Chest & Throat Tightness

dreampop

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I recently have had problems with my throat and chest closing up. The episodes last 1-3 hours and can be quite severe. I.e. laying in bed gasping. Cardio says my heart is fine. ENT doesn't think it's asthma since I don't wheeze, and there are no allergen exposers that make any sense. It's not anxiety or indigestion since it doesn't respond to those drugs. Took abx so I don't have any niggling throat or sinus infection.

Tagging @Hip because he's a wealth of knowledge.
 
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Heartl

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:)Yes, I have had a few episodes of this. For me I think my thyroid caused it as all the heart tests came back normal and my thyroid came back hypo. My thyroid goes up and down quite a bit. I hope you find the answer:)
 

Hip

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I recently have had problems with my throat and chest closing up. The episodes last 1-3 hours and can be quite severe. I.e. laying in bed gasping. Cardio says my heart is fine. ENT doesn't think it's asthma since I don't wheeze, and there are no allergen exposers that make any sense. It's not anxiety or indigestion since it doesn't respond to those drugs. Took abx so I don't have any niggling throat or sinus infection.

Also having costchondroitis and pain in the mid thoracic spine but I'm not sure it's related. Anyone have any idea what it might be? Tagging @Hip because he's a wealth of knowledge.
I can't think of any suggestions, but there is a nice comprehensive list of possible causes for chest tightness here.

Items on that list include gastroesophageal reflux, pulmonary hypertension, mitral valve prolapse (which is a common comorbidity of ME/CFS, likely because it is linked to coxsackievirus B, one of the ME/CFS viruses), pleuritis (inflammation of lining of the lungs and chest, which can be caused by CVB infection).

And if you look at this list of differential diagnoses of costochondritis, it includes pleurodynia (inflammation of the intercostal muscles) as one possible alternative diagnosis. Pleurodynia is also caused by CVB.
 

geraldt52

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I recently have had problems with my throat and chest closing up. The episodes last 1-3 hours and can be quite severe...
I'd take a very close look at any drugs or supplements that you're taking, and consider taking a hiatus from them until you sort it out...
 

Art Vandelay

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I recently have had problems with my throat and chest closing up. The episodes last 1-3 hours and can be quite severe. I.e. laying in bed gasping. Cardio says my heart is fine. ENT doesn't think it's asthma since I don't wheeze, and there are no allergen exposers that make any sense. It's not anxiety or indigestion since it doesn't respond to those drugs. Took abx so I don't have any niggling throat or sinus infection.
@dreampop Did this come on suddenly? I have experienced similar lately. My story in case it is relevant:

About 5 weeks ago, I noticed my muscles were incredibly sore over a weekend and I had a pretty bad headache (relatively speaking). During the week, I got tightness in my chest and throat (feels like my throat is swollen), nausea, loss of appetite, and weight loss (even though I was forcing myself to eat the same amount).

The next week, the chest felt back to normal but my throat was even more swollen. I had a lot of pressure and tenderness in my glands (but they weren't noticeably swollen), I felt hot and sweaty during the day (but no fever) and freezing cold at night and my muscles are completely exhausted. Eventually my throat became very sore.

Oddly most of my normal CFS symptoms disappeared (which is often the case when I catch an infection).

One doctor said viral bronchitis but gave me a prescription for antibiotics in case. I then noticed white/yellow pus-y lumps in the back of my throat so figured it might be strep. I tried the antibiotics but they made me very light-sensitive and gave me a fast HR and diarrhoea so I had to stop.

I got lucky and managed to see a well-known GP who has an interest in CFS. His opinion was that my throat wasn't red enough for it to be an infection . He also found patches of white inflammation in my nasal lining and said that this and the throat could indicate "allergies" from the immune system being in Th2. He recommended taking both Telfast and Ranitidine to shift my immune system to Th1.

The first dose of Telfast improved the pressure across my face and in my glands and I felt like I had more energy. However, about an hour and a half later, the back of my throat became extremely swollen (when I was talking, it felt like my voicebox was catching on the other side of the throat and there was a lump in my throat). I called the doctor and he said that this could have been an allergic reaction to the Telfast and to try the Ranitidine and then add the Telfast again in 5 days if it went well. However, the back of my throat swelled up severely again the next day without my even taking anything.

I had plenty of tests since but nothing has really shown up.

Eventually I got the courage to try the Ranitidine. Similar to the Telfast, it improves some of the pressure and tiredness but I then notice that my ears become blocked and my throat swells an hour and a half after taking it. A few hours later, I then notice that my body temp increases and I feel my throat throbbing. Often my pharynx becomes sore and swollen and I get a headache and feel quite flu-ish.

It almost feels like I have some sort of infection that my body is too weak to fight off and perhaps the immune shift caused by the Ranitidine is helping me fight back a little? I haven't managed to see the doc again as yet.

Sorry for writing so much, hope this is relevant or rings any bells for someone.

Hope you can find some answers and you improve soon @dreampop. I have found this whole experience to be very scary.
 
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Art Vandelay

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I managed to fluke an appointment with the CFS doctor yesterday. He said my blood tests indicated I had an 'active EBV infection' (unfortunately I didn't get a copy of this test result) as well as some kind of intracellular bacterial infection.

His view was that the EBV can eventually push the immune system towards a Th2 response and some measures (such as using Ranitidine) can encourage it back to Th1 which is better for fighting viruses and intracellular infections. I told him how Ranitidine was provoking a swollen throat, fever and flu-ish symptoms and his view was this showed it was working.

I do recall having a very swollen throat and tight chest when I first got EBV over 20 years ago so this kind of fits. Even a few 'more mainstream' doctors have suggested EBV reactivation to me lately so I wonder.