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Primary Root Symptom: morning onset of non-sharp, dull, vague, uncomfortable, achey, centered chest tightness. I feel it around below sternum as well. Short of breath,
airways feel tighter, breathing is more labored. I am more winded with everyday activities, and cardio and exercise are a lot more tougher to peform with
the constricted airways.

Physical Attributes:
30 years old, single male
Parents are healthy, with no coronary disease/high blood pressure
5-6 height
before chest tightnesss 170lbs. currently 149lbs (loss 20 lbs in a month)
do not smoke
drink on occasion once every 2-3 weeks before chest tightness. Do not currently drink alcohol.
don't drink caffeine.
blood pressure was normal before chest tightness - its currently 10-15pts higher ie: 130/88
exercising, and running does not bring sharp pains to the chest, but it makes blood pressure go
up and brings upon shortness of breath due to tightness.
i can do aerobic exercise, but its uncomfortable due to tightness, and i dont
have the same strength as i did before the chest tightness.
sometimes would take naps 2-3 hrs after eating a meal, wake up and start using the computer late at night, and then go back to bed (before chest tightness)
Very minimal and rare heartburn, reflux...once every few weeks depending on diet.. after eating chocolate, fried foods etc, foods high in oil/fat content.
i dont burp, regurgitate food, or have pain in the throat. no constipation or loose stools are rare (only if i eat bad mexican food, bad fast food)

Post-tight chest Symptoms (brought on by tight chest, also made worse by some medications ie: atenolol, prilosec)

- anxiety
- night time palpitations
- body aches (shoulder, neck, below left pectoralis)
- hip pain
- head ache/pressure on side of head
- cold feet legs
- increased high blood pressure off and on.
- constant urination.
- heavy palpitation at night..body pulsates to heart beat.
- waking up many times at night to racing palpitation. 3:30, 4:30am, 5:30am
- muscle spasm
- short of breath, feel like im not getting enough oxygen
- heavy head
- head ache
- tight jaw
- tender scalp
- tight calves
- fatique
- dizzy head
- cold body
- groggy
- loss of extra weight
- hard to gain weight
- persistent muscle tension
- legs take longer to heal after working out
- left side chest pain from heart beating to hard from tightness.
- working out increases soreness in the heart area due to excessive beating/ high heart rate.
- get winded easily from everyday activies ie: exercise, jogging.

Previous Medical History-
- nasal congestion
- scoliotic neck, with convexity leftward centered about c4-5
- dessicated disk c5-6, with mild annular prminence with only minimal flattening of the csf. some mild left neural foraminal
- weakness in left arm from neck pain
- neck pain, has been off and on, but usually not to severe unless i play basketball, or exercise stenously, or aggravte it by turning my
neck to looking behind shoulder while driving.

tests i took:
bloodwork - fine
EKGx3 - fine
Chest Xray - fine
Stress Test - fine, no irregular heartbeats, but fast ones.

im male, 30, 5-6, and 150lbs. i was pretty active(played basketball, and run, lift weights), and healthy guy before this onset, occasionally i would eat a lot, but i would balance my diet. i did have a habit of taking a nap before my actual real sleep at night. and have a habit of eating dinners late, around 8:30 or 9:00pm

Long story short, few months ago 12-15-11 I woke up one morning with some tight heavy discomfort in my chest area. I tried to see if it would go away if I did some running, but it was made worse.
Later on in the evening I went to the ER to get checked out as I was out of breath. While in the ER, they did ekg, bloodwork, blood pressure, and the chest xray came out fine.

they gave me ativan and diagnosed me with anxiety, the anxiety was there, i dont believe the chest tightness was caused by anxiety though. it felt like tightness brought on by something else. im not sure how i got the tightness of the chest, maybe from straining the internal chest muscles somehow/or over breathing or maybe reflux hitting the lower esophagus tightening the airways that happened in my sleep or when i was in bed.

so weeks later the symptoms did not improve so i went to the doc and he told me to try prilosec. I tried the OTC Omeprazole for a few weeks and had noticed some side-effects. i also did not see improvement)and stopped after two weeks. So lately i have been eating lite, and cutting out the heartburn/reflux inducing i dont get reflux much and have been eating healthy losing 20lbs. but my chest tightness was still there.

