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Blown up feeling in the chest. Is it a cardiac or gastric problem?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 466 Questions
Have been having this feeling of a balloon being blown up under left breastbone. This lasts hours to minutes and haven't linked to any activity. Exercise seems to help as well as stretching my left arm out at times. Sometimes get a sensation of coolness in this area as well. It's not pain but kind of a nagging discomfort. Want to know if I should be concerned with cardiac issues as this is in that area or if this could be gastro issues.One other thing is this discomfort has been going on for a couple moths and sometimes feel like it triggers a slight panicky feeling. Thanks
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 45 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query

Localized ballooning of chest can be caused by muscle soreness from lactate buildup, gastrointestinal cause (since you also have a history of GERD) or heart issues.

It has been quite long these symptoms are bothering you intermittently so considering the age, history and all other symptoms it is better to get yourself examined once as clinical examination would be quite helpful in giving an idea.

You need to consult a Physician who would recommend the necessary tests as Chest X XXXXXXX Echo cardiogram, endoscopy and then would guide you accordingly.
Also get your Blood Pressure evaluated at regular intervals as fluctuation in BP can also cause these symptoms.

Hope this answers your query. Please accept the answer in case you do not have follow up query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Blown up feeling in the chest. Is it a cardiac or gastric problem? 1 hour later
I have had previously a heart monitor quarterly for a year after my ablation that all came back clear. At 16 monthhs I had a standard follow up MRA that came back clear. The lone afib I had was the kind that has no known reason (no heart issues) Do you reccomend going to my gp, gi or cardiologist first? Also how can heart issues cause lactate buildup?
Answered by Dr. Mitaly 12 minutes later

Thanks for the follow up

Good to know that previous heart investigations were clear.
I would recommend that you to go to your GP first so that he/she can examine you clinically and advise you accordingly.

Regarding the lactate build up, I had mentioned that it occurred due to muscle soreness and not due to heart issues. It usually occurs after strenuous work as lactate is produced by the muscles and this can occasionally cause ballooning.

I hope I have answered your query. Please accept my answers if you have no further queries.

Wishing you Good health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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