My heart hurts

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Melf, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS
    I'm trying not to make this a pointless, waste-of-bandwidth post. I posted this here because I know that many intelligent people frequent this board, and possibly doctors. Somebody who could offer me some advice on this, because I'm somewhat worried this could be leading up to my death:(

    Now, for the past week, my heart has been hurting. It hurts on and off. It hurts especially on the right side, near where my right pec begins. It aches for hours. Every day it's been building just a little in intensity. Today it almost reached a stabbing sort of pain. Until today it's just been annoying but today it was actually painful.

    Today I mowed my neighbor's lawn and while I was going up my slope of a driveway I actually got out of breath! Now I am a very skinny guy(18.2 BMI, 135 pounds at 5'11) and I pride myself in my body. I have a ridiculously fast metabolism, and as such I can hardly gain(read:very, very long time for any achievement) any strength or stamina no matter how much I work out. However, I shouldn't get out of breath from walking up a 30 yard hill! I'm in good shape and I'm at the prime of my life(I'm 18).

    I feel like something is seriously wrong. Does anybody have any conclusions? I talked to my doctor about this before(a year ago) when I was feeling the same thing, although on a much milder scale. He wasn't worried at all and said it's probably just growing pains.

    The only conclusions that I can make from this are:

    1) I've clogged my arteries somehow. Highly unlikely, although I was seriously overweight for a period of about 4 years, and I eat a lot of saturated fat from nuts. Two or three helpings a day from nuts. Althoug hI don't gain weight from this and it's pretty much the only fat I get--I couldn't have clogged my arteries in 18 short years no matter how much saturated fat I get, right?

    2) It really is just growing pains. I've been growing again lately, seems like I'll never stop

    3) I have some sort of heart condition. Also not likely because my family doesn't have a history of this.

    Any opinions?

    EDIT: I forgot to mention. I am a vegetarian, and I also monitor my protein intake very, very carefully. I definately get enough. And I exercise regularly. In fact, when I was losing weight, I rode my bike for 2 hours a day nonstop. That should have taken care of my arteries, shouldn't it?
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    vegetarianism is not that healthy. It may seem so, but it is not. Meats have certain nutrients that plants just cannot produce. They cannot be syntesized. It sounds to me like you might have a heart murmur. But I am no expert. You should get it checked out. My aunt has had a pacemaker since she was in her early 20's. Ireggularity in the hearts control system can do those sort of things too. And about the meat thing, when you want bricks, you make them with clay. When you want muscle, you make it with meat. You must find a balance, though. Too much of anything can be bad. Just check those options out, and be careful.

    Above all, tell your doctor what you just told us.
  3. you're only 18, so that seems highly unlikely....

    but you shouldnt be asking us, go ask a doctor, quick. As in tomorrow. Drive to the emergency room if need be.
  4. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    by the way, I eat a lot of junk food. It's just how I am. I don't have those problems. You might have some kind of condition. You should be healthier than me, theoretically. But get it checked out.
  5. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    Shortness of breath sounds odd. I don't think you are going to have heart attack immediately, being young and in decent shape and all, but I would urge you to get to a doctor ASAP, and have it checked.

    Now other things what can cause chestpain: heartburns, stomach trouble, spine- or neck nerves and even muscles.

    I must tell you, I've been suffering multitude of different chest- and armaches for years now - been EEG'd few times, even under physical stress, x-rayed, bloodtested, stomach scoped, and they didn't find anything wrong with my insides. Therefore the doc's judged it's because of nerves or because my muscles are in bad position from all the sitting in front of computer, and told me to do more sports. So it's not like it's automaticly heart-related when you feel a pinch in your chest.

    It's a strange thing, my chestaches too started after I lost some weight raplidy as a teen..
  6. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Make an appointment with a cardiologist. Your symptoms are not those commonly found in someone your age, although not unheard of. There are several things that could contribute to your signs and symptoms, but no need to into them here. Get it checked by a professional. I cant tell you much without a battery of tests, I have some suspicions, but dont want to scare you. But get it checked NOW!!!!