Before taking the prilosec i was slowly developing inability to sleep and started getting heavy night time palps. i experience rapid fast heart palpitations when i wake up at night to use the restroom. this palps would continue on into the morning.

fast forward, i go back to the doctor again few weeks ago feeling like my heart was going to pop he says i have high blood pressure based on the in-office blood pressure 150/100 (very anxious in the office) he did blood work, and he checked my thyroid and it was fine.

so he prescribes me atenolol. i tried it off and on to see how my body reacts to it, it helped to slow my heart rate but the side effects made me
feel terrible. I took the atenolol at night at 10pm and felt my heart rate slow down, but i can still feel my heart thumping, and stomach growling,
it makes my sleep pattern even worse. i feel worse the next day.
giving me these symptoms - groggy, muscle weakness, ringing in the ear, some joint pain, depression, fatigue, lethargy, made my chest heavy, gave me shortness of breath. after a week of using it, i have decided to quit cold turkey. So the Atenolol did not help relieve my chest tightness.

I have found a few ways to control my blood pressure, i have been eating healthy, ie: wholegrains, veggies, nuts, fruits, apple cider vinegar, taking fish oils, magnesium, drinking tea. I got it to drop down a bit, 120/85 at night. they would calm down a bit, however tightness is still there around the chest areas.

I already took some tests to help me to believe that it is not my heart, and in my mind i feel like it can be something brought on by possibly reflux or something physically inside/or heart. I still don't know for sure it's cornary related, mvp, GERD, asthma, chest infection/strain, stress, coupled with anxiety.

And im sure all the other symptoms i am experiencing afterwards are a result of my anxiety making things worse. So it's my goal to get to the root cause, so I dont have to keep worrying. At this point im trying to be comfortable with my symptom and learn to handle and relieve them.

I hope that someone has experienced the same thing so i can find a way to recover. What other tests can I do to help figure out what this is? anyone have any ideas? has anyone experienced this? im trying to find ways to relieve the chest tightness, it doesn't seem to be getting any better, and nothing relieves it, ativan (slightly), not atenolol, not prilosec.

if anyone can help with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

thanks for taking the time to read this long post. imm just trying to be detailed as possible.
Iím doing so-so. Iím just trying to hang in there with the symptoms and discomfort. And I still get aches, and heavy feelings.

My other doc that Iíve seen thinks there some issues going on with my stomach. so i have to follow up with him and maybe run another test.

Mayo Clinic will probably find out what kind of disease/ illness you have. You might have a tumor. Hopefully they will find something. Hang in there and get well.

That might be a good idea to see a rheumy. I havenít seen one yet. But Iím going to follow up with my doc w/my symptoms and see if i should see one. He also thinks i have some stomach issues going on.

Beatles 1984:
I saw the post about relaxation exercises, I tried it a few times. But I guess it takes time and patience and practice for it to be effective.

are your symptoms improving? Did you find anything new with the doctors?
I tried taking PPI before, but I could not notice any difference so I stopped taking them. I think they prevented the absorption of some nutrients from some of the food I was eating.

What does the glucosamine help with? Iím taking magnesium, vitamin d, fish oils, and calcium.

I notice that itís hard for me to put on pounds ever since I lost weight. Iím trying to gain back some muscle mass and it seems like Iím making very small gains. Iíve been working out 3x a week, but also still get the shortness of breath feeling during and afterwards. Iím going to try to see if I can push myself with more cardio exercise despite having sob.

