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Having chest pain with caffeine use. Any advice?

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Practicing since : 1974
Answered : 125 Questions

Im having chest pain with caffeine use and need some advice as i have a unique history with it. i was never a big soda or coffee drinker and still am not so i use caffeine for weightlifting. in nov 2011 i borderline overdosed on pills says the cardiologist i saw at the time. i had massive chest pain after that for a few weeks including indigestion at times as well as withdrawal symptoms. i weaned off it and it took about a month.. after that i decreased my intake to about 200-400mg a day on occasion yet i was still feeling chest pains. as of end of sept 2012 i decided to quit all caffeine including chocolate and coffee etc til my chest heals up. it took about three weeks for the pain to go away entirely and so on nov 10th i took a 200mg dose and was okay.. no pain. so the next day i took another 200mg dose and at nite i noticed a small pain in my left chest area. the third day to confirm the pain could be related to caffeine i took one more 200mg dose and the chest pain came back in the left area and in the middle as well. minor but enough for me to take 1200mg ibuprofen. what has happened? has my nervous system developed an allergy to caffeine? what can i do to rid of these pains quickly and effectively? Why is it that I can have a tall cup of coffee and feel no pain yet when I take caffeine pills I do feel pain?

I will add that I am 6'3, 230 lbs, 27 years old and non smoker and non drinker. I had an ekg done in nov 2011 and it was normal. I also had an ecg and chest x XXXXXXX done in oct 2012 as I had abdominal liposuction and both were normal. The fact the surgeon and anesthesiologist gave me the surgery says my heart is healthy and i have no probelms but the chest pains im confused about. I have not been to the gym in over a month bc of the surgery but when I was going I was going 3-4 times a week with 30 mins of running and 1hr-90min weightlifting with no chest problems, no dizziness, and no vomiting or nausea. My diet is high protein, low carb and lately a lot of fruit juice to help wound healing.
Ive spoken to a family doctor within the last week who says I should get blood tested for heart disease and two cardiologists one about a year ago and another this week.. one who says I should never take caffeine again and another who says I should stay off of it for a "long time XXXXXXX
Ive noticed that when I take supplements with caffeine such as preworkout energy drinks I do not feel pain in my chest while in the gym but afterwards about 4 hours I may feel something but while Im exercising I dont feel a thing.
My conclusion so far is this: Based on my tests its muscular pain, not heart. But as to why I continue to feel the pain I do not know.

advice and your time is truly appreciated. thank you!!
Posted Fri, 7 Dec 2012 in Epilepsy
Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 9 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Pain occurring after caffeine consumption is there in few individuals. It is often related to hypersensitivity to caffeine. There is no need to panic or get terrified. It is unlikely for it to be as a result of abnormality in brain or heart. During the episode please get your pulse and BP checked up.

Treatment is to reduce or stop the caffeine containing drinks.

Hope I have answered your query. I will be happy to explain if more questions are there.

Thank you


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain with caffeine use. Any advice? 1 hour later
Thank u for the advice. With all the information i gave u im surprised of ur short answrr. Because ive felt this pain for a year off an on is it possible i have nerve cell receptor damage in my chest wall? The pain isnt sharp its like a soreness pain like when i stretch my chest it feels good when i ferl pain. Why was it that after a month of no caffeine i still felt the pain when i started consuming caffeine again? Is there a blood test or x XXXXXXX i can get to see what damage ive done to nerve cells or chest wall? Thank u.
Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 34 hours later

Thanks for going through my reply.

From the outset, let me reassure that after being checked up by your doctor and later by Cardiologist, your symptoms is not likely of any serious disease. Based on your history, my assessment is you are probably over sensitive to caffeine and therefore the treatment is reduction or stoppage of caffeine in all forms.

Your assessment of nerve receptor / ending damage is not supported by scientific explanation.

Sometimes symptoms can persist even after stopping caffeine and they are possibly related to chemical changes at nerve endings. But they are not permanent and harmless (but for pain feeling). Such persisting pain can be relieved by simple or stronger analgesics / anxiolytics, etc. In some cases, low dose antidepressant drugs can be added for pain relief.

I hope this explanation answers your query. I will be available for further clarifications should you have other doubts.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain with caffeine use. Any advice? 6 hours later
Wow thank u for this sound advice. What analgesics or antidepressants do you recommend specifically? thank you.
Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 8 hours later
If over the counter analgesics don't help, you will need a prescription for stronger analgesics such as one of the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The type of analgesic and /or antidepressant will be decided by your doctor after taking history, performing physical examination and reviewing other investigation reports.

Please discuss about this option with your treating doctor.

Hope you recover soon

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having chest pain with caffeine use. Any advice? 13 hours later
Thanks man. My plan is this: to see a neurosurgeon or neurologist this week and talk to them about my med history, and caffeine use.. same as I discussed with you then get their recommendation for treatment. Ibuprofen has helped manage pain but it hasnt restored or healed my nerves and I need a medicine that does that. In the meantime Im maintaining good diet and no exercise until I figure all this out. Does this sound like a good action plan to you? Any advice or other recommendations? Thanks you doctor.
Answered by Dr. Pratap Sanchetee 7 hours later

Your plan seems to be quite in order. While you are on these guidelines, you may not restrict exercises. You can do simple and avoid strenuous exercises.

Hope I answered all your questions. Please use any answer clarification before closing and rating this answer. I will be happy to explain or expand on any issue you may have.

Wish you a speedy and good recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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