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Having chest pain. Took medicine. Allergic to caffeine. How to get rid of this pain?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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Im having chest pain with caffeine use and need some advice as i have a unique history with it. i was never a big soda or coffee drinker and still am not so i use caffeine for weightlifting. in nov 2011 i borderline overdosed on pills says the cardiologist. i had massive chest pain for a a few weeks including indigestion at times as well as withdrawal symptoms. i weaned off it and it took about a month.. after that i decreased my intake to about 200-400mg a day on occasion yet i was still feeling chest pains. as of end of sept 2012 i decided to quit all caffeine including chocolate and coffee etc til my chest heals up. it took about three weeks for the pain to go away entirely and so on nov 10th i took a 200mg dose and was okay.. no pain. so the next day i took another 200mg dose and at nite i noticed a small pain in my left chest area. the third day to confirm the pain could be related to caffeine i took one more 200mg dose and the chest pain came back in the left area and in the middle as well. minor but enough for me to take 1200mg ibuprofen. what has happened? has my nervous system developed an allergy to caffeine? what can i do to rid of these pains quickly and effectively? advice is truly appreciated.
Posted Mon, 3 Dec 2012 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Kulbir Singh 3 hours later
Hello Dear and thanks for posting the query
I am Dr. Kulbir Singh and read your query with diligence. I am here to help you out. Caffeine has a well know side effect of heart diseases. At your age with history of chest pain you have every region to get investigated for that. You may be right that it is related to your central nervous system. Caffeine stimulates Central nervous system and can cause rapid heart rates and chest pain. But we need to prove that. The heart diseases cause by intake of caffeine and cause left side chest pain are:
1. Hypertension: High blood pressure is a common heart problem in XXXXXXX Caffeine can exacerbate this problem. When you consume caffeine, both your systolic and diastolic pressures rise. Keep a record of your blood pressure for one week.
2. Arrhythmia: Ingesting an excessive amount of caffeine may lead to a heart arrhythmia, some of which may be XXXXXXX
3. Coronary artery Disease: Caffeine increases the risk for coronary artery disease.

Most health professionals agree that a moderate intake (equal to 200 mg of caffeine per day, or about two cups of coffee) of caffeine can be perfectly safe for most. But as this much amount is causing pain in your chest, you needs a clearance from your doctor before taking caffeine. In my opinion you must consult your cardiologist before you consume caffeine in future. Your cardiologist may order you some investigations like EKG, Stress test, echocargarphy and holter study (if you have palpitations). Depending upon the investigations and clinical examination your doctor can tell you whether caffeine is cafe for you or not and in what dose.

Hope I have answered your query. Write back if you have any doubt in your mind.
Best Wishes
Dr. Kulbir Singh
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain. Took medicine. Allergic to caffeine. How to get rid of this pain? 11 minutes later
Thank you very much. I had an EKG done in nov 2011 and that was normal. I also had an ecg and chest xray done in october of 2012 and both were normal. I have not been investigated for a heart arrythmia. Ill add that I can have a cup of coffee okay with no pain at all its when i continuously take 200mg or more for more than one day is when i start developing the pain. My blood pressure in oct was normal and very good. For now Ive stopped use of all caffeine including chocolate. What other advice can u offer? and what specialty doctor do you advise i visit? a cardiologist? a pulmonologist? Thank for the advice and help doctor!
Answered by Dr. Kulbir Singh 1 hour later
Hello and thanks again for follow up query
Good to hear that you have normal EKG and normal blood pressure at present stage. But with a history of left side chest pain you first need to investigate for rest of heart disease especially Coronary heart disease and arrhythmia. In addition to caffeine, other risk factors for Coronary heart disease are:
Obesity and Sedentary Life Style
High Bad Cholesterol and Lipid Component
High Total Cholesterol, LDL and Triglycerides
Low Good Cholesterol

Family History 0f Coronary Heart Disease
Increasing age
Being a Man

You can calculate you risk factor with the help of your doctor. In my opinion you must consult your Cardiologist first and get your stress test (Tread mill test) test done. If your cardiologist give you a clearance that you have no heart disease and not going to occur with consumption of caffeine in future than you can take it in that much dose that will not effect you in any means.

After cardiologist opinion and clearance you can consult your doctor may be neurologist for pain management.

Write back if you have another query.
Dr. Kulbir Singh
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain. Took medicine. Allergic to caffeine. How to get rid of this pain? 1 hour later
Thank you my friend for your advice. I will get the blood tests asap and then go to my cardiologist. Ive never had a stress test done but I exercise regularly and intensely I might add without any pain in my chest or dizziness or vomiting but the blood tests i will do. I do not have a physician but I can follow up with you and a neurologist about the results of these tests. does that sound okay? in the meantime I'll tell you I am a non smoker and drinker im about 6'3, 230 pounds and 27 years old. I will also let you know that I am currently off all caffeine and exercise and I will continue to not exercise til I know what is going on here. I have high possibilities of using caffeine when I exercise because I am sensitive to it and it gives me great prolonged energy. I will add that when I was younger I was not a big soda drinker at all and I rarely drank coffee in my teens and in college so when I discovered caffeine seriously for the first time, this is what happened when I used it and used it soley for exercise and weightlifiting. I had abdominal liposuction in oct 2012 just recently and im still recovering from the surgery. The surgeon and anesthesiologist wanted only a chest x XXXXXXX and ecg done to confirm there was no problem with my heart. I was put to sleep for about three hours. Is this a good sign I have no heart disease if they were successfully able to do the operation? thank u for ur time and advice
Answered by Dr. Kulbir Singh 17 hours later
Hello and thanks again for the query
Your heart is OK at resting position (no work load) when surgery is performed. At the time of surgery your rest ECG was done and I think you don't have chest pain at that time. There might be starting stage of the heart disease and get aggravated at present or may be neurological pain. We needs investigate it. Their is no pain in chest at resting stage but when you take nerve stimulants like caffeine that increase your heart rate or load was put on the heart, it start paining. In stress test we will achieve 100% heart rate (as you exercise regularly) and rule out whether this pain is related to heart or not. Is there is any change in the ECG when we give load to your heart?

I am not saying that you have a heart disease but we have protect you so that you can’t get heart disease in future. If it is diagnosis now you might be treated completely without any complication and without changing quality of life.

If your heart is perfect that pain can be managed with other means like analgesic drugs or consulting your neurologist. Yes you can contact me any time through this web site for your future queries. I will be happy to answer them.

Dr. Kulbir Singh
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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