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What causes chest pain and heart burn?

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Posted on Mon, 22 Sep 2014
Question: I am 42 years old in good shape (normal BP and Cholesterol) and no family history of heart issues. Exactly a month ago I had a situation where I was working out at the gym when I had a tingling sensation start down the back of my neck and my left chest went very tight. I thought I was having a heart attack which then made my heart start to race and felt like I was going to pass out. The guy I was working out with called ambulance and I was taken to hospital. I never lost color during process and when I arrived at hospital they performed an EKG, xray, and two blood tests that were spread out over 6 hrs all of which said it wasn't my heart. I was sent home at 10pm that evening but around 4am I felt tight feeling again in chest so returned to the hospital only to go through all the tests once again all with the same results. Since that day I have had a stress test which I passed with flying colors and my doctor feels it was a number of factors that caused the incident but not heart related. That day I had hardly ate and had a-lot of caffeine, they feel dehydration played a big part. Since that day I have had very bad heartburn and have felt very weak at times and at times feel almost lightheaded. I have seen a chiropractor who believes it is nerves and that stress is now playing a part. Why am I still feeling pain in my chest, why am I having the bad heartburn, why am I feeling so weak.
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Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
No apparent medical reason-probably stress related

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
the colleagues excluded acute coronary events and ongoing arrhythmias but what about transient arrhythmias that come and go and may cause faint like symptoms? I'm sure the cardiologists checked for them too but you haven't mentioned anything.
Heartburn symptoms can usually be attributed to stomach acidity or gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Heart attacks may cause the same but this diagnosis has already being ruled out.
Other possible causes of chest tightness include acute lung problems like pneumothorax or pulmonary embolism but the usual cardiological investigation brings them out.
Weakness can appear in several medical conditions including anemia, electrolyte disorders, hypothyroidism, etc. Since you've undergone extensive evaluation for cardiological causes it's unlikely that any of the above is present. Please check if you've done a complete blood count, sodium, potassium, TSH levels and a chest X-ray.
Weakness is also a symptom of stress-related disorders like anxiety or could be due to physical exertion.
I would suggest to give yourselft some time to relax. Perhaps take a few days off.
Your heartburn can probably get better by avoiding big meals (particularly fatty meals), too much coffee and lying down right after a meal. Your doctor may consider a proton pump inhibitor drug.
It's not easy to give a specific diagnosis in cases like this. What you've described is not a typical presentation of a medical condition.
Despite that I hope I've shed some light on your situation.
If you have any more questions on the subject, I'll be more than happy to answer.
Kind Regards!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3691 Questions

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What causes chest pain and heart burn?

Brief Answer: No apparent medical reason-probably stress related Detailed Answer: Hello, the colleagues excluded acute coronary events and ongoing arrhythmias but what about transient arrhythmias that come and go and may cause faint like symptoms? I'm sure the cardiologists checked for them too but you haven't mentioned anything. Heartburn symptoms can usually be attributed to stomach acidity or gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Heart attacks may cause the same but this diagnosis has already being ruled out. Other possible causes of chest tightness include acute lung problems like pneumothorax or pulmonary embolism but the usual cardiological investigation brings them out. Weakness can appear in several medical conditions including anemia, electrolyte disorders, hypothyroidism, etc. Since you've undergone extensive evaluation for cardiological causes it's unlikely that any of the above is present. Please check if you've done a complete blood count, sodium, potassium, TSH levels and a chest X-ray. Weakness is also a symptom of stress-related disorders like anxiety or could be due to physical exertion. I would suggest to give yourselft some time to relax. Perhaps take a few days off. Your heartburn can probably get better by avoiding big meals (particularly fatty meals), too much coffee and lying down right after a meal. Your doctor may consider a proton pump inhibitor drug. It's not easy to give a specific diagnosis in cases like this. What you've described is not a typical presentation of a medical condition. Despite that I hope I've shed some light on your situation. If you have any more questions on the subject, I'll be more than happy to answer. Kind Regards!