I am a 28 year old UK white male, 5"7' and 13st1pd. I know I am a little overweight, which I'm trying to combat and I also smoke around 10-15 cigarettes per day. I know I need to quit this and I am taking steps to do so.
Recently I have been experiencing chest discomfort, which started off as palpitations and progressed to a fullness feeling with chest pain under the sternum, rapid heart beats etc, and was very scared at first that I had given myself heart disease. I have no history of this in my immediate family, however my grandparents did suffer (all heavy smokers, ate an unhealthy diet as was common in Britain in those days). I've been to the doctors who performed an ecg, blood test and chest X-ray, which all came back normal and I was diagnosed with anxiety (I had suffered panic attacks previously but never this severe). Also, due to an episode of syncope which landed me in the emergency department, I was referred to a private cardiologist.
The cardiologist performed another ecg, an echocardiogram and a stress test, and also a 48 hour holter monitor. All of these tests came back normal apart from the ecg which suggested slight left ventricular hypertrophy, however this was thought to be an anomaly as the echo had not shown this at all. However, to be sure I had a cardiac MRI scan last Thursday, during which I was scanned for 45 minutes and for the last 15 minutes scanned with some sort of dye injected into me. I have heard nothing back about this scan.
It sounds as though as you have undergone comprehensive testing for your symptoms. If your holter monitor, ECG, echo, and stress test were normal, this is extremely reassuring that there is no structural abnormalities or significant underlying coronary artery disease. Your cardiac MRI was likely performed to rule out any infiltrative heart disease that could be a cause for your palpitations and syncope. If this is also normal, it may indicate another cause (non-cardiac related) for your symptoms.
Yesterday I woke with a strange heavy feeling in my chest, and dismissed it as stomach acid, as I have a strong suspicion that the recent anxiety problems, and perhaps my passed drinking history (never an alcoholic, but certainly heavy on weekends), has caused GERD or perhaps even gastritis. I showered as normal and made a cup of tea, at which point I lit a cigarette before going to work. During smoking of the cigarette, a strong pain developed which felt like it was coming from the bottom of my esophagus, and radiating into my chest. It got lighter after a minute or so, however stayed there and was nagging.
I walked the 1.5 miles I normally do every day to the train station with no relief, and after getting off the train in London decided to go to hospital. I was given 2 ecgs, the first of which came back abnormal however the second was normal - the doctor thought that lead 2 must have been loose on my chest. Also, I was given another chest x-ray and blood tests. My xray was fine, and the bloods showed only slight high ALT and slightly high CRP (5.5) and so I was released. I was given gaviscon which did seem to make the pain subside (not sure if this was related to be honest), and given a prescription for a medication called Omeprazole. I have taken this as directed, however this morning experienced another episode of pain in much the same way. This only last for about 3 minutes and then subsided. It seems to only happen in the morning just after waking up.
I still have chest discomfort and feel swollen in that area, and my left arm has strange numb sensations all the time. I'm a little scared still that I may be suffering from heart disease, and was wondering what the chances were considering my test results so far. I have not heart anything about the cardiac MRI but have been assured that if anything majorly untoward were found then I would have already been notified.
I would really appreciate some advice, and perhaps some reassurance.
Sorry forgot to add my family history - Grandmother (father's side) died age 62 from thyroxin poisoning - had a heart attack at first and then did not take thyroid medication (v sad story but I won't go into it now - consensus was the thyroid issues may have caused the first attack), also grandfather (mother's side) experienced angina in early 50s, and then died aged 75 from first heart attack. Grandmother on mother's side also died of heart attack however this was secondary to pneumonia (I think) and she was 78 at the time.
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