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Heart, Blood and Circulatory System :
Chest Pain

Chest pain is considered a medical emergency, and it can be a symptom of serious problems with the heart or (more rarely) the lung. Sometimes, it can also be caused by digestive disorders. Pain along with a squeezing feeling in the chest and pain in the left arm, or the left side of the neck or jaw, is always a sign of trouble with the heart and needs immediate medical attention.

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Chest Pain on Walking - Cenre/Right

OK, if anyone recognises these symptoms I'd appreciate any help identifying what's wrong with me: 


 

I'm male 53, overweight, been intermittently a heavy smoker but quit for good 7 months ago. I've suffered severe acid reflux for some years which I control with over-the-counter antacids. The acid problem is a lot less since I quit smoking but I still get it sometimes when I turn over in bed.  Around the time I quit the ciggies I tried to diet to prevent massive weight-gain.  My idea of a workable diet tends to be mainly grilled fish, huge salads, fresh fruit and probably a little too much dry white wine.  It kinda worked as my weight rose a little but slowly came back down again.  But, I began getting a regular chest pain which has not gone away all these months.

 

The chest pain is focussed to the centre, radiating just right of centre, of my upper chest. If I draw a line between my nipples, I'd say the pain is centred about an inch above that line. It typically strikes every other day and usually in the late afternoon or evening. It's triggered by my walking even a short distance, not necessarily uphill or relating to any kind of real exertion. It also comes on sometimes when I lie down in bed.  To get rid of the pain I have to either sit down and lean forward, or if I'm outside walking I must stop and lean on a wall or whatever. The pain goes away in less than a minute. There is no shortage of breath, no sweating or dizziness and no palpitation.  There is no sensitivity on the surface although the pain doesn't seem to be very deep.  Describing the pain is difficult.  I'd say it is a 'hard ache' and feels as if I've swallowed a chunk of rock and it's lodged in my chest.  It doesn't seem to matter if I've eaten or not, or what I've eaten, but it does seem to occur at times of day when I'd normally be eating.  I have a history of hypertension but my blood pressure has been under reasonably good control for many years by taking a daily cocktail of Atenolol, Nifedipine, Losartan and Aspirin and getting regular check-ups.  I was told I had a 'slight systolic murmur in the aorta area' about 18 months ago but I was smoking heavily at that time.  If I go see my doc about this problem I know he will give me his usual lecture about my being overweight/obese as he has done for every complaint I've consulted him about for the last 20 years.  I've read about Barretts and hiatal hernias, GERD and gallstones ... what's happening doesn't really seem to fit any of those exactly.  Anyone have any ideas?  It's almost disabling me and scaring the hell out of me to be truthful.

Posted on : Tuesday, November 11, 2008 10:26 PM
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