Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
4 months...no diagnosis...scared!
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

4 months...no diagnosis...scared!

In January of this year I was put on Macrobid and Metrogel for a 5 day course for a UTI infection. Within days I developed tinitus, shooting eye pain, severe pain on left chest,shoulder, arm down to wrist, soreness under left breast/rib cage area, and a feeling of not being able to catch a deep breath (left sided strain). I started to get these SCARY feelings in my throat and upper chest. They last only 1-5 seconds and then they're gone, with no lingering effect other than they terrify me. I called the pharmacist and they told me to stop the meds (at that point I did).

All went away in two weeks except the follwing:  

- Wake up feeling ok then left sided soreness kicks in remains all day. Gets worse with movement sometimes (showering/blow drying hair) but not walking, etc.

- Can't catch a deep breath. Left side feels strained.  

- Spasms on left side. I dont know if its a heartbeat or not. They are deep and feel like they are right over the heart/within the breast. Every few seconds some days and other days nothing. Almost feels like my heart is being squeezed. Last 1-5 seconds. Pulse seems irregular at times.

-"Stomach pit"/squeeze type feelings in the middle and left of the chest. Sometimes when I get them I feel them in the gut too. Again Last 1-5 seconds.

-Same thing happens in throat/neck. Left side, right side, in the middle, in the nape. Again Last 1-5 seconds.

- Voice hoarse/strained (left side)

- Days with alot of gas pockets "popping".

I never know what's going to bring these feelings on. I have had several just typing this. They happen at rest, out of the blue, BUT I also notice they happen sometimes if I bend over, go from sitting to standing, exertion, catch a deep breath. Sometimes a yawn, laughing, singing or talking for a long time brings the throat feelings on. I don't know what to do. These things literally stop me in my tracks and I think THIS IS IT. They are that strong. I am afraid to eat certain foods. Afraid to exercise.

Tests so far:
My GP -1/25 EKG. Normal. Said maybe I was sensitive to palpitation, or anxious. Gave me Xanax (which I refused to take).
Internist ON 1/30 EKG again. Normal.
2/14  chest xray, normal.
Cardiologist - 2/20 EKG again, normal.Echocardiogram, normal.
3/14 - EKG stress for about 6 minutes. Normal. PFT test, normal.
Blood Work (from internist not exactly sure what he ran but said he ruled out Lyme, RA, etc...)
4/6 - Chest CT Scan - normal.
4/12 - PFT again. Normal
4/13 - Barium Swallow. Normal

I was put on Prevacid 3 wks ago. Referred me to a gastroenterologist, hence the barium. Came back normal.  I don't know if the prevacid is working cause although the feelings havent been as strong, as often, I'm still getting them. Whether I eat or not. At rest or not. I did notice on two occasions I got strong ones after drinking tea or eating chocolate but thats it. Can it still be gastro related? Should I go back to my cardio? I don't know what to do.

Related Discussions
233190_tn?1278553401
You have a pretty comprehensive evaluation that would have ruled out many of the major causes.  The normal echocardiogram and EKG stress test would make a cardiac cause unlikely.  PFTs and a normal chest CT would make pulmonyar causes unlikely.

I agree with pursuing a GI evaluation.  An upper endoscopy to evaluate for any upper digestive tract diseases, as well as more specialized testing like esophageal motility tests can be considered.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
kevinmd_b
24 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This is just a thought. Have you had your thryoid checked? I was having weird palpitations and shortness of breathe about 18 months ago with some weird chest sensations. It finally scared me enough to go to the ER. I also had chest x-ray, EKG, cardio enzymes to rule out heart attack. Al negative. Bloodwork showed low thyroid. I started on levothyroxine and symptoms gradually disappeared over the course of 8 weeks or so. Maybe I am off base, but it might be worth checking it out?

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Continuation of original post...some more info.

I am female, 37 yrs old, 5' 11" , 165lbs. Had none of these symptoms prior to them starting. Have hypothyroid. On Levoxyl 175mg. Had complete blood work up and thyroid workup the week before all these symptoms started. All was normal. Have some involuntary jerks at night (started about a year ago) doc says not related at all. Other than that...fine.  