How are you enjoying your time in Japan ? Anything cool you see? I'm sure a lot.[/QUOTE]

Nothing has really changed for me, outside of maybe wearing thin the patience of my doctor. I have okay days where the symptoms are only an annoyance that slows me down a bit, and some days where it brings everything to a halt and I can't really do much. The worst are nights when I can't sleep, where I'm constantly falling asleep and then waking up in sudden jolts and palpitations for no apparent reason. I'm not good for much on the days that follow those evenings.

I've noticed that I get more upset stomachs while using the PPI (omeprazole), but have decided to try and take them all, per the instructions of my doctor. He scolded me recently for not sticking with the PPI for longer than two weeks the first time I used them, since I also hadn't really seen a difference either. Apparently though, they can take up to a month or longer to have any real effect, or so I've been told.

Just in case my food isn't digesting completely though, I've also started taking probiotics and digestive enzymes. They haven't led to any noticeable change yet, and I still tend to get a lot of phlegmy feel in the back of my throat after meals (which is a big part of why my doctor is thinking that GERD might be the main problem), but I figure that keeping them up can't hurt. Besides, it's only been just under a week that I've been taking them, so maybe that too requires long term use?

Glucosamine is something I've taken even before all this stuff started. It's mostly just for joint cartilage health. As I no longer have a car here, I do a lot of walking and stair climbing, so glucosamine is supposed to help keep wear down to a minimum. It's more a preventative thing to take for me, rather than something I've started taking because of a particular condition.

As for losing weight, yeah, I've shed a lot of muscle too, it seems. About half of the weight I've lost (about 10 pounds) is likely muscle according to this electronic scale I've got. That makes sense since I don't eat as much now that I'm not as active, and even then, I tend to eat even more fruit and vegetable than I used to, rather than the usual amounts of chicken or fish. (Beef tends to be too expensive for me here, and pork is something I rarely ate even before coming to Japan.) I'm not too worried about gaining it back at the moment though, since I'm just more concerned with getting quality sleep, stopping the chest pain, palps, and the heavy sensation when I'm trying to get deep breaths down.

As for my time in Japan, it's like anywhere. It has its perks and drawbacks. There are definitely many amazing things that I'm probably taking for granted now that I'll be missing when I return home. While there's valid criticism that Japanese government and industry is too centered on Tokyo, it does make the city incredibly dense with distractions. If you've got the time, money, and energy (of which I'm sorely lacking the latter two!) then it's a great place to explore and have a great time. I just hope that when the next "big one" hits, it leaves this city intact.


How are you feeling? I am feeling "ok" today after having a couple of really bad days. I better enjoy the day with my kids because it is just a matter of time before I start feeling sick again.

I went to my appointments with the neurologist and my internal medicine doctor. My neurologist said that he highly recomends for my primary care doctor to refer me to the local medical university or the Mayo clinic because there is obviously something wrong with me and it is not anxiety.

My internist said that she would like for me to go and see a gastroenterologist before she gives me a referal to the medical university. If the gastro and the medical university don't find anything wrong then she will be sending me to the Mayo clinic.

It is looking more like I have an infectious disease that is just progressing now into something more severe or I have some kind of hormone producing tumor that is just dumping adrenaline or some other hormone into my system non-stop. I am really thinking that it could be the tumor because I have all the symptoms and the only test that came back abnormal was my cortisol which came back really high. The only thing that doesn't make sense is that I am loosing a lot of weight and high cortisol makes you gain. I will keep you posted. I hope you are feeling better.[/QUOTE]

Despite how we're all feeling at the moment, it's kinda' nice that your doctors are at least inclined to escalating you to a research hospital like Mayo to figure out what the problem might be. I wish my doctors had that initiative, so I'm a tad jealous, here! A previous doctor (the one before my current one) basically once told me, "look, I can't find anything wrong, so it has to be all in your head. Come back in six months if it is still bothering you." I was pretty angry afterward, and that didn't help much.

In any case, I hope you get that chance soon. You deserve answers, just like the rest of us, and once you get it, you're that much closer to addressing the problem, rather than just trying to ease the symptoms. Good luck, Mojo!

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