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Left Armpit and Chest Pain
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Left Armpit and Chest Pain

It started when I was 25 years old, I began getting sharp pains just under my left armpit that spread into my chest and also went down my left arm. Sometimes the pain would last a couple of minutes and then go away, other times it would last on and off for a couple of hours . I went to my doctor and got an ECG done and there was nothing found. The pains didn't come back until last summer when I was 34 years old. I went to the doctor, who gave me another ECG and I also got an ultrasound done on my heart. I do not have paracarditis, thankfully. My doctor stated that he thought that one side of my heart was slightly bigger than the other side and he explained that it may be caused from the pressure that my lungs put on my heart. I had been a heavy smoker for 18 years and quit over five years ago now. However, he said that my pains shouldn't be caused from that. The pains have come back and have been fairly consistent for the past three days now. I am active, regularly go the gym (4-5 days a week) and I am happy with life. I have touched the muscle around my armpit and I don't experience any pain when I touch it. I don't experience any heart palapitations and I rarely get headaches and I am not an anxious person. I have only experienced blurred vision once that coincided with the armpit and chest pains and that was two days ago. Should I be concerned about the pains that I am having? My doctor doesn;t seem to think that I have anything to worry about, but I have been in pain for the past three days now. I did get an x-ray done on my lungs and they look fine. I do not have a family history of heart disease, but two of my extended family members have lung cancer. I have also been woken up in the middle of the night by these pains. Do you have any suggestions on what may be causing this?
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Too tired to get into the details again, so I'm cutting and pasting from a previous post of mine...

My MI symptoms were very atypical and they say that because I possibly had "unstable angina" the stress test didn't catch it. The echo stress tests are grossly inaccurate - you HAVE to ask for a 64 slice CCTA (Cardiac CT Angiogram), the only way a cardio can see the condition of your Coronary Arteries without doing an angiogram.

You can read more about it on Angioplasty.org

Preceding my heart attacks I had a diffused "bundle" of pain to the right of my left armpit, my triceps hurt, and I had a similar "bundle" of pain in the palm of my hand. No chest pains, no breathlessness or crushing pain. My story below....and go see another cardio! I was misdiagnosed and I'd hate to see someone go thro what I did.
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From previous post:

I was misdiagnosed a month before the actual event. Drove myself to the ER and checked myself in, following a strange band of discomfort from shoulder to shoulder. Stress test showed all was ok and they discharged me after an overnight stay, with the suggestion I may have a pinched nerve.

Met with my internist 2 weeks later and he reinforced the same diagnosis and showed me how to do standing push ups to "release" the pain when it comes. I asked him and the cardios if they need to do any MRI's or CT scans to make certain it's not the heart. I even said I'll pay for it if the Ins. co's refuse. They all reassured me that I've nothing to worry about - my heart is fine.

I must have had 80-100 angina attacks over the next month that concluded in the 3 heart attacks when I was out of town. In fact, when I had my first 2 attacks in the middle of the night that shook me out of sleep, I awoke and did the standing push-ups to relieve the "pinched nerve". And when I went into the ER, I told them I had a severe pinched brachial nerve that's badly inflamed.

When I spoke to the cardio who performed the emergency Angioplasty, he just shook his head in disbelief that I had been diagnosed with a pinched nerve. Troponin levels were at 89 (I understand that 0.04 is the baseline showing you're having heart damage)

Also asked the cardio why they didn't catch all my blockages when they did all the tests  in Dec. and he revealed one of the many dirty little secrets - that the Stress Tests are accurate about 80% of the time and if you have any anterior blockages a Stress Test could miss them. Currently he said the best test - which ins. co's do not like cardios prescribing - is the 64 slice CT scan.

Can you fathom - 1 in 5 patients doing a stress test who have anterior blockages in the LAD, could be misdiagnosed! This is not like forecasting the weather...to tell us that well you're just one of the 15-20% who didn't show up is unacceptable. But it's too late now. And I feel terrible for all who are continuing to be told they're alright based on stress tests.

I have been evangelizing this test and my colleagues are shocked. Several have been put on nitro and anti plaque meds in the last month since they have spoken to me and followed through.

Best wishes and don't hesitate to seek a second opinion!!!

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