled a muscle, over-done some activity, something to cause pain different from the same-old-pain, or not?
    If there was any activity - then I take pain meds as available, and give it 24 hours to see if it's better
    If there's nothing and it feels like the same-old-pain, take the pain meds, and give it 2 hours
    Feeling better at 2 hours/24 hours? then it's probably not a heart attack and I can continue to rest and treat with over the counter pain meds
    Not feeling better, give myself a time-table specific to this one situation whereby I either need to feel better or go to the doctor... (I hate going to the doctor)... and depending on the severity of the pain and my nervousness level with 'maybe this time doesn't feel just like last time'... I manipulate the timeframe accordingly.
    Once I give myself 20 minutes, 24 hours, or until evening... whatever schedule I land on... I try to distract myself (keeps the panic at bay).
    I set an alarm & recheck in after the time has passed and usually it's no worse at that point, not always better... but no worse.
     
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  5. Horizon

    Horizon Senior Member

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    I so understand your ordeal. How would I ever know if I'm having a heart attack? Its very scary which builds the panic. I think a gameplan is a good idea. I also love my heating pad because that helps me the most.
     
    alkt and Richard7 like this.
  6. daisybell

    daisybell Senior Member

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    Not sure! I found it very helpful to know that I wasn't in fact having a heart attack, because it sure felt like it at 4am. I just tried to relax when the pain got really bad, took a couple of painkillers, and reassured myself it wasn't going to kill me!
    I haven't had such bad pain since being on LDN... So that could be a factor. However I find symptoms tend to wax and wane anyway. The pain certainly seems to move around. More recently I've had lots of abdominal muscle pain and cramps instead!
     
  7. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

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    I do not know if this is the same but I have had a sort of ache, as opposed to an acute pain, that I assume is my heart, during PEM.

    I assume that this is linked into POTS and working the heart too hard. Other than salt and potassium for the POTS and being horizontal I don't really do anything. Its been a few years since I last took a painkiller and it would not occure to me to takle a painkiller for my sort of pain.

    It is strong enough to get me horizontal but no more than that.
     
    ryan31337 likes this.
  8. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Senior Member

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    Costochondritis has become a reliable symptom for me as well.

    I can confirm to my satisfaction that it's not a heart attack by pressing on the seam between my sternum and my ribs with my fingertips. If it hurts, and it hurts in the place that's been bothering me, then it's OK.
     
  9. Horizon

    Horizon Senior Member

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    The issue for me is that it hurts over the heart and usually left side of chest by armpit and down my arm. It's like classic heart attack signs.
     
  10. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Chest pain has been a symptom of mine since my initial onset. For me (doctors have ruled out other things) I think it is part of my problems with Orthostatic Intolerance (NMH/POTS), low blood volume, etc. It's generally a sharp pain. It does sometimes run under my arm (armpit and down the arm). But mostly it's just sharp chest pains, left side.

    It does not happen *during* exertion though (e.g. lifting grocery bags). It seems to be part of my array of post-exertional symptoms. I don't always have the exact same set of symptoms after exertion but chest pains is one possibility (so much fun to have an array of ever changing symptoms - sigh).

    All the major problems (heart attack, lung problems, etc) that are associated with chest pains were eliminated early on. So my chest pains no longer cause me any concern.

    When my symptoms flare, whether chest pains or some other problem, it generally means that I have not been resting enough. But beyond resting, and some treatments for OI (midodrine, florinef, salt, etc), there's not much else I have found that helps me.
     
  11. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    I forgot to mention that I am seeing a cardiologist for my problems with orthostatic intolerance (OI). I have a yearly appointment with him before I can get refills of midodrine, fludrocortisone, and potassium (Rx).

    He also does regular ECGs. My doctor wants to do them yearly. I think that's a waste since OI does not show up on a routine ECG. Plus I have to pay for part of it (20% or something like that). So I've convinced him to do the ECGs every other year.

    In short, I don't have any signs of the more common heart problems, no family history of heart problems, low cholesterol, no risks of heart attack, etc. So this is one of many reasons that I'm not worried about my chest pains.

    Of course, it's a lot easier to not worry when the same symptom has happened for 25 years without any problem other than the pain itself. The chest pains are annoying but nothing like the endometriosis pain or the migraine pain.
     

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