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Build-up and Release of Pressure in Chest and Left Arm
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Build-up and Release of Pressure in Chest and Left Arm

I am a male, 41 years old. Don't drink or smoke or use drugs-never have. Gallbladder & appendix removed. Enlarged liver with chronic portal tract inflammation. Barretts Esophagus (under control and last year was 'cleared'). Family history of 'silent heart malfunction' type stuff resulting in my mom & grandmother needing quadruple by-pass by the time they're 50, my dad had valves replaced at 55. I am happily married, no kids, and an executive with a major retailer. Five days ago, while on vacation fishing, I started getting dizzy. A very heavy pressure type sensation was in my upper chest on the left side. My wife said my face would get pale. Then, I'd get an awful headache (pain rating: 7-10). Pressure would build in my neck, shoulder, and travel down the bottom of my left arm and exit my pinky finger (pinky finger only). I could feel these symptoms come on to the point that we bought a blood pressure monitor and when it would start we'd start the monitor and my blood pressure was really high 160/90 and higher. As soon as the symptoms would let up, we'd retake my bp and it would be 130/85 and then after 4 minutes it would be consistently 126/82. I have no history of high blood pressure personally. The Urgent Care doctor did and ekg which was fine but he said the pressue is too high. He thought it was vasospasm. He said if it continued, to go to the ER. Well, it built up again (it comes on whether I'm active or resting) and didn't release. I thought my head would explode. Got to the Er and my bp was 175/110. It took 3 nitro tablets to get it down. They admitted me. I'm in the hospital now. No heart attack enzymes showing. They continued w/ nitro, a blood thinner shot in my stomach, and oxygen. I feel somewhat better, but the pressure still builds and releases, not as intense, but still there. Echocardiogram was okay they said. Going thru a stress test and MRI later today. Dr keeps telling me it's GI, but, I know it isn't. I also don't think it's my heart, per se, but maybe an artery narrowing for whatever reason somewhere in my upper chest on the left or in my neck. Dr says arteries don't do that. I don't get it. They said I don't have high blood pressure except during the episodes which they say is anxiety. But, I'm sitting here, getting waited on hand and foot (they have room service-classy hospital) and I'm happy and stable and so on. I got a great review, good raise, things are going well. I was fishing when it all started, which I love to do, so, how can I be anxious? They keep telling me I have pain, but, I don't. Other than my head when the pressure builds. There's no pain in my arm-it's very uncomfortable in a pressure/squeezing/you inflated the blood pressure cuff too high kind of way. Do you have any ideas what's wrong with me? They have documented the cycling of the high bp with the episdoes, but have no idea.
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Avatar_m_tn
I think anxiety is overused as a diagnosis for lazy doctors.

This could be from a lot of causes and it counds as if they are doing the right thing and trying to rule out the most serious (heart) first.

I frequently have severe pain and it will cause my blood pressure to vary.

Based on where you say the pain is check this chart.  Sounds like you might have a pinched nerve at C8-T1.

Good luck

http://www.shaunhussain.com/my_notebook/topics/dermatome_map.html
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1335581_tn?1275624167
this is in response to your post in 2008.  about the pressure "issue".  have you gotten any answers??? i am having VERY similar symptoms and was in the ER yesterday and they are referring me to a GI.  they said I have pancreatitis.  idk, how to keep up with this post, but if you could be so kind to reply also my email is aprilmichelle_44***@****
i REALLY hope you got the help you needed and possibly can help me!
thank you
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