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Chest Pains


Timbo
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How many of you get chest pains, where are they located and how severe are they?

I get chest pains every few days. They started three years ago, before I got the main POTS symptoms. I am wondering if I had POTS back then and only a few symptoms presented themselves. The pains switch locations frequently. I get them in the center of my chest, upper chest, left, right and below the chest plate. My chest pains are mild and sometimes moderate. I saw a cardiologist this past January and had a stress test which was normal.

I am just curious. I will see the cardio again in January.

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I've had chest pain with a normal echo and stress test. My cardio thinks it was either referred GI pain (I have a long history of delayed emptying and slow motility w/ pain), or nerve pain, or pleural pain.

Nina

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I usually get them if I've been up walking around and sit down suddenly- or vice cersa, when I stand up suddenly. That's about it, other than the occasional mild shooting pain of unknown origin :o

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I get such bad chest pains that it feels as if someone has just stuck a knife in my chest. I normal say horrible words and fall to my knees in pain. I also get the daily chest pain which can hurt allot. I have noticed I get them after I have go upset but sometimes I get them for no reason at all. I frequently wake up with horrible chest pains. :unsure:

I have Barlow’s syndrome and the combination of pots causing the pain. I see my cardiologist annually and take Magnesium tablets for the chest pain. MAGNESIUM TABLETS WORK WONDERFULLY. I take two in the evening and they work wonderful, remember we have to get a prescription we cant just take any Magnesium tablets. :o

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Hey Tim!

I get chest pains every now and then. They feel like they are coming right from my heart and are usually a dull aching type pain, though sometimes I get the sharp, stabbing ones. It is a little scary to think that I've gotten so used to chest pains that I just ignore them now....if the pain is ever because of something serious I will surely just ignore it then, too.

I also take magnesium and have found it to be helpful for chest pain as well as all those annoying "skipped beats, extra beats, odd beats" I was getting. But of course, talk with your doc before you try any new treatments. (I really should just start signing my posts with that :o )

Michelle

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Wow, what a timely discussion for me. Yesterday beginning about 4 in the afternoon I started having a very bad pain in my chest -- left side (heart) but the inside area by the breast bone. I have chest pains sometimes but they are ALWAYS on the outside -- coming from under the arm. LAst night I lay down and for the next 5 hours debated do I go to the ER or not. I was more concerned than normal because it was a new location and new type pain. BUT because moving my arm, taking a deep breath could actually cause it to be worse and even pushing on it would make it worse, I kept telling myself SURELY it must NOT be cardiac. I even called and talked to an ER nurse.

Like others, I have asked my doctors how in the world will I know when it is "just" POTS vs. something that could kill me? My neuro said don't sit at home and die from a heart attack just thinking it is POTS but when I asked how to distinguish the various pains, he said if it gets better when you lie down it is PROBABLY "just" POTS.

The emotional rollercoaster of knowing WHAT the H___ to do in these situations takes such a toll. If you go to the ER and it is NOT heart related according to their test, AND they know nothing about POTS, my experiences have not been very good. Even my husband is amazed. At 10 I took Advil thinking maybe chest wall pain and Ativan and slept! Happy to say I woke up this morning!! But I do feel lousy. stress I am sure.

I admire those of you who can ignore these episodes....trying to decide to seek help wears me down.

I hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. I am THANKFUL to have all who provide support through this forum.

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Chest pain ... yes and it is scarry. After years of watching (and ofcourse several cardios who tell me I am OK) I've noticed for myself that I tend to get a severe pain in my upper right chest (heart area) if I have abdominal discomfort in my lower left area. Don't know why but I suspect it is some kind of muscle or neural pathway. The doctors call this Non Cardio Chest Pain or NCCP. Sometimes it helps to have an acronym :-)

Like Ling I also take magnesium up to 800 mg a day. One of the other symptoms that is very bothersome for me is the ectopic beats .. skipped heart beats. For me it is like the heart stops or pauses and then BOOM a big beat that sends like a shock through my system. It is un-nerving. The magnesium regulates the heart and makes these far less intense and far fewer.

Goog thoughts,

EarthMother

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my chest pain is somewhat less of late. but usually i get it every day to some degree---ranging from ocassional mild discomfort to a couple of hours worth of on-off stabbing type pain.

i also find the skipped beats harder to deal with. and they're exactly as EM describes for me too.

i don't find that there is any correlation between it and the chest pain.

most of my chest pain is on (my) left side, under the arm, although it varies.

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Hi all! :(

I too get regular chest pain, especially when I am upright and active. This is very scary indeed!!! Other times I just get a sharp pain which comes and goes spontaneously for no appartent reason but I have been told that the second type is nothing to worry about. I too had a stress test which was essentially normal a year ago along with an echo (showed MVP) and ECG etc.

