Chronic Chest Pain for months on end. help :(

Posted by emilymmahomi @emilymahomie, Oct 26 1:22am

Hello everyone! My name is Emily and I’m 19 years old.

Medical History: I have had a range of health issues during my life, but nothing life threatening. I have had multiple emergency surgeries for accidents, including plastic surgery on my face when I was 4. I had a tumor on my right ovary which was removed when I was 10, have been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia which until this point has been untreated since it is not “a problem” even though my last EKG was done almost 5 years ago. I have suffered from GERD my whole life and follow a strict diet since I have Celiacs Disease which led to several years of asthma and I’m allergic to 10 other foods besides gluten. I’m an anxious person but get psychological attention and have managed to control my anxiety and stress successfully my whole life.

Chest Pain: I began feeling an intense chest pressure accompanied by pain on JAN 2019 which was treated by my pulmonologist as a symptom of GERD and I was prescribed a Proton Pump Inhibitor (ezomeprazol/Nexium). The pain is mostly on the center of my chest slightly to the left, lasts all day from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep and gets worse when I eat, or inhale fully. it lasted until MAY point at which it stopped abruptly. It began again on AUG out of the blue at which point the first thing I did was buy Nexium and took a whole month of it, I went to several doctors including but not limited to a pulmonologist, gastroenterologist, cardiologist, allergist, immunologist and even several homeopaths. All of which decided it was a. Nothing at all, b. Psychological or c. Acid reflux.

Treatment: I took 3 months of Nexium (aug-sept-oct) by doctors orders, and only got better on December, again all of the sudden after two months of no treatment, just pain. I was tested for lupus and other autoimmune diseases but came out negative, my endoscopy showed no ulcers or damage to the lining in my stomach or esophagus, Doctor said I had minor gastroenteritis. Allergist gave me an inhaler with bronchodilators (for asthma) which didn’t help much, homeopaths gave me all kinds of natural medicines, acupuncture, Bach flowers, neural therapy, and St. John’s Wort, all of which did nothing for me, and I was even injected with muscle relaxers in the ER one day. My cardiologist refused to do a new EKG last time I visited or any other test for that matter and referred me to the immunologist with a possibility of lupus and a “disautonomy” and I can’t help but feel as though my heart is involved.

Currently: I now find myself on the throes of this horrible chest pain once again and am taking Nexium and following a strict diet which leaves no room for reflux, which makes me wonder, what is wrong with my body and why don’t get better? I’m leaving for college in January, and I genuinely can’t function like this. any ideas would help so much! Thanks a ton guys, stay safe and God Bless.

Liked by lioness, Hank

@emilymahomie
Hi Emily, welcome to Mayo Connect. I am very sorry to hear about you having so many dire health issues. It's especially distressing when a person as young as you are is hit with health issues at a time in your life where you are still developing in many ways and have so much life ahead of you.

I firstly would suggest you start following the group on Connect which is related to GI issues, which would be here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/digestive-gastrointestinal-problems/
In any case, what you have sounds pretty mysterious. I can understand your having anxiety and stress over this. What is your support system like? Do you live with your parents? Are they a good source of support for you? Other family? Is there any history in your family of illness, particularly anything related to the maladies you are suffering from? You have certainly run the gamut of medical practitioners. They don't (so far) seem to have been very helpful to you ultimately. After all the people who have seen you, Nexium is where you have arrived at? At this point you sound like a candidate for Mayo Clinic or a research related hospital. Have you considered this? The very restrictive diet and continuing distress from abdominal pain make going to college problematic until you at least get a clear diagnosis and treatment plan. Just my opinion. FYI: the Mayo appointment webpage is easily found from mayoclinic.org.

I wish you well, I hope others here can offer some guidance as well, and I would like to know more about the support in your life as well as your plans for seeking further help and more effective treatment. Best to you Emily, Hank

Liked by lorirenee1

REPLY

@emilymahomie Hi Emily, I read your post twice, and these are the things that came to my mind to help you. First, it seems that the pain you have is exactly where your heart is, so if your cardio doc will not help you now, find another cardio doc, and really have him rule out heart problems. Another idea is that for perhaps the next month, eat very bland. Nothing greasy, spicy, just plain, like a flu diet with bananas, baked potatoes, plain toast, etc. I would start sipping green tea and add grated ginger to it, turmeric, and pepper. Drink this tea every day, as everything in it heals the stomach. I would also suggest that you buy bone broth powder, and start adding it to anything with vitamin C, as it is best absorbed that way. Bone broth is a tremendous stomach healer. I would also eat fresh papaya every day, as it contains natural, healing stomach enzymes. Kefir is also another fabulous stomach healer, and a natural source of probiotics. Do everything you can to maintain stomach health, besides the Nexium, because that just tries to control symptoms. You are so young, Emily. It is heart breaking to read how sick you feel. My best to you, Lori Renee