I wanted to add last week, I went to a sporting event. Alot of walking, upper deck. I had ALOT of the throat feelings. Not as I was walking but when I was sitting. Talking, cheering, standing up from sitting would bring them on. Again...they last 1-5 seconds...TOPS. I had only breakfast at this point (belgium waffle, decaf tea). The night before I had some pasta with sauce. I dont know if the food kicked it in or the exertion. I am baffled. I kept feeling my pulse...was around 100-105 all day. Was down to 80 by the time I got home and relaxed.

My pulse is 65-75 when I wake up in the morning. Simply walking knocks it up to 90-100 sometimes a little over. Goes back to 80-85 within minutes.

Again...I am
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Continuation of original post...some more info.

I am female, 37 yrs old, 5' 11" , 165lbs. Had none of these symptoms prior to them starting. Have hypothyroid. On Levoxyl 175mg. Had complete blood work up and thyroid workup the week before all these symptoms started. All was normal. Have some involuntary jerks at night (started about a year ago) doc says not related at all. Other than that...fine.  


I wanted to add last week, I went to a sporting event. Alot of walking, upper deck. I had ALOT of the throat feelings. Not as I was walking but when I was sitting. Talking, cheering, standing up from sitting would bring them on. Again...they last 1-5 seconds...TOPS. I had only breakfast at this point (belgium waffle, decaf tea). The night before I had some pasta with sauce. I dont know if the food kicked it in or the exertion. I am baffled. I kept feeling my pulse...was around 100-105 all day. Was down to 80 by the time I got home and relaxed.

My pulse is 65-75 when I wake up in the morning. Simply walking knocks it up to 90-100 sometimes a little over. Goes back to 80-85 within minutes.

Again...I am baffled.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, I am hypothyroid too. Do you know what your last thryoid bloodwork levels were. The guidelines have been changed somewhat. Is it possible you need to increase or decrease your dosage? I think normal range is now .3-3.0. I've read your posts and you've ruled out so many other things. Have you had your blood sugar checked? Low blood sugar can cause palpitations and odd feelings too.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't recall what my numbers were...just the doctor telling me "they are right where they should be". I have been on levoxyl for years (about 6). Past two or so years..they kept increasing me. Started at .25(?) I believe to where I am now; 175mg, because of weight problems and hair falling out in shower and things like that. I thought of thyroid but figured the doctors would know to look there so never really focused on it.

My big thing was ruling out the heart and the lungs prior to me following thru with gastro. I was positive it was one of those two, especially considering the breathing and chest discomfort. So I was a little surprised when my doctor suggested gastro. It's been too long and too scary for me to feel it's simply a gastro-related thing, especially since I have been on prevacid for 3 weeks and they are not going away. But of course, I am not a doctor, and I am listening to what they tell me to do. II am very grateful all the other tests have come back normal but very frustrated. I am afraif maybe something is being overlooked considering my overall good health prior to all this. Just very scary not knowing when they (the feelings) will come, where they are coming from or what triggers them to try to avoid them.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
OK, first, i would call your doc and get your exact thyroid numbers. I had to push my doc to increase my dosage to match the new guidelines. He was still telling me my levels were "normal" when they were not within the new guidelines. I will look to see if I can find you an article stating exactly what the new guidelines for testing are.

Another thought would be to check your iron levels. Anemia can make you short of breath and cause palpitations as well. I've been anemic for 15 years and the array of symptoms is amazing.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Here is an article about the new thyroid guidelines:

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
have they done a 24 hr holter monitor to check for sporadic arrythmias? they can cause some of your symptoms.....usually an ekg won't pick them up because you usually don't have the symptoms when they so it...i would request one just to make sure.  good luck
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I just returned from the gastroenterologist. I am more upset and confused. I had some of the strong feelings in my throat prior to me going to his office so I was upset when I got there. He said with the prior tests I had done and with the way I was in his office, he was thinking anxiety. I told him I was upset NOW but I wasnt 10 minutes ago. He felt my abdomon and checked pulse and listened to my chest and all that...but went right back to anxiety. I told him I wasnt under any stress or nervous about anything prior to these symptoms starting 4 months ago. I am under stress NOW due to no diagnosis. He said he didnt want to send me for further testing just yet. Wants me to take anxiety meds and wants to see me in 6 weeks. I am upset cause I think I wasnt able to give him a proper run down of everything going on because the throat was acting up and I was too upset to concentrate. Think I hindered his taking me seriously.

