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Recovering from bulimia. Left chest pains. EKG and ultrasound normal. Be worried?

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I am recovering from bulimia and get random pains on the left side of my chest, upper rt corner. Not a constant pain, comes and goes, but i can point exactly to the spot where it hurts. No shortness of breath and am a regular exerciser. Had ekg 2 or so years ago with ultrasound and 24 hour monitor, no problems. I have an appt with doctor, but can't help being somewhat worried
Posted Wed, 18 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

I understand the recurring left side chest pain would be concerning you. But based on your description as well as considering EKG's and other test were normal, rest assured it is unlikely to be related to heart illness.

Bulimia is often associated with the chest pains especially on the left side. This is commonly seen because of self induced vomiting. The vomitus causes the irritation of esophageal lining causing esophagitis or erosion. Sometimes the pain caused by gastritis and esophageal reflux may also cause such symptoms. This probably may be causing your pain.

Apart from vomiting, other factors such as spicy food, oily food, smoking, tobacco of any kind, alcohol, coffee, stress and anxiety, etc., could aggravate the pain.

You need to avoid the above mentioned factors at all costs. Also eat small portion meals at frequent intervals rather than large heavy meals.

Avoid lying down immediately after a meal; rather lie down flat only after 2 hours. Till then you may lie in a reclining position at 45 degrees with head-end up. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Keep well hydrated.

If the symptoms are severe, it would be wise to be investigated by a thorough evaluation which may also include an endoscopy to see if the food pipe is damaged by stomach acids and also if stomach has any gastritis or ulcer.

Other less likely possibilities are pneumonitis, bronchitis or a muscular pain.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Recovering from bulimia. Left chest pains. EKG and ultrasound normal. Be worried? 16 hours later
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I didn't associate the paid with esophagus because I had heartburn with my pregnancy it is what sharp more in the middle of chest vs off to one side.

From the above, will the symptoms over time go down or is there a point where I need to become concern

Thank you again
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 50 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
Since you are recovering from bulimia, these symptoms will gradually subside over time. Please do not worry.
Meanwhile taking proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole and antacids like tums to reduce gastric acidity will be helpful.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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