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Pain in neck radiating to left hand & leg, shortness of breath, fatigue & labored breathing. Had neck injury, MRI showed C6, C5 disks affected. Are all these related or a heart issue?

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hi. I had neck injury - and MRI showed some disk displacement. I have constant pain on neck - radiating to left hand and left leg and mouth left side.
Two months ago - played a bit of sport and aggravated it. Pain is more - but most importantly have breating difficulties. For 2 months now - feel shortness of breath, high fatigue and labored breathing? I am travelling in asia for 2 months and returning in a week to canada mainly for diagnose better this health issue.
My neckk C6/C5 disks are affected. Please inform if this can cause short of beath/laboured breathing/fatigue ? or is it heart issue or something else?
Posted Sat, 28 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
A disc displacement at the level of C5-C6 can cause symptoms like pain in the neck radiating to the left hand, headache, and dizziness amongst others. It is unlikely that the breathlessness, fatigue and labored breathing that you are currently experiencing can be attributed is due to this displacement.
These symptoms can occur due to a variety of heart and lung issues which include:
a.     Angina which is a manifestation of ischemic heart disease. This occurs due to a decrease in the blood supply to the heart in times of stress ( both physical and mental).
b.     Hypertensive heart disease, a condition in which the functioning of the heart is affected due to hypertension.
c.     Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in which the functioning of the lungs is affected, particularly in smokers.
As I believe that more information can help a physician help a patient better, I would request you to answer the following questions:
a.     Have you ever experienced any chest pain/chest discomfort during rest or exercise? If yes, how does it get relieved?
b.     Do you smoke? If yes, how long have you been smoking and how many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?
c.     Have you ever been screened for diabetes or increased cholesterol? Is there any family history of diabetes?
d.     Has an electrocardiogram ever been done for you? If yes, can you please upload the report using the “Upload your reports” section on the right?
e.     Is there any family history of heart disease?
f.     What do you do professionally?
I would suggest that you visit your treating physician who can perform a detailed evaluation and get some investigations like an electrocardiogram, echocardiography, X-ray chest, and lung function tests done.
Awaiting your reply
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Pain in neck radiating to left hand & leg, shortness of breath, fatigue & labored breathing. Had neck injury, MRI showed C6, C5 disks affected. Are all these related or a heart issue? 1 hour later
a. Have you ever experienced any chest pain/chest discomfort during rest or exercise? If yes, how does it get relieved?
NO tightness. Sometime - burning on left side - like heart burn. I have chronic gastric gas and burning for few years.
b. Do you smoke? If yes, how long have you been smoking and how many cigarettes do you smoke in a day? quit 2 years ago. smoked for 14 years - about 7 ciggarettes daily or 2 packs a week.
c. Have you ever been screened for diabetes or increased cholesterol? Is there any family history of diabetes? yes. in XXXXXXX 2011. Normal.
d. Has an electrocardiogram ever been done for you? If yes, can you please upload the report using the “Upload your reports” section on the right? I had done januray 20th. Do not have scanner - but did ECG few times over last 2 motnhs in different hospital. Always normal till now. Did heart stress test in Nov 1, 2011 - normal. Reason for srtess test was - I had an anxiety attack in october - first time, docotor wanted ot make sure heart is ok as heart rate had increased during that time to 115/bps for couple hours.
Is there a way to check for blocked artiries - other than angiogram, any MRI or CT scan of the chest?

e. Is there any family history of heart disease? yes. Father. died heart attack at age 57.
f. What do you do professionally? technollogy - IT. But i try to walk daily - 2-5 km. Plus avoid food with high oil (pizza, indian cultural food, etc.), high salt, saturated fat as much as possible. Weight 175lb. height 176cm.

I would suggest that you visit your treating physician who can perform a detailed evaluation and get some investigations like an electrocardiogram, echocardiography, X-ray chest, and lung function tests done.: I will visit a large hospital in this asian country tomorrow morning.

More info: These 3 days feeling more breathing problem and tiredness. I did exert myslef lots for a week before that - visisited beaches and some activity in hot sun couple days, travelled by bus 15 hours with lots of neck motion and daily sex. After that feel MORE tired/labored breathing. Mainly resting now home and no sex from yesterday. as mentioned usually - have 3-5 km walk + sex. What should my activitites be in future?

