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Having chest pain, burping and bloating. Started on probiotic. EKG normal. Should I be concerned?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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I went to the ER on this past Saturday for some chest pain, mostly burping and bloated, I had started a probiotic of 20 billion live cultures per cap, which is strong about a week before and stopped them two days before the symptoms started, they did an EKG, normal, and troponin, normal, and cpk, normal, and said they thought it was likely GI. The hospital said I should have a nuclear stress test to follow up, even though they did not think it was my heart. Is this normal? should I be concerned? I do not smoke, weigh 110, no family history, am 49 female, still having burping and bloating 4 days later, would the probitocs do this/
Posted Tue, 16 Jul 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

I understand you went to the ER for chest pain which sounds like it was non cardiac in nature. The probiotics can cause the gastrointestinal symptoms you are having and it can take awhile for them to go away once you have stopped taking them. The ER is being cautious in regards to the stress test recommendation. Without a family history, or personal history, a normal EKG, and normal cardiac biomarkers it would not be very likely that you would have heart disease.

I hope this has answered your questions. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

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Follow-up: Having chest pain, burping and bloating. Started on probiotic. EKG normal. Should I be concerned? 2 hours later
Thanks for your response, so when you say it may take a while, do you mean weeks? days?... I do have less burping today. re: the heart issue, since I was having the chest pain and pressure when they did the test, it should have shown something wrong in their initial tests? For instance I read that the troponin would be elevated with any heart attack or damage during an attack, and since it was not it would be very unlikely that it be a heart issue. Do EGK's usually show a heart attack?

I want to start the diet for anti yeast because I am on long term antibiotics, but if these affects are from the probiotics, I would have to go much slower.

also just to be clear I have low blood pressure, always 90/60 and it did not really change much during the last 5 days or when the initial symptoms started.
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 5 minutes later

I would say the symptoms should resolve in a week or so. Since you were have the chest pain during the ER evaluation I would fully expect the testing to show some evidence of cardiac disease. The troponin would be elevated if you had some cardiac damage.

The EKG would have shown decreased blood flow and signs of cardiac damage. It's very unlikely you were having a cardiac event. I would go easy with the they can really alter your Gastro intestinal environment and can cause the symptoms you are talking about.

I hope this answered your questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain, burping and bloating. Started on probiotic. EKG normal. Should I be concerned? 26 minutes later
I have one last thing I forgot to ask about, thanks for being so prompt.

In my left ear I can hear my heart beat very faintly, this happened once in my right year and they thought it was due to a neck strain I had, and when I finished therapy it resolved. The left ear had been doing it about a week before the bloating started. I had fallen 1 1/2 weeks ago, and hurt my left arm and hip, and had to have xrays.... and I strained that whole side of my body which seemed to be when I started to hear the heartbeat. when I looked it up, it said it can be caused by muscles, but also said "Pulsatile tinnitus can sometimes be due to problems with blood flow through one of the arteries or blood vessels that lie near the ear. In some cases, it can be a symptom of an AV malformation which is an abnormal communication between blood vessels" my last question is, my artery were involved near by ear, would that show on any of the test like the EKG?
Answered by Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar 12 hours later

No, arteries in your head and neck would not show on an EKG. The EKG basically looks at the electrical impulse in your heart. In order to look at the blood vessels in your head and neck you would need to have an MRI/MRA of your head and neck.

Hope this answers your question.

Take care.
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