  7. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS

    I did get it checked by a cardiologist who my family knows personally. He said that he gets this complaint all the time from kids my age and usuaully the culprit is dehydration. He also said that even if I did drink enough water that it's nothing and that even if he gave me a full examination and scan he wouldn't find anything. He also said it could be growth, but in any case not to worry because he gets it all the time and nothing is wrong. I'm so relieved:)
  8. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Good news, but I would keep an eye on it. I thought at first you might have a collapsed or collapsing? lung.
  9. eat a big red bloody dripping 2lb steak cooked over a campfire you built yourself with wood you chopped yourself, yes ive done it, and yes it made me feel very very good:D
  10. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Not likely from the things he was complaining of. A pneumothorax is much more painful at onset, and it doesnt go away. MAny things can manifest from that and I wont go into detail (unless you are really curious, PM me in that case) leading up to death.

    On topic, if it were me, I would rather get the examination. I dont like to be diagnosed on the phone. Yes you have some symptoms of dehydration. But you have said you get short of breath walking uphill, increasing pain in your chest. My doctor sense tells me this warrants a little more investigation than a simple conversation.

  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I vehemently disagree with this as a categorical statement. It is way too shallow in depth to address an issue of such complexity. Blanket statements of the such, in regards to something as important as a person's health and diet, are extremely counterproductive.
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Right on.
  13. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    hear hear :)
  14. I've had a spontaneous pneumothorax myself and it wasn't that painful (I think about 10% of my lung volume, but could be wrong). It also went away by itself after some time. I was given some painkillers and told to get some rest - although after it returned periodically, surgery was necessary.

    My symptoms were quite like melf describes. Pain localised in the chest, difficulty breathing and walking/climbing stairs. I was also told that the risk factors include being young, male, and tall and thin. I had several of the same thoughts, too - because of the location and nature of the pain, I originally thought I might be having heart trouble.

    I'm not contradicting your doctor-sense (that sounds creepy) or saying that he can relax and take it easy or anything, because I can't meaningfully generalise from my experience. Just letting you know - from what he's talking about and my entirely medically incompetent standing, it sounds possible it's a pneumothorax.

    An examination sounds like a good idea to me.
  15. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss

    The key here is, you dont know until you look. There is a common phenom in regards to spontaneous tension pneumothoracies in tall thin white males that smoke. But are found most commonly in the lingula of the lungs. But when you are talking about chest pains, that is nothing to play with. Even a pneumo untreated can be fatal. If enough air builds up in the chest cavity, it can cause pressure on the heart (cardiac tamponade)and restrict the outflow of blood (ejection fraction)to the rest of the body, or create an air embolism, or a pneumomediastinum. The thing is, start from the symptomology, chest pains and SOB. That warrants a trip to the ER if it doesnt resolve in a few minutes. Two things will happen from there, an EKG to rule out a heart problem, and a chest xray. You rule out the pathology that will most likely kill you, then look for the less critical things. Due to his past history of weight problems I would rule out a cardiac problem first.

  16. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Go see a doctor! BTW, age is no factor! Arthur Ashe had a heart attack @ the age of 23, and he was the epitome of health!
  17. Of course, Mike, I wasn't trying to say anything about medical procedure or what you should or shouldn't do if you have chest pain. Just that given what he said, I thought it was similar enough to what I went through that it could be a pneumothorax. A tension pneumothorax, that's the term I rememeber. I'd forgotten that - people normally contract them in car accidents, don't they?

    Interestingly, the campus doctor who originally diagnosed me with a pneumothorax didn't give me anything except a painkiller! If "a pneumo untreated can be fatal", that's a little worrying.

    I didn't have surgery for about four months.
    Yeah, makes sense.
  18. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    No offence taken. I cant say why your doctor chose the way he treated you, but a pneumo must be monitored. Sure they can resolve on their own, but thats a chance I wouldnt take. I would want to know the progress and condition. Obviously yours was recurrent, therefore needed surgical intervention. Never a pleasant experience.

    The term for what you had was an idiopathic spontaneous pneumothorax. Means you blew a lung for no apparent reason. Most are caused by a crush type injury or barotrauma. For a 10% lung volume loss, that requires a thoracotomy (chest tubes), that would relieve the trapped air and allow for the hole to heal.

    On topic, if these symptoms continue, SEE a doctor, dont just call.

  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Well well this created a bit of an uproar. But if I can quote a fellow TBer who we all know and love:-

    "If we're not supposed to eat nimals, then why are they made out of meat?"
  20. well i hope you're alright man!

    on a side note i agree, age definately is no factor, when i was in 8th grade there was a kid on the basketball team, the "star" player so to say, and one night afer a basketball game he had a heart attack and died :(
    so age definately has nothing to do with it