Chest pain for the last 9 months.

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Hi I have suffered with chest pain on left side and sometimes in the back for 9 months. The pain comes on at rest and during stress not with excercise. When I walk far I get lightheaded and I sometimes vomit. I get periods of extreme fatigue, a stress test showed mild blood flow to heart but an angiogram last week showed no blockages. It's getting me down as to what is causing this, I'm a 46 year old female and my father and brother both had heart attacks and needed stents. Any info will be appreciated. Thank you x

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  • Posted

    exprience this does sound like Prinzmetal angina orSyndome X, worth asking about firmly with your GP and Cardilogist... buti do stress thsi only sounds like, from my own personal experience, apart from actually being sick... which i havent been (but did feel sickish) Dificult to test for but for example ge tthe opinion of Prof Kaski who i found ot be very helpful (google him and the Prinmetal and cardiology) Hope this helps...
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    • Posted

      Thank you Andrew, I will google Prof Kaski, it's stressful when you haven't got a diagnosis.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jo,

    I noticed you mentioned the stress test showed "mild blood flow" to heart, by this do you mean that they found blood flow is "limited" to your heart ?.  I would actually seek a second opinion, as it could be an actual heart mechanism causing  it as well, Angina is usually the diagnosis if your heart tests come back  relatively normal/ or normal, as limited blood flow indicates a blockage but you said Angio came back normal. Does a heavy meal bring all the symptoms on ? I'ts sounding like  angina  and the next step would be to find out which one.

    But in saying all this it could simply just be plain old stress, now I'm not implying that's what it is in your case. You would of obviously had an ECG (EKG) done, anything out of the ordinary in that ?

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    • Posted

      Hi, I meant to put there is a slight reduction in blood flowing to the heart, and yes all EKGs come back as normal. I'm waiting for results of a 24 heart monitor, and yes like you said it could be down to stress but the pains can occur when I'm sat all lovely and relaxed, so I don't think it is stress. Thank you for your reply.
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Very interesting, slight blood flow reduction but no narrowing detected, which part of the world are you from ?  Cold weather can be a trigger for angina as can extreme heat, sad it's a no win situation at times.

      I'm actually experiencing my Prinzmetal angina as I type and I don't think I'll be far off from calling an ambulance, The GTN was helping but it's not working as effectively now, I'm up to spray #16 and only relieving pain for 5 minutes at a time now.

      I hope the halter monitor will tell your doctors something so that you can get the answers you need and treatment underway. If you are from the UK your Heart Foundation has some very good information on the various kinds of angina including syndrome X ...ACS and Prinzmetal..

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    • Posted

      hope you dont have to call for an ambulance and turn the corner again... good luck, thinking of you!
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    • Posted

      Hi, how are you now? Has the pain lessened at all? I hope you didn't have to go to A&E. I'm from the UK. Please let me know how you are.
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    • Posted

      Hi  Andrew,

      Unfortunately I did have to call for an ambulance, but the good thing was it was just spasms and the GTN wasn't working in the end, had to have Narcotic pain relief, that worked a treat but spasms started again a couple of hours later but the pain relieving medication was taking care of the pain side and if I was feeling Ok I could go home , Doctor didn't want me to leave if I wasn't up to it but all was good so home I went.

      Thanks all for the thoughts

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    • Posted

      Hi jo,

      All good now thanks, the pain lessened after being given some pain medication, everything came back negative, it was just my Prinzmetal Angina acting up, as I suspected but it get's difficult at times because I have had 2 mild heart attacks and 1 TIA,

      Appreciate the thoughts..Thankyou

      Any news from doctors on your symptoms ? 

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  • Posted

    Hello, I get very similar experience, when I sit down in the evening I get pain going from my front left to my back, sometimes quite bad sometimes I have it on and off during the day mostly in my back, I haven't had any tests done to prove what sort of angina, but my doctor says I have it and prescribed a spray to use under my tounge when it gets too bad for me, so I never know what to do with myself.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jo , I get spasmodic attacks  which I  relive with 2 ranitidine & GTN [ spray tablets  ].They were diagnosed as hiatus hernia? before heart attack same symtons .This I do x2  but  iwould call 999 because of this - dying 3 x revived with an angioplasty .I have also been left on the fence regarding a pacemaker /defibrillator  which suspect I need a mini one .Telecare often find heard to rouse am single.

    When I see the cardiologists they never mention or record  the angina even though have suspect syncope  on eating [ comotosing] daily &it has  been proved the pulse drops.

    Is Angina heart or chest ?  Or is it both as on the borderline of 2 depts  as suspect a problem there & system using smoking past or present to ration assistance even though I stopped 10 years ago .

    Anaethetists don't want the risk they should know .

    Surely its cardiothoracic ?Is there a dept .And possibly microvascular?