My GP said he would do the heart monitor for possible rhythem problems if the gastroenterologist was ruled out. I brought up the monitor in the past but he said my cardio doc didnt order one so he didnt think it was needed. But now he may do one.  

I wish I could explain these feelings better. They come out of nowhere. Turning my head, bending over, deep breaths, laughing, or just doing nothing and BAM I will get one. It's like a pressure type feeling maybe? Choking maybe? Cant put my finger on the right words. I get the deep butterfly type feelings in the chest and stomach the same way....out of the blue. Never know when its coming. They last seconds but they are terrifying seconds.

I am scared something is going undiagnosed. I am afraid it still may be the heart and something was missed. I am so confused.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
HI i know how upset you are at no diagnosis. But, it is possible that some of the symptoms are anxiety related. Are you going to try and take the meds he prescribed to see if you notice an improvement?

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't know what I am going to do. I am convinced there is something WRONG inside me and its not mental. Part of me wants to rule out a medical cause before I consider mental causes. I dont want a possible problem that needs treatment to continue on much longer. But part of me thinks maybe I should try the meds and see what happens. I know the doctors are thinking anxiety or stress cause I have been so upset lately but after 4 months...OF COURSE I AM is how I see it. I went to the doctor weeks after the symptoms first started cause I thought it was a side effect from these UTI meds I was on and it would go away. I went to the docs when it didnt go away. Wasnt nervous. Wasnt scared. Just figured I would go, they would give me something and all would be well. That hasnt been the case and now they say anxiety ( i say they because my GP said the same thing recently) but to me...the anxiety is symptom brought on from 4 months of my symptoms. NOT the cause of them.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, of course you are not mental. But anxiety can cause a whole host of symptoms in and of itself. It can't hurt to try what he prescribed. (What did he prescribe?) And see if you notice any improvement at all. The symptoms themselves are now making you anxious and that becomes a cycle.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your responses. I used the wrong terminology in my last post. Didn't mean to say mental persey...I meant psychological/stress type things and believe me...I know anxiety can cause a ton of symptoms and some similar to mine and I believe my anxiety over this probably isn't helping. But because I was fine prior to all this, physically/emotionally/mentally...I can't help but think against it being the cause of everything. Also, since the symptoms come on OUT OF THE BLUE..when I am at work, out with my friends, laughing with my niece, doing house chores, driving in my car, talking on the phone, food shopping, or sitting watching tv, and so on....it makes no sense to me. I have cried and got stressed out ALOT in these 4 months because of this and not once during my emtotional outbursts did the symptoms come. Not once. And my GP agreed...usually the symptoms would come on at those times.

So...I am completely drained and completely lost as to what to do. He prescribed me Xanax to take as needed.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
do you know how to check your pulse on your wrist?  when your not having these episodes, check your pulse to see how regular it is then when you are having an episode check your pulse and see if it's regular or irregular....this could let you know if it's due to an arrythmia....sometimes it's so fast you may not notice them but continue to try.........do you get these when  you go to bed and trying to sleep?  anxiety will increase them and when you go to sleep your heart rate slows and may produce this feeling.  be your own investigator and hopefully your dr will do the monitor and put your mind at ease.
good luck
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello ozark. Yes I do check my pulse. When I get not so stong ones...my pulse is normal. Sometimes I feel a single strong heartbeat here and there but I am pretty much between 75-85 normally. I am 65-75 in the mornings when I wake up. I never have these feelings late at night, or while sleeping (at least not that I am aware of), or in the early morning. They ALWAYS come during the day or early evening. Yesterday, the ones I had prior to going to the gastroenterologist happened around 4:30. Just getting out of my car and walking to his office. It came in the throat, not in the pit, but above it, like a tight pressure, sometimes even feels like something is moving, not a spasm type movement but a "wave" type movement. I know because I was visibly upset when he saw me, he wrote it all off as anxiety, which in a way I dont blame him but I was anxious because of what just happened not the other way around.