Alex

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After reading all of your posts, I thought I'd better sound off about my husband?s experiences. He has chest pain that feels like a heart attack. He has pain on the left side of his chest that radiates into his left arm and up the left side of the jaw. It also goes into his back & into the shoulder blade area. He has numbness and tingling in the left arm. Ok...his left arm hurts like ****, but what you going to do? He has MVP, but the doctor doesn't think that would cause all of these symptoms. In February he had an EKG that showed ischemia and indicated that he had a heart attack. He was hospitalized because the GP said that he looked like a walking corpse. He had been in such pain, but after years of trying to get help and the cardiologist always telling him that there was nothing wrong with his heart he was used to TRYING to ignore the symptoms. In fact we had seen cardiologist that had told us straight out to ignore the symptoms that he didn?t have a heart problem. He lost about 10 pound over the 2 weeks prior to seeing his doctor. So by the time he saw his GP, I guess this time something had happened. This is where the plot thickens.... he had a chemical stress test because like many of the rest of you he has pretty volatile tremors. At this time he was so sick that he was barely able to get out of bed & make it to the bathroom in the hospital room. Every time he did get up his HR would shoot to like 160+. The nurses didn't like him getting up, but he refused to use a bedpan. He would say ?Tell me there's nothing wrong with me but insist I use a bedpan...I think NOT!? Anyway the stress test didn't provide them with the answer as to why his EKG was very abnormal and why he was having this crushing pain in his chest. He has no pain if you press on his chest. So in their wisdom they had ruled out the achy chest wall theory. So home he was sent with no answers and no explanation as to what was happening. Less than a month later he was in the ER due to continued symptoms and had an emergency heart cath. Well, guess what, nothing showed up on that as well. No blockages or plaque. So, home they sent us again. That was in March. We?ve probably seen no less than a dozen cardiologists since then because I couldn't find anyone worth the diploma on their wall. In July I did take him to the Cleveland Clinic where he was diagnosed with POTS. He was told that the chest pain was a symptom in this syndrome. After receiving the diagnosis, I again looked for a new cardiologist in my hometown area. Finally we have someone who does understand what he?s feeling and she has an explanation. She calls it "Cardiac Spasms". There is another term for this occurrence ? it?s called ?syndrome X?. According to his current cardiologist, when you have a heart cath that shows no blockages, but you continue to have the symptoms that he has, she said that the heart is reacting to a stimulus of some kind. Our new cardiologist seems to be quite helpful as far as explaining what is happening. There is a great article at www.emedicine.com/med/topic447.htm that might explain this better than my rambling. Now on to the "cure". He does take a calcium channel blocker called Cardizem. He is now up to 180 mg. I can say with all honesty that this has helped. For reasons that his docs don't quite understand, it has helped with the tachycardia. I think this is just one of those cases where each person with POTS reacts differently. He doesn?t tolerate medication very well. In fact they first tried beta blockers which he didn?t handle well at all. His heart rate dropped into the 30?s. When he?s had to go off of the meds for testing, the pain and symptoms are 100% worse. So, I guess that means it helps. It doesn't keep him from having these symptoms, but it does seem to reduce the number of incidents per week. Unfortunately there aren't many cardiologists that agree with this finding. Even though this isn't a new "theory", I have seen cardiologists that will say they don't believe in coronary artery vasospasm. I don't know if that's like I don't believe the sky is blue kind of thing or not. I wish that medical science were indeed science. It seems to me that it's more about a belief level sometimes and I think beliefs are best left for religion and not medicine. I want to also say that you have to find a doctor that wants to help you. So many that I have seen barely want to give you 5 minutes of their time. God help you if you have a difficult case like most of you have. If my husband has to deal with living with these symptoms, the least they could do is deal with the symptoms as the physician. One other note worthy tidbit, his new cardiologist is from China. She studied here, but she was raised in China. Her father is a doctor there. For whatever reason I have found that they, meaning people of eastern medicine backgrounds look at medicine and illness a little differently. Please don?t just ignore your chest pain. Even though we now have a diagnosis as to what the chest pain is, his cardiologist has told us that this too can have consequences. Educate yourselves. Good luck to all and I hope that this has helped someone to realize that this is a real and diagnosable problem. You just have to find the right doctor.

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I, too, get chest pain so it seems like one of the more common POTS symptoms for a lot of us.

Mine is much more notable right before my period. In fact, I can usually predict my period within a 12 hour time frame of the chest pain.

Interestingly, I can predict when I ovulate by major heart palpitations!! I had one at Thanksgiving dinner and found I was ovulating the next morning.

I get them at other times too but the worst incidences are linked to my cycle.

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Hi guys,

When I heard Dr. Low (Mayo Clinic) talk about dysautonomia/chest pain he said he'd found SSRI's to be useful for it.

WOPM, thank you for taking the time to share your husband's experiences with us. I'm glad your husband has found something that at least reduces the amount of symptoms. I found the article you posted quite interesting, especially since it mentioned hyperinsulinemia. I will be interviewing a doctor this week about hyperinsulinemia and have been reading a lot about it.

Elaine, here is an article that you might find interesting (or boring ;) ):

http://www.mayo.edu/research/humanphysiolo...inson_2000a.pdf

Michelle

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Michelle, Thanks for that article. Nina e-mailed what I needed to open and view it.

I found it very interesting (if not just a tad over my head at times -lol), but the conclusion of the MSNA (muscle activity) being markedly increased during this time makes me wonder if the muscle twitches I see a marked increase in during this time are caused by this, and maybe even palpitations??

Very interesting. What were you thoughts on the article and do you have any problems with your cycle?

I could also be starting perimenopause, so not all of the problems I have could be linked to POTS - but I think they are definitely worsened by it.

Thanks again :D

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Hi Elaine!

I've read the article again. Personally, I think there will be more discovered relating to nitric oxide in the future and it's relationship to vasodilation in dysautonomia patients. This article touched on that just a bit.

I'm not sure if increased MSNA leads to more muscle twitching/palpitations. That might be a good question for your Dr.

Dr. Grubb lectured on hormones & dysautonomia (specifically menopause) at a support group meeting I attended. I covered what he said in a newsletter: http://www.dinet.org/images/newsletter2.pdf

I definitely feel like more blood is pooling in my legs around my period. That is the one time that I can take proamatine and it does help, which makes me think I do experience more vasodilation at this time. Keep in mind that most of the studies out there on the menstrual cycle/ANS were done on "normal" people....of which we are not. ;)

Here is another study you might find interesting. It is an easier read if you just go down to the "Discussion" section: http://www.clinsci.org/cs/102/0639/1020639.pdf

Take care,

Michelle

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