Also could heavy/labored breathing be due to GERD? Had started taking a bottle of yogurt last 3 days - feel worse... More than shortness of breath, the correct description would be I have labored/heavy breathing for 2 months. Feel some food belching out on throat last 2 days + stomach/diaphram area pain. Stool is ok. I am also an extremely anxious person by nature.
Follow-up: Pain in neck radiating to left hand & leg, shortness of breath, fatigue & labored breathing. Had neck injury, MRI showed C6, C5 disks affected. Are all these related or a heart issue? 9 minutes later
added info: Also - not sure for 2 months or less - but certianly for few weeks. Light Coughing, not very frequent. May be every half hour or so - but phlegm seems to be there - coming up from below. Not feel a throat problem - but rather phlegm coming up from air track
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 33 minutes later
Hi,
Thanks for reverting back.
The symptoms that you have been experiencing can be due to the following causes:
a.     Chronic bronchitis which can cause cough, phlegm production and labored breathing. Treatment involves bronchodilators like beta agonists (like ssalbutamol), steroids and antibiotics.
b.     Gastroesophageal reflux disease which can produce discomfort which can frequently mimic a heart condition
c.     Anxiety. Practice XXXXXXX breathing, yoga and meditation to reduce your anxiety levels.
Currently, an angiogram is the gold standard for diagnosing blocked arteries or coronary artery disease. However, given that your electrocardiogram and treadmill test (the stress test) was normal, an angiogram is not required as of now.
GERD can cause labored breathing if the reflux affects the respiratory tract. For managing the reflux, I would suggest the following:
a.     Eat small meals frequently
b.     Avoid spicy food
c.     Prefer eating atleast a few hours before you go to bed.
d.     Elevate the head side of your bed by atleast 4-6 inches
e.     Avoid alcohol consumption
I would suggest you consult your treating physician who can perform a detailed evaluation and prescribe appropriate therapy. After a definitive diagnosis is made, you can continue your activities as usual.
I hope I have answered your query.
Regards


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Pain in neck radiating to left hand & leg, shortness of breath, fatigue & labored breathing. Had neck injury, MRI showed C6, C5 disks affected. Are all these related or a heart issue? 35 hours later
thank you. I checked in hospital with 3 departments: heart, GERD and respiratory. following:

1. GERD - given nexium as some problem. No endoscopy done. I had used nexium in 2011 XXXXXXX
2. trying following your tips on anxiety.
3. Check x-ray done. Normal. No medication for respiratory issues.
4. Heart: done ekg, usg (ultrasonogram). Normal. Here they do MRI/CT scan of chest for deteting coronary artiry blockage - but doctor did not recommend.

Question:
REally mainly - concerned for HEART RISKS - from the initial post and all this info above. Basically, understand: EKG, stress test and now USG is normal. But please let me understand: that shows present state of heart menaing no previous heart attack or current or previous issues of heart - right? My concern is FUTURE, meaning impending heart attack risks. Will EKG, usg, stress test, show abnormalities if their is coronary artery blockage?? THis is the BIG question in my mind from DAY ONE - do I have coronary artery blockage as to why breathing is labored/fatigue!!
So - ofcourse angiogram is risky but accurate and will show coronary artery blockage- but i much like do the MRI/CT for the coronary artries IF the results are accurate (not sure what is meant by the term gold standard u mentioned). or Please assist?
Follow-up: Pain in neck radiating to left hand & leg, shortness of breath, fatigue & labored breathing. Had neck injury, MRI showed C6, C5 disks affected. Are all these related or a heart issue? 4 minutes later
added info: To be clear. For breathing issues - was hoping either C5/C6 problem, and if not, then mainly worried for (HEART) coronary artery blockage issue.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Hi,
Thanks for writing again.
I would like to reassure you that you currently have little or no chances of having a coronary artery blockage. If there was a blockage of some kind, the tests that have been performed (electrocardiogram, stress tests and ultrasound) would have showed some changes. The reports would not have been normal.
Angiography is the standard and most widely used test to detect coronary artery blockage. The term gold standard means that it is currently the most sensitive and specific test (which means the best test) available. But it is also an invasive test and has its own complications. A computerised tomography angiogram (CT angiogram) is used now days as an alternative non invasive means of detecting coronary artery blocks. They are also highly sensitive in detecting the coronary artery abnormalities and do not involve any risk as in invasive procedures. Even though these tests are not needed, if your anxiety gets allayed, then you can consult your physician and get these tests ordered.
You’ll be just fine and there is nothing to worry about. I hope this answer is helpful. Do accept the answer if you have no further queries.

Wish you an early trouble free recovery.

Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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