I have rheumatoid arthritis along with another chronic condion called Chiari Malformation. My question is- can RA cause or be associated with chest pain and pressure? A month and a half ago I woke up to extreme chest pain and pressure. Felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I was dizzy and nauseus. Ended up going to dr next day and got an EKG which came back normal. He put me on Plavacid- said it was esphagial spasms. Took it for two weeks and NO change. Two weeks after first spell I had another one- extreme chest pain along with fatigue. Another dr visit- another EKG and chest x-ray. Dr said chest wall was inflammed. She gave me an anti-inflammatory shot which helped a little. This chest pain has been pretty constant for a month and a half. Now my shoulders and upper back hurt with it and into my neck. Now- it hurts as I exercise. A little background info- I am 35 year old female that has lost 70 pounds in the last 9 months. So- I should be feeling good.... but I am in more pain than I've been in awhile. Seems there is a new obstacle around every corner.... :(
Any suggestions or advide?? Anyone else have chest pains with RA???
RA can cause pain in the chest, though I'm not sure it would cause the kind of pain you describe. Basically, anywhere in your body you have cartilage, RA can affect it. The rib cage does have cartilage; when RA affects this cartilage, I believe the condition is called costochondritis. I don't have it but I know other patients who do.
I wonder if you aren't suffering from GERD - gastro-esophogeal reflux? You can have it even if you don't feel acid in your mouth and throat, even if you don't have what might typically feel like "heartburn". My husband has this and suffers periodic bouts of chest pain, sometimes it has been so bad that he, too, has gone to the hospital. At one point he was given something for spasms which didn't do much for him, either. The chronic acid erosion causes his esophagus to narrow, and he has to periodically have it stretched so that food doesn't get stuck and totally block the path to the stomach (which has happened, requiring emergency surgery).
Congrats on losing the weight! I wonder if the change in diet is contributing to your discomfort? Have you seen a gastroenterologist? It might be worth it, just to rule out stomach/esophagus issues.
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