When I get strong ones...my pulse is not too much higher sometimes. Othee times it is like 100-110 but I think it's because when the strong ones come I get emotional and it takes me some time to calm down. My pulse goes back to normal in minutes.

I truly hope it is something gastro related and my GP will call the doctor from yesterday and have him examine me more thoroughly. But I can't help but be scared that maybe it is heart related after all. Maybe something is constricting or pumping wrong and it causes this throat pressure?  Because I seem to get them alot when changing position in any way, or any throat exertion (ex: taking deep breaths, yawning, etc..) You know when you try to catch a deep breath and you can feel it catch in your throat?....thats sort of like what these things feel like at times...just 100 times stronger and that is no exagerration. But i get them at rest too. And the chest ones I tend to get at rest. But my doc says all the tests I have had would have shown some type of red flag. He probably will agree to the heart monitor now though. At least I am hoping because I truly can't go on like this.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi again, i don't mean to sound like a brokern record, but are you sure you are not anemic? Anemia can cause shortness of breathe and a feeling of tightness n the chest as there are not enough red blood cells carrying oxygen to your heart. I had this a year ago and also was convicned I was having heart problems. I started on iron supplements and they symptoms subsided.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello Hudson. Again, thanks for all your responses. No, I am not anemic. Had that checked. Had all the bloodwork ran. At least, any bloodwork they think could explain my symptoms.

I have had several again today. They have been on the left side of the neck/throat and in my left chest. My left side feels strained and soar as usual. I am completely at a lost as to how to explain it and what doctor can help me. My Cardio and GP tell me heartpain usually doesnt present this way. My gastro wont see him until, as he said "I calm down". All I am on is Prevacid and all that seemed to help was the constant voice strain and hoarseness. I think today I will get the Xanax prescription filled but, honestly, I am worried to take it, cause what if whatever is wrong that hasn't been diagnoses yet, counteracts with it? See...THIS is the anxiety kicking in. I know I am suffering from it NOW. Of course I am...after 4 months. So I am willing to try these meds to calm me down. BUT I KNOW its not anxiety causing the main problems.

My sister works for and ENT specialist and she is looking into laryn(something) spasms. Can't recall the right name for it. He was the first one I saw for these symptoms. He said me to my GP (internist), who sent me to a cardio, who sent me to a pulmonary, who sent me to my GP who sent me to the gastro who sent me right back to my GP. My sister told him everything going on and he said he will see me again and look into some throat/gastro causes for me.

Even so...the heart is in the back of the mind.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi Talylor, i can feel your anxiety and am sorry I can't be of more help. Don't be afraid of the Xanax he prescribed for you. You can start with just half a tablet and see how it affects you. I have taken Xanax before...in fact I always take it before I fly on a plane as I get myself pretty worked up. lol. As long as it is taken for a short time and in the right dosage, its effects are fairly mild. It will just take the edge off for you and make you calmer so you can decide what you want to do next.

I really hope you find an answer soon. Please keep us posted.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My GP just called me. Wanted to know how the gastro appt went. I told him the disaster it was. He said he is going to put me on the heart monitor to rule the heart out once and for all and based on those results...send me back to the gastro or the cardio. I am very relieved I am getting this done but upset I have to wait til next week. Apparantely they wont have a device in their office til then. Meanwhile...I am looking up these layrngo spasms to see if this might be what's going on. Once again...have no concrete answers but glad I have a GP who is working with me and not completely writing me off. I know he is stumped and even though he knows I am suffering from anxiety now and he is trying to help me in that area, I think even he knows, that my initial problems are not anxiety related. I think he still believes its gastro related but for my piece of mind maybe, he is ordering the monitor.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
If you find a reason for all of those symptoms let me know. I am a nurse and have identical symptoms and can't figure it out. My pain is also in the left shoulder blade. Often at night I will get that sinking feeling and my pulse will drop and raise back to normal. I have had several tests: CT of chest, echocardiogram, and all the blood work I can handle. My sister, who is 40 and very healthy had a heart attack and my family insist I have anxiety problems. I know what anxiety is and I know that these problems are from something else. I hate to ramble but you get to a crashing point. I have the 1-5 second pains in my left side. My rib cage, shoulder, wrist, arm....all on the left. I also get a very uncomfortable knot in my throat that makes me crazy. I used to think it was the GERD meds...now I am not so sure. Everytime I eat I swell, and I have gained weight. SO...if anyone has any similar symptoms and has found a way to stop these feelings let me know........

