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Severe Chest pain relieved by cold water
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by DeBug, Jan 06, 2011
I hope I got the right Forum for this...

I'm a 51 year old male and for the past 16 months I have had a strange pain happen to me at random times.  I call it a "severe flash pain" for lack of a better description. It is located in my chest behind the sternum and slightly to the right (not the heart side).  The pain area radiates about the size of a softball and happens very fast with no or little warning.  I have even been raised from sleep with this pain.  I get it at work, at home, pretty much any time of day.  I can’t seem to nail down what triggers the pain like meal time, too much stress, fatty foods, etc. The weird part is this: I get myself to cold water as fast as I can and drink it quickly.  Almost as fast as the pain arrived…it goes away.  The pain is severe and the rush to find cold water is in panic mode to be sure.  I even had to get a cup out of the trash once since there were none around during an attack!  I don’t think it’s a heart issue but I just don’t know.  I do drink coffee in the mornings, don’t exercise much as I should, but I don’t know if that’s it.

DeBug
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Member Comments (90)
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by Tuckamore, Jan 06, 2011
Hello DeBug,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am so sorry to hear about your attacks of sudden severe chest pain.

The obvious first thought is cardiac. The pain doesn't have to be exactly over your heart or on the left side.....however drinking cold water should not relieve cardiac symptoms. If anything it should make it worse. But I am far from an expert. So I cannot say for certain that it is not cardiac.  

It's possible it is a gastrointestinal problem. Ppl with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) or similar conditions are often able to relieve their symptoms, at least temporarily with a glass of cold water...that is factual.  Obviously you cannot be diagnosed over the internet...it's a risky thing to do. I encourage you to consult with your PCP. Do you take anything for GERD?

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. I will be very interested to hear the results of your consult.

Best of Luck to You,
~Tuck
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by Tuckamore, Jan 06, 2011
I meant to add that you are always welcome here. Right forum or not!  :o)

You may also want to post on our Gastroenterolgy Forum....but please let us know how you are doing too. Here's the link:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Gastroenterology/show/68

Looking forward to your updates.

~Tuck
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by geminigirl1963, Jan 06, 2011
In addition to what Tuck mentioned, I was also thinking possible esophageal spasm - perhaps the cold water kind of "zaps" the spasm out.

Like Tuck, I'm no doctor, so am only giving my opinion/idea.

I hope you find some answers.
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by DeBug, Jan 15, 2011
Thanks Tuck and GeminiGirl for your help!  That is very kind of you both to take the time to read and respond.

I have not heard of GERD but will Google that to see what I can see.  The esopageal spasm looks like a possiblility as well.  I have not see a doc as I have no health insurance and will need to do what I can do on my own first.  

DeBug
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by dageirik, Sep 01, 2011
I have the exact same problem. Water relieves the pain. I am 35 and thought it was heartattack, but its not. With me it starts in the sternum and goes around the entire ribcage. It must feel like this to be strangled by a Anaconda.
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by rockhopper600, Sep 23, 2011
I too have these symptoms. They occur infrequently and cant pin down why or how they arise. However, drinking cold drink relieves it and without it it gets progressively worse, hence the panic to get water down asap. i can feel the liquid go down and somehow relieve the pain almost as quickly as it arrived. As sense of anxiety and being overwhelmed persists for a while though. I havnt yet discussed with a doctor and would be interested to learn of others diagnosis.
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by jan723, Dec 20, 2011
I too have this problem. I am a 61-year old female and identify with everything that Rockhopper600 says.  The pain is sudden and frightening, and of course I immediately think heart attack.  Although I am reading all of the posts, and have some spare time today to surf the Internet, I haven't seen what is actually causing the pain.  This sudden pain happened to me once when I was driving and unfortunately had no water in the car.  I stopped at a gas station to get some water, and had to wait in an extremely long (it seemed) line.  So I now keep a bottle of water in the car at all times.  I am glad to know that the cause is not a heart attack.  Thanks for all your comments.
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by dailyalice, Dec 22, 2011
I too get chest pains that i have been associating with gas pains that are almost immediately relieved by ice water. I am glad to hear I'm not crazy but would like to know if it really is just gas pains that have travelled to the upper chest. My pain is more like pressure in the middle of the chest, or a heavy weight. There have been no other symptoms like left arm tingle or anything else.
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by matt82184, Jun 30, 2012
I also have the same prob it feels so bad sometimes I fell like i cant breath.When i get water I fell it go down and it starts to go away.Mine always starts in the morning after I get moving around ,but I also drink water all day after that cause I work in a very hot plant or outside doing something. But when it hits me it can put me on the ground if i don't get any water.I'm 27year old male