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Quitted smoking. Feeling shortness of breath and chest pain. Proper diagnosis?

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Two weeks ago, my husband over three days gradually became very tight in the chest to the point where he should have gone to hospital because he had to sit up to breathe, his pulse was erratic and he was so short of breath that he was almost passing out. He had quit smoking three months prior but had started again in the last month. He had lifted something heavy at work on the friday and had drank five cans of mixed XXXXXXX beam and thrown up that night. The tight chest symptoms began the next morning gradually becoming worse. He stopped smoking but the tight chest has not fully gone. Over two weeks, he has had recurrent attacks (not as bad as first one) and tho it seems unrelated, drinking coke or beer has seemed to bring on an attack. He feels great tightness and pressure and there is tenderness between the bottom of the rib cage. The doctor did abdomen ultrasound which came back clear and a blood test. His cholesterol was fine and iron was a little high. And then because he was an asthmatic as a child, he has put him on steroid inhalent and a puffer when needed. Symptoms slowly going away. But we dont think it is asthma. he did not have a cold or flu. He was not coughing or wheezing and there is only occasionally a small amount of phlegm but that is after an attack of tightness. He is a panel beater and spray painter. We are confused and our doctor does not explain himself well. Please offer your own suggestions for possible causes so we can take different steps. Thannks
Posted Sat, 26 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Ratnakar Kini 9 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
I am Dr.Ratnakar Kini and I am pleased to answer your query.

Tightness in the chest can occur due to three issues - heart disease, asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

He has to be evaluated for all these three.
Since his pulse was irregular, get a cardiac work up done with EKG, TMT and echocardiography.
Since he found improvement with inhalation therapy, get a spirometry done to rule out asthma episodes.
Since drinking coke and beer precipitates an attack, gastroesophageal reflux disease has to be ruled out. He should take PPI medications for relief.

I hope that answers your question.
If you have no more questions, kindly accept this answer and rate this service.

Dr.Ratnakar Kini
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