Respiratory Disorders Community
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Pressure in upper chest - Confused


I'm a 27 year old very active male, no past health concerns or issues, no asthma, no huge stress, etc. and not on any medication. I eat healthy and am training for mountain bike racing. I do lots of cardio.

Two weeks ago I was in Nicaragua, ended up drinking local water, eating local food etc. Obviously when i got back, I had stomach cramps and diarrhea (now cleared up 90%). The Wednesday after I got back (last week) I had a few drinks (scotch and vodka) and then coffees thursday in the morning and some oatmeal. Afterwards I had some quickly appearing pressure in my left arm, tingly fingers and felt like someone was stepping on my lungs and the air felt thick breathing in (like when you're in a hot humid sauna) I was also a bit spaced out, like i was beside myself. No pain in my chest however.

Because of these symptoms, I called an ambulance, didn't want to chance it as these could be some symptoms of some very serious things (I used to be a first responder and I know that even at 27, strokes and heart attacks are possible).  

The first thing the paramedics did was an ecg with the portable machine, my blood pressure was not higher than usual (even when panicking) and heart rate seemed fine. They took me to the hospital as a precaution.
The doctors did full bloodwork and all came back fine except for a .05% high on the clot test (D daimler I think).  

So they did a chest x ray, CT scan of my lungs and upper body and mapped my legs with an ultrasound to make sure there were no issues with DVT, pulmonary embolism etc.  All negative.

then they released me saying that all is normal.  

I'm not convinced. I still have upper chest, neck pressure off and on (between my nipples and my adams apple.   like i've been in a head stand). Pressure in my arm has subsided and not overly dizzy. My blood pressure seems the same as always.. I have NO pain, only pressure and sometimes feeling that I cant take a full breath/lump in my throat. like I may have a restriction on my bronchi or something, but no cough and no mucus/fluid.

I'm just wondering now, what could it be?  Would the ECG/Xray/CT scan AND ultrasound have missed ANYTHING that would involve my lung/heart systems?   Would they have scanned my lungs, and not my heart?  

Any ideas on what the issue is?  Maybe picked something up in Nicaragua?  

I'm a little scared to train again.    thanks in advance for your help.

1 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, as other conditions have been ruled out, your symptoms could be attributed to GERD, (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), where the acid contents of the stomach come up into the esophagus. You can try lifestyle measures to help with your symptoms. Take frequent small meals. Eat dinner about two hours before sleeping. Elevate the head end of the bed. Keep a food diary and note down what aggravates your symptoms and avoid them. Ensure to maintain optimum weight by regular exercise. Avoid non steroidal  anti inflammatory medications NSAIDs, quit smoking, eliminate alcohol and reduce stress levels. These measures need to be practiced long term for results. Hope this helps!!
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