kj
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am currently on a 24hr heart monitor (you can see my comments regarding this in a heart forum thread). Its been 4 months and still no diagnosis. Because of all the tests I had regarding heart and lungs (which in one of these is where I believed the problem stems from) the docs sent me on the path of gastro. Barium came back normal. 6 weeks of Prevacid hasnt made them go away (although it did make my hoarse/strained voice go away). So now my doc said he wants to see if maybe an arrythmia, extra beat or something is the cause of everything.  I even switched birth control and the time of day I take my thyroid meds to see if maybe these have anything to do with it. Even researched some meds I took 4 months ago when this all started to see if that triggered anything. I am trying every angle to try to come up with an answer. So if/when...HOPEFULLY WHEN...I ger that answer...I will definitely post it on this website cause between just being able to vent, the doctors responses and the readers responses...it has educated me and helped me emotionally and mentally get thru this hard time in my life.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi there, glad you posted, as I had been thinking of you. Hope you get an answer to your symptoms soon.

Hudson
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Asthma? have you been tested?
Also, it could be anxiety
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Been there and definetly know what you are going through!  Do yourself a favor and go to www.earthclinic.com and read the case studies on acid reflux and apple cider vinegar....you are not alone in these symptoms.  I have included my own feedback from that site.

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/acid_reflux.html


4/18/2006: Laurie from Enfield, CT writes, "After 5 trips to the Emergency Room (with heart attack symptoms) and a weekend stay in the hospital (where they ruled everything out, but diagnosed nothing!), I was getting sick and tired of being sick and tired! I was pretty sure I hadn't become asthmatic and I indeed was at low-risk for heart disease, but you never know! An endless parade of physicians (with hands held out).. cardiologist, pulmonologist, gastroentologist, family doctors, and Physician Assistants with their prescriptions of Toporol-XL, aspirin, Albuterol, Advair, Prevacid, Zantac, Nexeum, Prilosec, Zegerid (the mother of them all), Tums, Malox, Gavascon! You name it, they had me on it... normally all at the same time. I knew this pain and suffering wasn't just in my head (which was what they begin to hint), although my stress level and feelings of anxiety were peaking. I seem to hit pay dirt finally with the Gastro specialist, and he ordered up some test and then took off on vacation for almost two weeks. So there I was sitting-overmedicated, vomiting, dizzy, unable to eat, drink(even water), sleep, breathe normally, walk any distance, or lift anything. Rapidly, I was becoming a nonfunctioning participate in the lives of my husband and kids. In the middle of the night, during one nasty episode, I dragged myself crying to the computer and sat down and typed in all my symptoms and info. The search engine brought up some similar case scenerio and directed me to this site (earthclinic.com) where people were praising the "Bragg's ACV with the Mother," and the almost unbelievable results they received from using it. Until the break of dawn, I read story after story... always harboring that well known saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.", but at this point, I had nothing to lose (except my sanity!) That morning, I made the decision. I found some Braggs in the organic section of my local Shaw's Supermarket and raced home. I mixed 1 teaspoon in about 4 ounces of water and drank it down. Literally, in 15-20 minutes, I felt like doing cartwheels! How could this be! Over the next 24 hours, I stopped ALL medications and started using Braggs 3 times a day. I have not had another symptom since! In fact, for the first time in almost 10 years (since the birth of my first), I slept through the entire night (9 hours straight vs. waking every 2). I am elated! Of course, I will keep my appointment and have my endoscomy/ colonoscomy next week, when my doctor returns. Never once, did any doctor hint of a natural cure or relief from my symptoms. I can't wait to question him."

An update-My symptoms are still under control thanks to the vinegar.  After reading more on the earthclinic site, I realized that my stomach problems originated from a week's usage of ibuprofen.  The endo/colon were both normal and the doctor agreed it flared from the ibuprofen.  And he said that he has heard of the wonders of apple cider vinegar before.  We will do some testing on my gallbladder this week to cover our bases.  Good Luck!  Happy Reading!
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank