Heart Disease Expert Forum
Baffled by Symptoms
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This forum is for questions and support regarding heart issues such as: Angina, Angioplasty, Arrhythmia, Bypass Surgery, Cardiomyopathy, Coronary Artery Disease, Defibrillator, Heart Attack, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Pacemaker, PAD, Stenosis, Stress Tests.

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Baffled by Symptoms


  I am a 38-year-old male.  I'm relatively active, non-smoker, non-alcoholic drinker.  Up until a year ago, I would have considered myself healthy.  One year ago, I had an episode of dizziness and chest pain that lasted about 1 hour.  I was taken to an emergency room and placed on a portable ECG.  My tracings were normal and I returned home that day.  I met with my internist who concluded that I had a vasovagal episode.  One month later, while vacationing, I had another episode of about the same duration.  My physician then order a exercise stress test, the results of which were normal.  A fwe weeks later, I had a severe headache, beginning at the back of my neck, that terminated at the crown of my head.  It was so sudden and so severe, that I momentarily lost consciousness.  This episode subsided within several hours, but I had lingering facial numbness that last several days.  My physician order a neurological consult and arterial CT scan.  Again, my syptoms (symptoms) were attributed to stress and migraine headaches, which my mother also suffers.  For about nine months, I have been living with minor episodes of dizziness and dull headaches.  The one factor that has always been present is a dull discomfort on my left side just below the armpit that radiates up across my breast.  I would estimate that I am about 80% of myself since that first episode a year ago.  I cope with it, but is that all I can do at this time?  Your impressions/thoughts about this would be welcomed.
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Dear Thomas:
I am not sure what might be causing all your different symptoms.  It would be worthwhile to wear a Holter monitor for a few days.  This is a sort of continuous EKG that you wear.  You would also keep a diary of your symptoms; that way your doctor could correlate whether your symptoms are due to a heart rate or rhythm problem.
You may also want to post your question on the Med Help Neurology Forum.  The neurologists may have some thoughts regarding the dizziness and headaches.
If you wish to be evaluated here at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment with a cardiologist at desk F15.  Information provided in the Heart Forum is for general purposes only.  Specific diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your doctor.





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