Liked by lioness, Hank

REPLY

@emilymahomie Welcome to connect We aren't Drs but help with what we can. As Lorirenee said find a specialist , cardiologist that will run all kinds of test echocardiogram ,stress test a heart catheterization if he feels also possibly a infectious Dr. Endocrinologist as well as a gastroenterologist for starters. Exercise all the suggestion that Lorirenee stated Bless you keep us posted we care

Liked by Hank

REPLY

Hi @emilymahomie, I echo the welcomes and I am sorry to hear about your struggle with GERD, Celiacs, food allergies and anxiety. That is an awful lot to deal with at any age, let alone being a young woman starting college. I agree that it would be wise to seek a second opinion from a cardiologist to make sure you aren't having any heart issues, however, did you know that Nexium can be known for causing stomach pain and rapid heartbeat? It can also cause a large influx of gas and pressure that builds up and can rise into your chest making it feel like you are experiencing chest pain. I was on a proton pump inhibitor as well and my symptoms (much like yours) were a cause of over treatment and under treatment with the medication.

The following article mentions, "Patients should always speak with their doctor before stopping Nexium. Stopping suddenly can trigger a “rebound” effect. This can cause the patient’s condition to return. It can sometimes be worse than the original problem."
– Nexium Side Effects: https://www.drugwatch.com/proton-pump-inhibitors/nexium/

Has your gastroenterologist suggested an alternative to everyday treatment? Perhaps every other day or four times a week. Using it for longer than 14 days at a time can cause inflammation of your stomach lining.

REPLY
@jesfactsmon

@emilymahomie
Hi Emily, welcome to Mayo Connect. I am very sorry to hear about you having so many dire health issues. It's especially distressing when a person as young as you are is hit with health issues at a time in your life where you are still developing in many ways and have so much life ahead of you.

I firstly would suggest you start following the group on Connect which is related to GI issues, which would be here:
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/digestive-gastrointestinal-problems/
In any case, what you have sounds pretty mysterious. I can understand your having anxiety and stress over this. What is your support system like? Do you live with your parents? Are they a good source of support for you? Other family? Is there any history in your family of illness, particularly anything related to the maladies you are suffering from? You have certainly run the gamut of medical practitioners. They don't (so far) seem to have been very helpful to you ultimately. After all the people who have seen you, Nexium is where you have arrived at? At this point you sound like a candidate for Mayo Clinic or a research related hospital. Have you considered this? The very restrictive diet and continuing distress from abdominal pain make going to college problematic until you at least get a clear diagnosis and treatment plan. Just my opinion. FYI: the Mayo appointment webpage is easily found from mayoclinic.org.

I wish you well, I hope others here can offer some guidance as well, and I would like to know more about the support in your life as well as your plans for seeking further help and more effective treatment. Best to you Emily, Hank

Jump to this post

@jesfactsmon

Hi Hank! Thanks for your kind words and advice, I will definitely check out the GI Group.

Regarding my support system, both my parents have always been very hands on and have done whatever they could to get help for me and pay for my treatments. They understand my dietary limitations, cook for me every day, and don't ask much of me when I'm sick. There's plenty of history in my immediate family regarding illnesses such as Hypo and Hyper tension, diabetes, several forms of cancer, Celiac disease and GERD, but no one seems to have experienced what I have.

I unfortunately don't live in the states but will be arriving in January (for college). My parents have always told me that maybe once I'm in the states and have a US medical insurance, doctors will run better, more extensive tests and find out what is wrong. I live in Honduras and while there are plenty of good doctors, they haven't been much help.

I have read much about GI issues, respiratory ones and even Psychology, and it baffles me that every doctor seems to arrive at a dead end, at which point they refer me to a gastroenterologist who prescribes Nexium, prescribe it to me themselves, or say it's all in my head.

