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Avatar universal

Dr baffling chest pains

I've had this strange pain right up under my sternum for a long time now. It comes and it goes, but when it comes its unbearable. It's as if someone has pushed their fingertips right at the joining of both rib cages and hooked up and under them. It's a feeling of incredible pressure and pain. I guess if you've ever slept on your stomach and your stomach starts to hurt the you'd multiply that by 15.

I've been sonogramed, endoscopied, poked, and prodded but no one has been able to tell me what is going on or explain why I'm having this terrible pain.

It can come about suddenly under any circumstance: with food, without food, heavy spices, bland meals, water, soda, during physical activity, during physical inactivity... It doesn't follow any real pattern or code. It just appears and causes great pain.

It started when I was in High School and went from a dull ache to an incredible stabbing pain. I went from moaning about it to screaming and writhing in pain. My poor parents could only look on in horror as I looked, I'm sure, like a possession case. Finally they scrounged up some Vicoden (Codeine) which did nothing at first. The pain started breaking up from a constant stabbing pain to phasing between incredible pain and excruciating pain. The waves of pain went from short and fast to far apart and slow. The lows and the highs both becoming lesser in magnitude. Finally after a couple hours it ceased and I was alright.

I've experimented with NuLev, Soma, and Zanaflex (all various muscle relaxers) and they seem to help a little, but I want to know what is causing this pain and why.

I just want an answer which no one can seem to give me...
4 Responses
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Thanks for writing to the forum!
Well, from your post it appears as though you have been investigated for the common causes like acidity, angina, panic attacks, costochondritis etc. It is unlikely to be due to pleurisy, pericarditis and pulmonary embolism due to its long history. The only other thing I can think of is aortic dissection. “Common tests used to diagnose an aortic dissection include a CT scan of the chest with iodinated contrast material and a trans-esophageal echocardiogram. Other tests that may be used include an aortogram or magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) of the aorta.” Refer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aortic_dissection#Diagnosis
Hope this helps. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!
Avatar universal
I've looked up all the suggestions and their symptoms but none seem to really fit. The pain is not only in my chest, but around my stomach. Almost like someone has their hand in there and they're squeezing my stomach and heart. Laying down makes it worse, and standing up makes it a little better. One time it caused my to vomit, and afterward I felt better. It's weird and ridiculous at the same time...
351246 tn?1379685732
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi
Thanks for keeping me posted!
Ok, now I have a better understanding of your pain. It is an abdominal pain felt also in chest that is worse on lying down—right?

Despite your endoscopy there is a huge chance that this is due to either duodenal or stomach ulcer, hiatal hernia, GERD or even dyspepsia. Pancreatitis, diaphragmatic hernias and certain types of lymphomas are the other possibilities.

It could also be due to irritable bowel syndrome. Dissecting abdominal aortic aneurysm are other possibilities. Intussusception and parasitic infestations too can present this way.
I would strongly recommend you to see a gastroenterologist (a specialist who looks after the diseases of our digestive system). Many a times a condition may not have the typical presenting features. Hence it is difficult to comment without examining.  Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!



Avatar universal
OOO! I do have IBS. Sometime I'm constipated for months on end (bm every 3rd or 5th day or so) and sometimes I'm flowing and always going (can't get away from the toilet because of diarrhea). A hiatal hernia was mentioned in the possibilities and stomach ulcers were ruled out with the endoscopy. Also, I believe the sonogram checked for possible gallbladder malfunctions (such as gall stones) and found nothing (well, I have two full sized spleens). My GI said everything looked fine an normal after the sonogram and endoscopy. It's definitely a mystery!
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