Chest Pain

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I used to be so good at research, I feel embarrassed not to be able to find an answer to this myself. But can anyone tell me (briefly) home much of a concern is chest pain? Docs, when told of it, just listened to my heart w/stethoscope and pronounced it fine. But the pain is getting more frequent and intense. It's always worse after exertion, too. And I've heard about heart problems being common with ME.

What signs should I watch for?

What tests should I request?
 

kat0465

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I used to be so good at research, I feel embarrassed not to be able to find an answer to this myself. But can anyone tell me (briefly) home much of a concern is chest pain? Docs, when told of it, just listened to my heart w/stethoscope and pronounced it fine. But the pain is getting more frequent and intense. It's always worse after exertion, too. And I've heard about heart problems being common with ME.

What signs should I watch for?

What tests should I request?
creekfeet,
have you ever heard of costochondroitis?( not sure if i spelled it correctly) it's pretty common and can cause really bad chest pains that usually gets worse with exertion, especially if your doing things like with your arms
over your head, or pushing and pulling on things.
also your sternum can become quite sore, it can also involve the whole ribcage too! very painful!!!
go to the search bar on here, im sure you will find a lot of posts on it.it can hang on for months, and sometimes the pain goes straight thru to my back between my shoulder blades!!:eek:
it's really scary, and hard to get rid of. time, no exertion, heat, and ibuprophen will help.
it's no walk in the park for sure! but then again, with this not much is:cool:
Feel better!
Kat
 
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Ahh, found it with google. The spelling is C-O-S-T-O-C-H-O-N-D-R-I-T-I-S. Here's a Mayo Clinic article on costochondritis.

Fits my case: localized, not widespread; often occurs in Fibromyalgia patiens.

Doesn't fit my case: costochondritis is not supposed to worsen with activity or stress.

I'll ask my new doc. One week to go, til appointment day!
 

Martlet

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I've had costo since long before I developed CFS/ME. Since my mid-thirties, so around 25 years. It definitely does worsen with activity and stress. Activities such as vaccuum cleaning or even polishing furniture will worsen a flare. As for stress, I tend to hold myself very stiff when stressed, and that worsens it, along with all my fibro symptoms.

One way to check whether it is costo is to press on your sternum or ribs. That will often be painful in the middle of a costo flare.

Hope this helps. Oh, NSAIDS are the standard treatment, although the last doc I saw said that he has heard that lying on a beach with a glass highly decorated with fruit and a little umbrella works wonders for it too. ;)
 

kat0465

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I've had costo since long before I developed CFS/ME. Since my mid-thirties, so around 25 years. It definitely does worsen with activity and stress. Activities such as vaccuum cleaning or even polishing furniture will worsen a flare. As for stress, I tend to hold myself very stiff when stressed, and that worsens it, along with all my fibro symptoms.

One way to check whether it is costo is to press on your sternum or ribs. That will often be painful in the middle of a costo flare.

Hope this helps. Oh, NSAIDS are the standard treatment, although the last doc I saw said that he has heard that lying on a beach with a glass highly decorated with fruit and a little umbrella works wonders for it too. ;)
I was just about to writer UUUhh the mayo clinic is wrong! it definately does get worse with activity, thats usually what brings it on! i can kinda feel my sternum hurting and when i push on it its sore, then about a day or so after ive done something( normal) it hits me like a punch in the chest! i can hardly touch my sternum i hurt along the ribs, under my arms ( sides of the ribs) it's miserable!
Hey! i havent tried the beach/glass/fruit and little umbrella treatment!! sounds interesting:)
 

Martlet

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I was just about to writer UUUhh the mayo clinic is wrong! it definately does get worse with activity, thats usually what brings it on! i can kinda feel my sternum hurting and when i push on it its sore, then about a day or so after ive done something( normal) it hits me like a punch in the chest! i can hardly touch my sternum i hurt along the ribs, under my arms ( sides of the ribs) it's miserable!
Hey! i havent tried the beach/glass/fruit and little umbrella treatment!! sounds interesting:)
I feel for you! First time it happened to me, we were in bed (no comments please :D) and I just reached over to turn off the light, when this sharp pain shot through my chest. A visit to the ER later, and I was diagnosed. Pretty much any repetitive movement will bring it on.

I never tried the lounging on beaches with exotic-sounding drinks either as my insurance won't cover it. ;)
 

JustJack

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I was just about to writer UUUhh the mayo clinic is wrong! it definately does get worse with activity, thats usually what brings it on! i can kinda feel my sternum hurting and when i push on it its sore, then about a day or so after ive done something( normal) it hits me like a punch in the chest! i can hardly touch my sternum i hurt along the ribs, under my arms ( sides of the ribs) it's miserable!
Hey! i havent tried the beach/glass/fruit and little umbrella treatment!! sounds interesting:)
Thanks for the thread. I had not figured out what the heck was going on under my left sternum...low and behold, this fits perfectly. I knew it was not a heart attack, I figured it was gas trapped under there, since I am in full battle with IBS. But the pain has pasted beyond the gas and is kinda taking up residence in my chest. Just one of the many joys of haveing ME/CFS. Seems like one thing after another, especially the longer you are in the housebound and disabled state with this DD. Been trapped now almost two full years, no remission. Arggggggggggggh!

Thanks!
JJ
 
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Hmmm, it does get worse with activity and stress, huh? That might be what it is, then. One thing the Mayo may be right about though is that it's always a good idea to get any chest pain checked out by the docs.
 

kat0465

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Hmmm, it does get worse with activity and stress, huh? That might be what it is, then. One thing the Mayo may be right about though is that it's always a good idea to get any chest pain checked out by the docs.
Absolutely creekfeet,just to be on the safe side.case in point several months ago i was having some really bad pain im my pelvic lowback area, worse than normal. went to my 3 month check up at the cfs doc, she does blood work every 3 months. Thank God she does, cause my Kidney function was way off!
scared the bejesus outta me, i had added a parasite cleanse to my regular supps i take. it was just too much for my body and my kidneys were paying for the overload.
I got off ALL my supps & then my kidney function went back to normal.
i just thought it was a bad fibro flare, turns out it was more than that.so make em check your ticker just to be safe.you know us women, we dont even hurt the same as men when it comes to our hearts,
Hope your pain free soon:victory: cause costo sure is miserable!:tear:
Kat
 

Victoria

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I've had costo since long before I developed CFS/ME. Since my mid-thirties, so around 25 years. It definitely does worsen with activity and stress. Activities such as vaccuum cleaning or even polishing furniture will worsen a flare. As for stress, I tend to hold myself very stiff when stressed, and that worsens it, along with all my fibro symptoms.

One way to check whether it is costo is to press on your sternum or ribs. That will often be painful in the middle of a costo flare.

Hope this helps. Oh, NSAIDS are the standard treatment, although the last doc I saw said that he has heard that lying on a beach with a glass highly decorated with fruit and a little umbrella works wonders for it too. ;)
LOL Martlet, I DID wonder why I didn't have my usual chest pain & angina type symtoms last night & this morning.........

I had a champagne & a white wine at lunch yesterday! :D (I don't usually drink alcohol).

I mentioned it to my neighbour this morning & she said I should drink (alcohol) more often. :tongue:
 

CBS

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Creekfeet,

Just a thought but have you looked at DB's In the Depths of Despair thread? If not, that discussion (and the info Parvo presents on vessel constriction in particular) might be of use.

Best of luck ( and FWIW),

Shane
 

Victoria

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Best to test... but what tests? The docs have used a stethoscope and that's it. HOW should they be checking my heart?
My normal GP did an ECG in his office the first time. This was abnormal, so I was referred to a cardiologist. Then the cardiologist did an ECG & it was "normal".

Some months later, I went to the ER dept of my local hospital with the same severe chest pain (dizziness etc) & this time the emergency room Dr referred me to the Cardiologist of the Heart Centre in the Hospital. He arranged for a dobutomine stress echo cardiagram. Normally with a stress echo cardiagam, they get you on an excercise bike, but I couldn't do that because of my lower back/hip pain.

So they gave me a drug through a drip in my arm & "stress" the heart artificially. They did scans (with the gel & hand scanner continuously over an hour or so) to watch the heart's movement. Apart from the excruciating pain that followed (mainly because they had me lying on my left side at a funny angle - my left shoulder is an FM pain site for me). The drug was increased in small amounts every 3 minutes to cause more & more stress on my heart.

It was very painful (for me as I have FM) & towards the end, maybe 5 minutes before they finished, I had to ask them to stop & let me roll over onto my back to take the weight off my left shoulder as the pain was excruciating. They then finished the last 5 minutes of scanning. They also scan through the right kidney area where they can see the heart action better. They really did press hard though & I found this very painful & uncomfortable. But that's just me. I've always felt pain more than normal people.

They could see that part of my heart was not working. The left mitral valve was not working properly (I can't remember the exact description). And part of the heart muscle was not working. My inner heart wall is also much, much thicker than normal. This is a sign of the heart having to work too hard & gradually the inner wall thickens over time. My continual/intermittent high blood pressure is a real problem (despite the meds).

Hopefully, now I've stopped working, I will be able to rest more, & my high BP will improve.

A couple of weeks after the dobutamine stress echo, I had a all the blood vessels around my heart scanned for blockages. This was done in the operating theatre under local anaesthetic. That put a dye through the drip in your arm. That was all clear & not only "all clear" but I have excellent blood vessels. (could be all the fish oil & fresh fish I eat?).

I was a bit concerned over this procedure (the dye) as I am sensitive to food colourings, preservatives etc. but the dye they put through my blood vessels didn't have any obvious adverse effect.

So I'm taking a daily lose dose Aspirin (duentric coated low dose aspiring 100mg). These newer aspirin are coated so they don't have an adverse effect on the stomach like the old normal aspirin.

I also take a 1/4 tablet of Beta Blocker - Atenolol. Since I'm very sensitive to drugs, the Cardiologist suggested that if I had an adverse reaction, I should stop taking it. So far, so good. Beta Blockers also help lower BP.

So, Creekfeet, I don't know what US doctors do, but I would think if you were having chest symptoms, your ordinary General Practitioner should be doing an ECG at the very least (in his consulting rooms).

Hope the above helps you.

I really don't know what doctors in the US, Canada or the UK do.
 

IntuneJune

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Victoria;46318 He arranged for a dobutomine stress echo cardiagram. Normally with a stress echo cardiagam said:
Creekfeet
I have had numerous tests in the past to work up heart abnormalities and also have a diagnosis of costochondritis. Boy, this stuff is so worrisome and confusing.

We always should error on the side of caution.....get it checked out, however, these things do recur and more and more tests, with in my case, negative results which all could be fodder for "oh, it's all in her head."

Now I must say, I have never been treated that way. But as my primary care physician recently retired and some of the other specialists are reaching retirement age, I am afraid I will walk into the Lion's den of physicians who do not believe in me and since my medical record is best transported by a wagon, that will be disastrous.

The first time I had a stress test I had abnormalities on my EKG that could not be explained. The stress test was made very enjoyable by the cardiologist who at that time was running my test during the Olympics......this was years and years ago, and before my bunions and plantar fasciitis ended my running career...joking...but I jogged everyother day to keep weight off and did very well running on the treadmill, the cardiologist was enthusiastic, "she's got the bronz, she's got the silver and going for the gold".... Years later, another episode and I cannot remember what occured and I was sent for another stress test (on the treadmill) this time with some sort of (I cannot remember) isotope injected into arm for imaging.

Just last week, I had a dobutamine stress (non-exercise) echo stress test. This time it was done for a heaviness in the central chest and shortness of breath on exercising. My test evidently was normal..I will find out when I return to the PCP but he wanted it done to clear me for the surgery I had done last Monday.

