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Chest pain, breathless, sweating, overweight, abdominal swelling due to wind. What could it be?

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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, sorry to disturb you. Over the last few months I have started to have repeated pain in my chest whihc feels like a stabbing pain similar to muscle strain in the left side of my chest. I am finding I also sleep well at night though get tired easily and as soon as I do anything slightly energetic (such as carrying my thre eyear old to bed) I am breathless and sweating. I always used to sweat profusely as soon as I started to exercise even when I was very fit (I am ex military) but now its as soon as i do anything above the normal. I am a little overweight thiough still regularly walk, swim and cycle (two to three times a week) but have found I get breathless quicker now. As an additional thing I have also had a few cases of trapped wind of late which have been very painful whic have swollen my abdomen considerably. I was wondering what it could be?
Many thanks, XXXXXXX
Posted Wed, 12 Sep 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 53 minutes later

Chest pain can be caused by any of the structures in the chest starting from the skin and going inward.
Persons who have herpes zoster ( persons with a history of chicken pox) may later experience herpes zoster which is a painful rash that can occur on any part of the body.
Below the skin are the muscles and these can also present with pain usually after intense activity. This pain would usually be constant though certain movements will make it worse.
Costochondritis is a condition where there is pain in the central chest due to inflammation where the ribs join onto the sternum ( bone in the central chest). This is also brought on by intense activity, it is usually constant, it can be made worse by movements of the trunk and in some cases breathing and for this reason associated with shortness of breath. If a person has this condition, when they press the central chest it will hurt. It is relieved by the use of anti inflammatory medication such as cataflam, ibuprofen, voltaren.
Chest pain can also originate due to problems in the lungs such as asthma ( in some one who has a history of asthma), pneumonia (would likely have a fever and cough), spontaneous pneumonthorax (air between the lung and its lining) which can occur in persons with no history of lung disease.
In spontaneous pneumothorax there would also be shortness of breath,it is diagnosed by x XXXXXXX and may in some cases resolve on its own.
Pleuritic chest pain can also occur- this is inflammation of the pleura which is the lining of the lungs. Persons have a history of chest pain worse on taking a XXXXXXX breath. It is usually associated with shortness of breath.There are many different causes such as viral infections.

Chest pain and shortness of breath can also occur in heart disease. In angina ( the blood vessels giving blood to the heart are blocked to some extent), a person experiences chest pain which is usually central or to the left and described as a tightness or heaviness as well as shortness of breath. They may also complain of palpitations and breaking out into a sweat when the chest pain occurs. In most persons, if they remain untreated, the pain would start at a certain level of activity, and progress, requiring less activity to bring on the symptoms.

Anemia (low red cell mass- the red cells are responsible for the transport of oxygen) can also cause easy fatigue and shortness of breath.In severe cases where the count is very low it can also cause chest pain.
Finally in persons where the thyroid is not working properly- fatigue can also occur, it is not usually associated with chest pain however.

With the history of stabbing chest pain and shortness of breath which seems to be worsening ( caused by increasing less levels of activity) , the possibilities are heart related pain, condition related to the lungs. The other conditions would usually cause a constant pain, though in some persons muscle pain is intermittent.
It is important that you visit your GP for a full history and examination.He will check your pulse and respiratory rate, blood pressure, listen to your heart and lung sounds, check for muscle tenderness.
He or she may suggest investigations based on the history and findings in the examination.

In terms of the swelling ot tha abdomen or bloating. This is a common complaint and can occur as a result of GERD, the use of some vegetables and other food, constipation, overeating, weightgain. In rare cases it can be a sign of more serious conditions.
Treatment normally starts with- avoiding carbonated drinks, eating slowing, stopping smoking, reducing the intake of turnips, cabbage, beans, lentils, brussel sprouts. It is related to milk intake in some persons , so you also consider using a different type.
If you do this and it still occurs , you should mention it to your GP so he or she can examine your abdomen and determine the cause.

I hope this information is helpful to you and that you feel better soon.
feel free to ask any other questions
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