How do you know when it is heart related

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Hi, About this time last yearstarted having awful chest pains, palpitations, dizziiness, numb arms etc. had lots of tests which all came back clear, am 56 female and was told after a scan I have zero heart disease and problem likely to be gerd and costrocondritis.  Everything seemed to settle until earlier this week when again started with the palpitations, tingling left arm and pain going into hand, a really aching tingling pain different to pins and needles, also intermittent ear ache, last night had really bad central/left chest pain and was convinced I was having a heart attack, but as no sweating or sickness tried to calm down, but today not feeling great.  I am getting into a right pickle and worring would I actually know I was having a heart attack, the pain is so intense sometime surely a heart attack cannot be much worse. I will go back to GP next week but do not want to waste A&E time if nothing wrong.  Would a heart attack keep going on and on for days, coming and going, it is not affecting my daily life or my appetite, but you read so many stories than women's heart attack as so unlike mens and sometimes you have hardly any symptoms. Just wished these pains would go and I could stop spending my life worrying that today's my last.  Dramatic I know but that is how I feel

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Well if I were you I would bother A and E. There are so many who go with a sore throat or less, surely you should get checked out again. A lot can happen in a year. Best of luck. Roy
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    • Posted

      Thanks Roy, I am feeling better today, but will not hesitate if pains come back and will be going to GP on Monday to talk about things and ask for some more tests.
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  • Posted

    I had a heart attack (silent MI) 3 years ago, am female and was 63 years old at the time. I had no pain whatsoever but felt dizzy, faint and lay down on the floor. I was soaked in sweat, some nausea. I rang for help and test s showed non ischaemic heart attack.I just KNEW with my whole being that something serious was wrong and I think you would probably do so too. I would get checked again just for peace of mind but as you say this doesnt intefer with your daily life or your appetite it doesnt seem likely to be a heart attack. All the best and I hope you feel better soon.
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    • Posted

      HI Bess, hope things are ok for you now. I think the fact that I could still eat my dinner and was not sweaty or feeling sick was the reason I did not go straight to A&E but will be keeping an eye on things and going to GP on Monday. Take care
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  • Posted

    Everything you are talking about sounds like Prinzmetal angina, look it up, what you find might reduce your unhelpful anxiety smile And as has already been said, A&E is full of timewasters so one more - not that I'm saying you actually are - won't hurt cheesygrin
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  • Posted

    Have you taken prior to this starting an antibiotic of the fluoroquinolone family such as Cipro. This can be given for UTIs, sinusitus and bronchitis. I suffer from costo and get very similar symptoms. This has been happening on and off for 5 years+. It is very frightening but I'm still here! Do you have any other mysterious symptoms that come and go?
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    • Posted

      Hi Madge funnily enough all these symptoms started last year after taking antibiotics for tonsilitis, followed straight away by anti b's for a small carsinoma that became infected. I was given 3 different ones, cannot remember the names apart from flagyl and one which was just 3 tablets instead of 21, I became really unwell with this one, my face swelled and became blotchy, my heart raced and had ECG which showed an extra heartbeat which I was told was normal. This continued right through last year and I had several ECG's, a stress monitor and a heart ECG and was told all perfectly normal. The chest pains come and go and move about a bit from front to back and left to right but as that is also the sign of a female heart attack is the reason I am a bit panicked. Do feel a lot better today, but hands and arms still a bit weird and numb. I also have osteoarthritis in my neck which is why they think the costo has started so may just be a trapped nerve. Will see GP next week and ask for further tests. I also have stabbing pain in left armpit and sore breasts but that is the costo I think.
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    • Posted

      Many of your symptoms are very common with fluoroquinolone toxicity. If you look this up online try not to be too worried- there are some really horrific stories from people who have been very badly "floxed". Floxing can cause costo because cartilage and tendons are affected. I have all the symptoms you describe and even ended up last year in a cardiac ward with atrial fibrillation one week after taking one capsule of Cipro.. The pain of costo can mimic heart attack very closely. You need to find out what antibiotics you were given. The trouble with FQs is that many problems like the tendonitis can manifest themselves months after the antibiotic was stopped and people make no connection. In the meantime a magnesium supplement will help and you need to get your vitamin d level tested as low vit d will exacerbate all this.
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  • Posted

    I certainly would go back and also get another opinion, as i heart a heart attack 3 months after visiting the doctors complaining about pains in chest, the doctor had rubbished it was connected to my heart

    dont worry about feeling guilty is so important to prevent heart failure

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  • Posted

    Hi youngatheart1 you must be worried enough to share your concerns through this forum. As a medic I have attended many people concerned they are having a heart attack.

    Some of the facts that may or may not assist you:

    A lot of your symptoms are explained by a trapped nerve or an irritated nerve in your spine. You should have been asked the questions..were you doing any heavy lifting? Are you more stressed than normal? And a dozen other seemingly irrelevant questions. When these have been answered you have had e.c.g's and blood tests

    Cardiac pain when presenting tends to stay until it is treated medically. A large proportion of women having a heart attack have presented with abdominal pain rather than classic chest pain. This makes treating a female  slightly harder than males. Are you diabetic? Diabetics can have a full on heart attack with almost no symptoms.

    For your peace of mind you need to return to your GP or drop in centre where a proper exam can take place. Failing which..111 who will immediately despatch an ambulance!

    Good luck with your treatment!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I do have arthritis in neck and now this costochondritis/fybromyalgia due to many years typing with bad posture. I do get dizzy spells when I sit in an odd position and pressure in back of head/neck area so the trapped nerve sounds logical. I do not have diabetes but do have GERD, I sound like any old crock, but I am healthy really. As my pain comes and goes and can be on and off for many days I know realistically it is not my heart, but with the symptoms being different for women it is that which I struggle with as to whether I would know or not. I am due to see GP on Monday and will ask again, but I have good blood for my age (56), zero heart disease, good blood pressure and heart beat so GP looks at me as if I am mad. Good to have medics on the forum. Take care
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    • Posted

      I have lived with these symptoms for more than 5 years now and I understand perfectly how worrying they can be. Becoming anxious about the chest pain causes it to worsen and this can lead to a vicious circle. I too have good blood pressure and no diabetes though blood sugars are edging into prediabetic levels. It is very important to optimise your vitamin d status. Low vit d levels can make this worse and is a marker for cardiac problems along with umpteen other complaints. My doctor told me that if I could make the pain come on by poking and prodding the places where it hurt it is very unlikely to be of cardiac origin.
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    • Posted

      Hi Madge, yes when they start I get really anxious and notice my heart beating faster. I will look into Vitamin D as I know about B and Magnesium but not much about D. The cardiologist said the same to me that the heart does not hurt, which seems at odds with the fact that when having a heart attack you get severe pain. I am trying to stay calmer and things are good at the minute, let's hope they stay that way. Take care
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    • Posted

      You could try to monitor whether there is any particular movements that bring them on or whether they tend to occur at certain times of the day ie before or after eating. Try deep breathing to lowet the heartrate. If you take your pulse you should be able to feel the difference in heart rate between breathing in and out. It should slow on breathing out.
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