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Is it my heart or my digestive system?

I am a 26 yo African American female. Heart disease runs heavily on both sides of my family. I have been smoking since I was 17 and recently within the past couple months) I have been drinking pretty heavily almost daily to deal with my stressors. I've also used recreational drugs and have had to use a significant amount of pain medication for other conditions I have had. For the past 3-4 months I've noticed I get lightheaded and dizzy easily. At first I just noticed it when I changed positions too quickly (such as going from sitting to standing) or when I bent over to pick something up. Sometimes I actually felt as if I were blacking out. This past week I've been experiencing chest pain that I've never felt before, sometimes shooting down my left arm and into my neck and jaw. I feel nauseous often, I get winded easily, my vision goes blurry at times, and I can feel an irregular heartbeat (this doesn't happen all the time, I notice it more if I've just exerted myself or when I'm laying on one of my sides). I went to my PCP and found out my blood pressure was really high. My EKG was normal and she told me I need to deal with my stress, stop drinking and smoking, and she put me on a low dose of blood pressure medication. I have still felt these symptoms consistently and today I felt really bad to the point where I went to the ER. I have been taking the BP meds for two days. My blood pressure was down, EKG and chest X-Ray were supposedly normal as well as the bloodwork. I was told it's probably just reflux and I was given Prilosec. I'm not completely comfortable with that diagnosis given my lifestyle the past 10 years and my family history. One of my aunts who was in her early 30s, overweight (as am I), and a smoker experienced chest pains and other symptoms I was never told. She went to the docs where she was basically told the same thing, that she had gas and to take an anti acid. A few days later she died in her sleep from a massive heart attack. It is probably safe to say I may be a little paranoid because of my family history, but I'd rather be paranoid than dead! But I guess I want to know if it is just paranoia or if something may actually be wrong with my heart, possibly even my liver as I've also been having pain on my right side in the area of my liver and kidney (probably the end of last year I was told I had a mild case of fatty liver)? I do intend to see a cardiologist especially if my symptoms persist or get worse.
2 Responses
976897 tn?1379167602
An EKG and x-ray would rule out a number of things. It will not rule out heart disease and the best thing would be a stress test. You can usually tell if heart disease is an issue because you become more limited in physical activities. If you exercise regularly it is even more obvious when you can't achieve the same levels of activity. Chest pain at rest is not your usual heart disease symptom and you would only feel symptoms when exerting.
1756321 tn?1547095325
Besides the obvious recommendations that your doctor gave you of giving up smoking and drinking, I would recommend vitamin D3 supplements (you are deficient until proven otherwise especially since you are African American), magnesium supplements (chelated with amino acid recommended - anything from stress to sugar to alcohol will use up magnesium stores), limit refined carbs/sugars (I've lost 13kg since cutting out sugar), and exercise (speeds up metabolism which means you are burning off the sugar before it turns to fat!). A youtube video that is well worth watching is Dr Lustig's - Sugar The Bitter Truth. :)

Excerpt from Dr Hyman's article: Magnesium: The Most Powerful Relaxation Mineral Available...

You might be magnesium deficient if you have any of the following symptoms:

• Muscle cramps or twitches

• Insomnia

• Irritability

• Sensitivity to loud noises

• Anxiety

• Autism


• Palpitations

• Angina (chest pain)

• Constipation

• Anal spasms

• Headaches

• Migraines

• Fibromyalgia

• Chronic fatigue

• Asthma

• Kidney stones

• Diabetes

• Obesity

• Osteoporosis

• High blood pressure


• Menstrual cramps

• Irritable bladder

• Irritable bowel syndrome

• Reflux

• Trouble swallowing"
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