I won't lie, I'm tired and frustrated, but your words and acknowledgement help more than you know.
Have a great day Hank 🙂 ,

Emily

Liked by Hank

REPLY
@lorirenee1

@emilymahomie Hi Emily, I read your post twice, and these are the things that came to my mind to help you. First, it seems that the pain you have is exactly where your heart is, so if your cardio doc will not help you now, find another cardio doc, and really have him rule out heart problems. Another idea is that for perhaps the next month, eat very bland. Nothing greasy, spicy, just plain, like a flu diet with bananas, baked potatoes, plain toast, etc. I would start sipping green tea and add grated ginger to it, turmeric, and pepper. Drink this tea every day, as everything in it heals the stomach. I would also suggest that you buy bone broth powder, and start adding it to anything with vitamin C, as it is best absorbed that way. Bone broth is a tremendous stomach healer. I would also eat fresh papaya every day, as it contains natural, healing stomach enzymes. Kefir is also another fabulous stomach healer, and a natural source of probiotics. Do everything you can to maintain stomach health, besides the Nexium, because that just tries to control symptoms. You are so young, Emily. It is heart breaking to read how sick you feel. My best to you, Lori Renee

Jump to this post

@lorirenee1

Hi Lori! Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my post 🙂

I am currently in the process of looking for a new Cardiologist, since as you pointed out, I must rule out heart problems.

Regarding my diet, I'm almost done with the full month Nexium treatment, eat only steamed fish, chicken, soft vegetables and rice, and seem to be getting worse each day. I will definitely look into the foods that you mentioned since healing my stomach is my main -and only- approach at the moment. As I mentioned to @jesfactsmon, Nexium doesn't make much sense to me either but it seems to be better than nothing 🙁

Thanks again for replying, your words mean a lot to me. Have a great day!

Emily

Liked by lorirenee1, Hank

REPLY
@lioness

@emilymahomie Welcome to connect We aren't Drs but help with what we can. As Lorirenee said find a specialist , cardiologist that will run all kinds of test echocardiogram ,stress test a heart catheterization if he feels also possibly a infectious Dr. Endocrinologist as well as a gastroenterologist for starters. Exercise all the suggestion that Lorirenee stated Bless you keep us posted we care

Jump to this post

@lioness Thanks for replying! I hadn't though about seeing an endocrinologist. I will take your advice into account and will for sure keep you guys posted.

Thanks again, bless you!

Emily

Liked by lioness, lorirenee1, Hank

REPLY
@amandaburnett

Hi @emilymahomie, I echo the welcomes and I am sorry to hear about your struggle with GERD, Celiacs, food allergies and anxiety. That is an awful lot to deal with at any age, let alone being a young woman starting college. I agree that it would be wise to seek a second opinion from a cardiologist to make sure you aren't having any heart issues, however, did you know that Nexium can be known for causing stomach pain and rapid heartbeat? It can also cause a large influx of gas and pressure that builds up and can rise into your chest making it feel like you are experiencing chest pain. I was on a proton pump inhibitor as well and my symptoms (much like yours) were a cause of over treatment and under treatment with the medication.

The following article mentions, "Patients should always speak with their doctor before stopping Nexium. Stopping suddenly can trigger a “rebound” effect. This can cause the patient’s condition to return. It can sometimes be worse than the original problem."
– Nexium Side Effects: https://www.drugwatch.com/proton-pump-inhibitors/nexium/

Has your gastroenterologist suggested an alternative to everyday treatment? Perhaps every other day or four times a week. Using it for longer than 14 days at a time can cause inflammation of your stomach lining.

Jump to this post

Hi @amandaburnett ! Thanks for your welcome and kind words, it means a lot. I will seek help from another cardiologist as soon as possible. Each day I'm more and more convinced the cause of my pain is not GERD, and I'm for sure a tad afraid that Nexium might be worsening my situation. It's truly hard to know what is right or wrong for me without knowing what the real problem is.

My gastroenterologists don't seem to care about the side effects and dangers of Nexium, seeing as how they prescribed it for three consecutive months last year 🙁 . Regarding the rebound effect, I am aware of it and will not stop suddenly to avoid any issues.

Thanks for your insight! Have a good day,
Emily

REPLY
@emilymahomie

@jesfactsmon

Hi Hank! Thanks for your kind words and advice, I will definitely check out the GI Group.

Regarding my support system, both my parents have always been very hands on and have done whatever they could to get help for me and pay for my treatments. They understand my dietary limitations, cook for me every day, and don't ask much of me when I'm sick. There's plenty of history in my immediate family regarding illnesses such as Hypo and Hyper tension, diabetes, several forms of cancer, Celiac disease and GERD, but no one seems to have experienced what I have.

I unfortunately don't live in the states but will be arriving in January (for college). My parents have always told me that maybe once I'm in the states and have a US medical insurance, doctors will run better, more extensive tests and find out what is wrong. I live in Honduras and while there are plenty of good doctors, they haven't been much help.

I have read much about GI issues, respiratory ones and even Psychology, and it baffles me that every doctor seems to arrive at a dead end, at which point they refer me to a gastroenterologist who prescribes Nexium, prescribe it to me themselves, or say it's all in my head.

