Tight Chest, Congested Feeling no Cough, Discomfort Taking Deep Breath

Posted by tinyelvis @tinyelvis, Sep 18 10:28am

Hi. This is my first post. I hope that someone can provide some insight. I've read several posts but cannot pinpoint the exact forum to be in.

I am 49. Quite fit. Normal blood pressure. Normal lab work. Low CT scan number (which I had done in the middle of all this). Chest x-ray normal.

Suddenly in April of this year, my chest started feeling a little tight like I could not take a full deep breath. It was intermittent and mild. Later it developed into what felt like chest congestion but I had no cough. My doctor thought that I might have a mild infection and prescribed antibiotics which seemed to help. It later returned and we discussed if I may have asthma (which I never have had). I have no trouble exhaling or other asthma-like symptoms. However, we tried an asthma-allergy medication for a couple of weeks which made no difference.

I consulted a friend (who is a primary care doctor), and he suggested that I may have silent-reflux (LPR). I've never had any digestive issues or anything to even hint at reflux. My diet was already healthy but I cleaned it up even more, cut back on coffee, alcohol, and tried PPIs (prilosec and pantaprozole) for a month. It really made no difference.

I visited an ENT who used the scope and saw "some" swelling around larynx and agreed with the LPR diagnosis. He encouraged me to keep on the PPIs for another month or so (which I did, along with diet changes), but in the end has made no difference.

My primary doctor suggested that I visit a pulmonologist for their opinion and breathing tests (if required). He thought that I was fine, agreed with LPR diagnosis. We scheduled breathing tests just in case my condition did not improve. After a month of the same, I had the breathing tests done. I was told that my lungs were "pristine" and I should consider a gastroenterologist.

I visited a gastroenterologist and he disagreed with the LPR diagnosis and said that I really have no symptoms of reflux. He offered to do an endoscopy (just to cover the bases) but implied that he did not think it was necessary. I told him that I had been taking the PPIs and he asked if I felt better. He said I should be feeling "like a new man" if it were reflux. I told him that my symptoms had remained constant. He suggested that I stop all PPIs and see if my symptoms change. He even suggested that I may want to see a pulmonologist (which I had already done). I hate taking unnecessary meds, so I stopped. Sure enough, my symptoms have not changed. Still the same daily chest discomfort, tightness.

So here we are nearing the end of September and I still feel the same. I'm not sure where else to turn. My wife thinks that I should get the endoscopy done just to be sure, but to me it really feels like a lung issue. When I take a deep, I feel resistance. It feels like bronchitis without the typical symptoms.

Thank you.

Hi @tinyelvis, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, an online community of patients and caregivers. Naturally we cannot provide a diagnosis, but we can help with your search for answers or perhaps what questions to ask. To help you with your investigations, I found these 4 discussions that appear to describe similar issues.

– Mysterious shortness of breath https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mysterious-shortness-of-breath/
– Chest Discomfort https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chest-discomfort/
– Chest Pain/Discomfort since May 2019 https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chest-paindisconfort-since-may-2019/
– Costochondritis and lung problems https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/costochronditis/

Was there anymore investigation done about the possibility of infection?

REPLY

@tinyelvis– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It's just awful to feel heaviness in your chest, and it's often difficult to really tell where it is coming from because everything is so tightly packed together. There are so many things that can cause this and as Colleen has stated we can't give you a diagnosis because we aren't doctors.

If you feel comfortable having an endoscopy and trust your doctor then finding our what he finds, or doesn't, might save you from more guessing and you can rule it out. I also encourage you to read as many posts as possible so that you can get an idea of other's struggles and how they have handled it.

I don't understand what you mean by a low number on your CT scan. I have never heard this term before as related to a problem that was or was not found. Can you explain this? Also, have you seen a cardiologist?

REPLY

Has anyone mentioned costochronditis? I was diagnosed with it and the docs- lung, cardiologist and rheumatologist all said the tightness, pain and swelling could be symptoms of it. The cardiologist said to press the center right side of my chest and if there is pain, it probably is costochronditis. My major symptom is a "tight band" around my chest. Unfortunately, they all said it would go away on its own but it's been 5 years and I still have it. Have any of your doctors said to try NSAIDs like meloxicam? Good luck

REPLY
@jmb73

Has anyone mentioned costochronditis? I was diagnosed with it and the docs- lung, cardiologist and rheumatologist all said the tightness, pain and swelling could be symptoms of it. The cardiologist said to press the center right side of my chest and if there is pain, it probably is costochronditis. My major symptom is a "tight band" around my chest. Unfortunately, they all said it would go away on its own but it's been 5 years and I still have it. Have any of your doctors said to try NSAIDs like meloxicam? Good luck

Jump to this post

@jmb73– Thank you for the suggestion. Colleen posted the site above. It's certainly a great suggestion. SOB is so challenging because there are so many possible scenarios as to cause. Costochondritis and lung problems https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/costochronditis/

Thank you for your help

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @tinyelvis, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, an online community of patients and caregivers. Naturally we cannot provide a diagnosis, but we can help with your search for answers or perhaps what questions to ask. To help you with your investigations, I found these 4 discussions that appear to describe similar issues.