But the symptoms above just did not seem to involve my rib cage. With the costochronditic pain, it did hurt to breathe and the pain was more widespread over the rib area. Costochrondritic pain involves chest muscles with respirations, but the heart is a muscle also and all in the same area.

So entertwined these problems.

June
 

IntuneJune

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Creekfeet and Victoria

I thought I lost this post, now I find it but have a multi-quote thing going....... this post is a mess
Creekfeet
I have had numerous tests in the past to work up heart abnormalities and also have a diagnosis of costochondritis. Boy, this stuff is so worrisome and confusing.

We always should error on the side of caution.....get it checked out, however, these things do recur and more and more tests, with in my case, negative results which all could be fodder for "oh, it's all in her head."

Now I must say, I have never been treated that way. But as my primary care physician recently retired and some of the other specialists are reaching retirement age, I am afraid I will walk into the Lion's den of physicians who do not believe in me and since my medical record is best transported by a wagon, that will be disastrous.

The first time I had a stress test I had abnormalities on my EKG that could not be explained. The stress test was made very enjoyable by the cardiologist who at that time was running my test during the Olympics......this was years and years ago, and before my bunions and plantar fasciitis ended my running career...joking...but I jogged everyother day to keep weight off and did very well running on the treadmill, the cardiologist was enthusiastic, "she's got the bronz, she's got the silver and going for the gold".... Years later, another episode and I cannot remember what occured and I was sent for another stress test (on the treadmill) this time with some sort of (I cannot remember) isotope injected into arm for imaging.

Just last week, I had a dobutamine stress (non-exercise) echo stress test. This time it was done for a heaviness in the central chest and shortness of breath on exercising. My test evidently was normal..I will find out when I return to the PCP but he wanted it done to clear me for the surgery I had done last Monday.

But the symptoms above just did not seem to involve my rib cage. With the costochronditic pain, it did hurt to breathe and the pain was more widespread over the rib area. Costochrondritic pain involves chest muscles with respirations, but the heart is a muscle also and all in the same area.

So entertwined these problems.

June
1st post
 

IntuneJune

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Creekfeet and Victoria

My dolbutamine nonexercise echo stress test went very similiarly to Victoria's. My sterum is so sore and the echocardiographer pushed that conducer all over my sternum and left chest. The dolbutamine increased the heart rate and this was a very uncomfortable feeling as you are lying still on the table. The heart is stressed to 132 beats per minute, I wa very uncomfortable over 100. The last bit of the test, the nurse said, rather than give you more med, if you want you can move your legs as though you are running. This was easy to do lying on the side and that got my heart rate up to 142.

Watching the screen was interesting, the action of the different valves. I was shakey afterwards, due to the med, until I stood up, the shakies went away.

June
 

Victoria

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I agree, June, watching the screen was interesting. So too was the cardiac catheterisation test 2 weeks later, where they put a fine tube up through your groin & inject dye into all the blood vessels around your heart.

So, while I've got a positive result for myocardial ischaemia, I wonder if the extreme pain lying on my left shoulder (FM tender point) made the result worse than it really was. I DID ask them at the start whether I could lie on my other side (as I had L shoulder pain), but they said no, so I wasn't surprised when I reached the extreme pain threshhold before the test was finished.

But with my maternal Grandfather & all 4 of his brothers dying very young from heart attack & my paternal Grandfather dying at age 52 from a stroke (heavy drinker & smoker), I'm not willing to take any risks & ignore any chest pain or discomfort (that might otherwise be possibly connected with FM or CFS).

Better to be safe than sorry.

I walk much slower now & carry my GTN spray in my handbag (which I hope never to have to use).

Creekfeet, good luck with the testing. I hope you get to the bottom of whatever is the problem.

Try not to worry, though - worry only makes things worse. A couple of drops of Bach Rescue Remedy on the top of your tongue sometimes helps when you get chest pain/discomfort, even if it's only to keep you calm & avoid panic attacks.