Pinching pain in my heart
by Lisa-G, Jan 19, 1999
I am a 31 year-old female who was diagnosed with "slight" valve regurgitation.
The reason I had my heart analyzed was due to reoccuring pinching pain around
the heart area. The pain occasionally spreads down my left arm, but very rare.
The pain was excrutiating but oddly came only at intermittent times of rest, i.e.,
sitting on a train reading, just before sleep, or while silently typing at
my computer. My blood pressure is fairly consistent at 100/60 or 110/70. My
ecco showed a definite regurgitation, murmur? And I was told, "not to run
any marathons." My EKGs have always been irregular, since
childhood, of course because my heart is pumping irregularly. The pain
creates fatigue at times. I am also an asthmatic and was told any medication
for my heart would exacerbate a horrible asthma attack and vice versa. Some
times my inhaler/ventolin causes the meanest of palpitations. This depresses
me greatly. I used to work out but don't anymore because I am afraid of
dying of a heart attack. And ironically, I never was able to jog or run more
than two minutes at a time before feeling like I was going to die anyway. Any
advice? Please help. I have also been told the pain is in my head, that
I am too young to have pain from this. I know I am not crazy, I just need
a good doctor. Am I a candidate for valve replacement? Should I be taking
medication? If so, what kind? will it send me to the hospital with asthma
attacks? Write soon.
by CCF CARDIO MD APS, Jan 19, 1999
I am alittle confused, and this is why:
1) a slight regurgitation is almost NORMAL and therefore will NOT cause
an irregularity on the EKG and would never preclude a person from run a marathon.
Your symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath when trying to run could be
from the asthmatic lung disease but could be the heart (unlikely however if the echo
was normal except for slight regurgitation.)
Regardless, it sounds as if you would benefit from a second opinion by a cardiologist who
specialized in imaging. And a stress test of some sort (metabolic on treadmill for intance)
would be a good way to decifer if it is your heart that is having difficulty with exercise.
Lastly, a "slightly leaky valve" is not an indication for a valve replacement,
besides you need to find out the real problem before you can fix it.
If it does come to you needing heart and lung treatment then the cardiologist and pulmonologist
can treat you together, it should not be that your asthma excludes you from all treatments having to
do with the heart.
I hope you find this information useful. Information provided in the heart forum is for general
purposes only. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to
write back with additional questions. Good luck.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call
1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at
www.ccf.org/heartcenter. The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that
can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.