– Mysterious shortness of breath https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mysterious-shortness-of-breath/
– Chest Discomfort https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chest-discomfort/
– Chest Pain/Discomfort since May 2019 https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/chest-paindisconfort-since-may-2019/
– Costochondritis and lung problems https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/costochronditis/

Was there anymore investigation done about the possibility of infection?

Jump to this post

Hi. I've read many of the threads before posting. 🙂 Personally I think that it is some kind of lingering infection but my doctor disagrees so I'm just in limbo at this point. Some days it feels better and it feels like I'm in the clear and then it comes back.

REPLY
@merpreb

@tinyelvis– Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It's just awful to feel heaviness in your chest, and it's often difficult to really tell where it is coming from because everything is so tightly packed together. There are so many things that can cause this and as Colleen has stated we can't give you a diagnosis because we aren't doctors.

If you feel comfortable having an endoscopy and trust your doctor then finding our what he finds, or doesn't, might save you from more guessing and you can rule it out. I also encourage you to read as many posts as possible so that you can get an idea of other's struggles and how they have handled it.

I don't understand what you mean by a low number on your CT scan. I have never heard this term before as related to a problem that was or was not found. Can you explain this? Also, have you seen a cardiologist?

Jump to this post

Hi.

"I don't understand what you mean by a low number on your CT scan".

I was referring to the calcium score for the CT scan on my heart. It was a low number – which is good.

REPLY
@jmb73

Has anyone mentioned costochronditis? I was diagnosed with it and the docs- lung, cardiologist and rheumatologist all said the tightness, pain and swelling could be symptoms of it. The cardiologist said to press the center right side of my chest and if there is pain, it probably is costochronditis. My major symptom is a "tight band" around my chest. Unfortunately, they all said it would go away on its own but it's been 5 years and I still have it. Have any of your doctors said to try NSAIDs like meloxicam? Good luck

Jump to this post

"Has anyone mentioned costochronditis?"

No, they have not. I'll read up on that. Thanks.

REPLY
@tinyelvis

"Has anyone mentioned costochronditis?"

No, they have not. I'll read up on that. Thanks.

Jump to this post

@tinyelvis– If you look above to my last post to you I left a link for costochondritis. Here it is again: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/costochronditis/

REPLY

After reading about costochronditis, that doesn't really seem to fit with my symptoms. Mine is more of a warm, raw sensation that seems to be in my lungs. It's really hard to explain which must be why my PCP thinks I'm nuts. PCP to ENT to Pulmonologist to Gastroenterologist; I've spent a lot of money this year and I've really gotten nowhere.

REPLY

@tinyelvis– You must be soo frustrated. I get this. I think many f us do in this group. Since this began have you made any changes to your lifestyle? For example Diet, environment, exercise, new skincare, or perfume, any new medications?

REPLY
@merpreb

@tinyelvis– You must be soo frustrated. I get this. I think many f us do in this group. Since this began have you made any changes to your lifestyle? For example Diet, environment, exercise, new skincare, or perfume, any new medications?

Jump to this post

@merpreb – Yep, more than a little frustrating. 🙂 Some diet changes after this started happening, but before that no changes. It seemingly came from out of nowhere. Some days are better than others, so that lends some credibility to the silent reflux theory but the PPIs make no difference. Thank you for listening to me.

REPLY
@tinyelvis

@merpreb – Yep, more than a little frustrating. 🙂 Some diet changes after this started happening, but before that no changes. It seemingly came from out of nowhere. Some days are better than others, so that lends some credibility to the silent reflux theory but the PPIs make no difference. Thank you for listening to me.

Jump to this post

@tinyelvis– Have you found any helpful tips from any of the posts?

REPLY
@merpreb

@tinyelvis– Have you found any helpful tips from any of the posts?

Jump to this post

Hi. I've found some interesting reading, but nothing that really matches up with my symptoms or any tips that I haven't already tried. My PCP once mentioned seeing an allergist but I cannot imagine suddenly developing an allergy that causes non-stop tightness/pain and a feeling of congestion in my chest.

REPLY

I wanted to comment that some of these symptoms could be early signs of mesothelioma. Symptoms of meso mimic those of many other respiratory conditions. Meso is a rare condition but also easy for doctors to overlook during early diagnostics.

REPLY
@lisakuehl

I wanted to comment that some of these symptoms could be early signs of mesothelioma. Symptoms of meso mimic those of many other respiratory conditions. Meso is a rare condition but also easy for doctors to overlook during early diagnostics.

Jump to this post

My chest x-ray was normal, and I've never been around asbestos.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.