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  • Posted

    Hello Jo, I have also had chest pain for a few years, but always put it down to indigestion, I was given Ommeprozole, until one day it was too much for me and had a test which came back with Atheroma I was put on a Statin, although I have low cholesterol 3.5, never had any other tests but now my Doc; tells me I have angina, I now have a spray to use. how does a person know exactly what you have and also how bad do you let the pains in your chest get before you ring 999.

    I'm afraid I can't help you much as I do not have information or knowledge.  I would also like some help but we don't have a heart nurse in our town.

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    • Posted

      Hi elizabeth,

      Your Doctor should of explained how to use the GTN Spray, when you feel dis-comfort in your chest  even if it's only mild, start taking your GTN Spray, the universal administration of it is one spray every 5 minutes in a 20  minute period , if the pain hasn't gone or has increased you should call for an ambulance. The old way was 1 spray of GTN and if pain persisted the next lot you would take 2 sprays, if pain persists then have 3 sprays and if pain was still persistant you have 4 sprays ( 5 minutes apart between each dose) I was told why they changed it to one spray every 5 minutes in the 20 minute period but I have forgotten it, sometimes I revert back to the old GTN Spray resume 1 ,2,3 and 4 to try and prevent a trip to our ER Department, doesn't always work (the old resume) with me.

      I find that a tad unusual that you are on a statin when your cholestrol is with in reason, and especially if your doctor considers it low. have you seen or heard about the latest studies on cholestrol ? they now believe there is no "such" thing as cholestrol and has no contributing factor to heart problems (although I'm sure Cardiologists would dis-agree with these new findings, I guess time will tell)

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    • Posted

      Thank you Samuels for your reply, well the statins I'v been on for 6 months have given me terrible pains in my legs, almost unable to walk, few steps start and stop, so a week Monday I stopped taking the statins and hey ho barely any pain in my legs, I was able to walk into town.  The spray the Doc did tell me what to do, but when I was taken to hospital with susspected heart attack, I used the spray that helped the pain in chest but also had excruciating pains in head and one of the Doc's in the A&E said the spray can give people terrible headache.
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    • Posted

      Hi elizabeth,

      Yes statins are terrible, I myself can't take them for the exact same reason as you, the pain is excruciating in the calf muscles and knee and ankle joints, even the smallest of doses causes this severe side effect even the old fashioned Questran powder does it, it does it's job in lowering the cholestrol but like you I suffer the severe side effects, my cholestrol was 20, have got it down to 14 now. As strange is this may sound I have cardiologist stumped they can't tell if it's the good or bad cholestrol that is extremely high, my triglycerides are 12. I have been told I have the start of heart disease with a 50-60 % blockage in the right coronary artery (only considered a baby blockage).

      Yes GTN Spray can give you the worst head ache ever when you first take it but over time it goes away, obviously it's effects can last longer in different people. GTN spray after about 6 sprays and no responce from it, it becomes like lolly water to me, I can have up to 40 sprays an episode, I usually call an ambulance at around the 15-20 spray mark, I always get that "one " bad spasm attack, any other days that I would normally get them my medications and the GTN keep it in check, there's just that "one" day, it could be weekly, twice weekly, but since the medication change it's around the 15-20 days I can get with out a big spasm attack. A lot of people don't know this but GTN Spray is also used in the treatment of indigestion, that's only one thing that I'm aware at this stage, my GP says it's used in a few different ways for various conditions, he wouldn't tell me the rest....

      If you don't use your spray much it will give you severe headaches, if you have to use it daily or a couple of times a week your body will normally get used to it and the head aches will subside, if you use it a lot some people can become immune to the GTN and it will no longer work, interestingly enough I found out that if you are on Cardizem you shouldn't use the GTN Spray as the 2 can interfere with eaxh other and not have the desired effect in reducing the pain, but my GP and cardiologist keep me on them both, an issue I have to iron out with them next visit as I only just found this out in my research into prinzmetal angina.

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    • Posted

      Hi Samuels, thank you for the info about the spray, didn't know about using it with mild pain, thought you had to wait till it was very bad, trouble is the doc's do not give enough information, so you live in a world of expecting and waiting for an attack and that in itself puts my blood pressure up, and they say "you need to relax" all very well for them it's not know when something is going to start up, sounds pathetic after reading some of the emails on Patient, I dread being in that situation.
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    • Posted

      Hi elizabeth,

      I hope I have helped you, yes if you feel a niggle coming on and it's not comfortable for you just have the one spray,wait 5 minutes if pain is still there or has increased slightly  have one more spray. They say that if after 4 sprays (1 spray every 5 minutes in the period of 20 minutes--best way I can explain it...or 5 minutes X 4 sprays equals 20 minutes)the pain is still there or has increased to call for paramedics .

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