I won't lie, I'm tired and frustrated, but your words and acknowledgement help more than you know.
Have a great day Hank 🙂 ,

Emily

Jump to this post

@emilymahomie .
So your Nexium treatment will be over soon? That is good, especially if it is not helping much as Nexium can cause it's own problems I have read.

Are you planning to come to the US by yourself? If so, and as you say your parents do not ask much of you as you often can not do much, just how is that going to work? So far what I am hearing is you have a debilitating issue of a serious pain in your chest area which a large number of doctors can not diagnose. You say you can't function with this issue. Yet you plan to come to the US (alone?) and start school. Then you will seek medical help here. These are the basics of what I am hearing. First of all I think you need to have somebody accompany you when you come here. Maybe one of your parents is coming as well? And in the next 3 months before you begin this new adventure I sure hope you find some way of coping with this problem you have, because beginning a new life at a new school in a new country does not sound very easy when you are suffering a serious health issue. Maybe substitute foods like Lori has suggested and wean off the Nexium.

Emily, you may have this all thought out better than I'm thinking. I sure hope so. But I can only respond to what you have told us here and it sounds murky. With covid are you even sure your school will be open? Where is your school located?

Please do try to spend time reading the posts over in the Connect GI group, see if there is someone who can offer you some advice there. I started reading posts about neuropathy on my wife's behalf and I have learned a lot from being on here. I am concerned for you and hope you find some answers to you problem.

Best, Hank

Liked by lorirenee1

REPLY
@emilymahomie

@lorirenee1

Hi Lori! Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my post 🙂

I am currently in the process of looking for a new Cardiologist, since as you pointed out, I must rule out heart problems.

Regarding my diet, I'm almost done with the full month Nexium treatment, eat only steamed fish, chicken, soft vegetables and rice, and seem to be getting worse each day. I will definitely look into the foods that you mentioned since healing my stomach is my main -and only- approach at the moment. As I mentioned to @jesfactsmon, Nexium doesn't make much sense to me either but it seems to be better than nothing 🙁

Thanks again for replying, your words mean a lot to me. Have a great day!

Emily

Jump to this post

@emilymahomie Emily, you have come to a fabulous group of people here. You have no idea! I forgot to mention L-Glutamine to you. You need to research this, as it is a number 1 stomach healer. I mean, tops!!!! See if you can get it, and take it. Have fresh papaya every day, add bone broth powder to your diet, eat kefir, make a daily tea of green tea, turmeric and pepper, and grated, fresh ginger. All of these are natural stomach healers, and do work. And of course, I am glad you are researching a new cardio doc. Listen to Hank, here. He puts his heart and soul into being helpful. I will not add anything about your journey to America, but please take Hank's advice. Be very careful traveling with Covid. You are so young, to feel so sick. It is bad enough when you get sick when you are older. My very best to you, and please add those healthy stomach things. I have helped my stomach using them, without any meds whatsoever. I never tried the L-Glutamine when I had stomach problems, but just learned of it in some amazing videos. My best to you, Lori Renee

REPLY

Please look up COSTOCONDRITIS…it is THE worst pain ever and although it begins around the ribs, it creates a lot of chest pain. Anti-inflammatories and prednisone will take away the inflammation in time. I had never had such intense pain before! Best wishes….

Liked by lorirenee1, Hank

REPLY

I’ve been having similar pain as well ): it’s scary not knowing the exact cause.

Liked by Vickie

REPLY

Ask your doctor about the COSTOCONDRITIS possibility. See if some prednisone and anti-inflammatories help….it takes awhile, but it is my guess that this is your source of pain
Best wishes!

REPLY
@vickiekay

Ask your doctor about the COSTOCONDRITIS possibility. See if some prednisone and anti-inflammatories help….it takes awhile, but it is my guess that this is your source of pain
Best wishes!

Jump to this post

I was on prednisone for a like 14 days (my doctor put me on a dose to see if that would help my pain) gave me bad side effects but did take away my chest pain but then after taking them it came right back
I don’t have pain either when I press on my chest and i feel like my symptoms don’t match that but it definitely isn’t out of the picture I guess. I’ve also seen a sport rehab doc who was working on my chest for a bit but that didn’t help only made me worse by just causing additional pain and my primary doctor advised me to stop having him do that 😂

REPLY
@mikquack

I was on prednisone for a like 14 days (my doctor put me on a dose to see if that would help my pain) gave me bad side effects but did take away my chest pain but then after taking them it came right back
I don’t have pain either when I press on my chest and i feel like my symptoms don’t match that but it definitely isn’t out of the picture I guess. I’ve also seen a sport rehab doc who was working on my chest for a bit but that didn’t help only made me worse by just causing additional pain and my primary doctor advised me to stop having him do that 😂

Jump to this post

Thanks for the reply !

REPLY
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