Chest pain, newly diagnosed

I've been experiencing some very odd sensations over the last two weeks. I was diagnosed incorectly with panic attacks after going to my doctor complaining of palpitation, shaking and feeling very faint. I was prescribed Propranolol which didn't help at all. Last night I started to experience chest tightness and pulling, it really frightened me. This morning I went to the emergency doctors who listened to my heat and did my BP etc but they were all fine. He listened to my lungs and said I was a bit wheezy so did a peak flow test. He said I was asthmatic with it being 400 instead of 480!?

My chest hurts again but I am not breathless, only occasionally I have to take deeper breaths which sometimes hurt. I have taken Salbutamol but it has had no effect on my chest. I could go to A&E but the doctor has already done my obs which were all fine.

Is this common with asthma. I'm so confused.

Thank you.

12 Replies

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  • Hi and welcome!

    I can see why you're confused! Sounds like a bit of a nightmare. If you feel worse though go to A&E - even if obs were normal this morning it doesn't mean they couldn't have changed, so get help if you need it.

    I'm not a medic and we're not supposed to diagnose on here anyway as this is a forum so can't really answer question about whether this is normal. I would go back to your usual GP asap even if you don't go to A&E - there are a lot of unanswered questions here, and if you are asthmatic they need to know asap if the reliever isn't working (btw they'll have calculated the 'drop' from your predicted value which is based on age, gender and height, but it does vary between people. Finding out what you can do when feeling better might be an idea).

    They might also want to do some other tests because of the chest pains/pulling - maybe ECG or similar. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong but I think you want to keep pestering them as apart from anything else these symptoms sound pretty annoying to live with and it would be nice to know what's going on so you can try to do something!

    Good luck - let us know how you get on and keep asking questions (obviously not for urgent advice but in general). I hope this makes sense btw, brain on holiday atm.

  • Philomela's right. Go back to your GP if worried. Call the asthma nurses on AUK too. Can email them. They're very helpful.

    I get that sort of chest pain when the barometer is high, like in the weather we're having just now.

    Take care,

    GM

  • Thank you for your replys

    I eneded up in A&E last night. I had an ECG, bloods and a chest X-ray which all turned out fine. My obs were text book perfect too. After 6 hours there the doctor said it may be inflamation of your chest wall. Now I'm wondering if undiagnosed asthma has caused the inflamation but I could be wrong.

    I'm really worried that the doctors think I'm a hypocondriact. I've been to four differnt doctors in the last week. Two yesterday. The pain is very real for me though. I'm going to book another appt next week and try and get to the bottom of it.

    Once again thank you for your replys.

  • I'm glad you did go in the end, though it is frustrating when you're not feeling great and nothing shows up -even though obviously you don't want it to be something scary.

    I'm glad you're keeping at it though. I was told for ages it was all just stress and hyperventilation, until I found a dr who really listened. They still don't know what's going on with me - and my obs tend to be pretty good as well (if I had a fiver for every time I've heard 'well, your chest is clear...' and/or 'the tests all came back normal', I would be doing pretty well!). However, they're now paying attention to me and NOT just dismissing it as nothing; they said the basic tests won't always show things, but they think there is something going on so they are going to look into it more.

    I hope you get on ok with the GP and they listen to you. PM me any time as even if not with same symptoms I've been where you are...

  • Thank you Pholomela, I really appreciate it.

    Sounds like you have had it tough regarding diagnosis and getting your symptoms across to doctors too. I hope they find out what is going on with you soon.

    I start placement (I'm a student nurse) on Monday and the last thing I want is for these symptoms to carry on throughout it. Doing something as simple as washing up and cooking is causing me chest pain and making it harder to breath so I'm worried how I am going to get through this placement.

    My inhaler is faulty I think and that is probably the reason it doesn't help. The stuff comes out of the top which I've been told isn't normal.

  • You're welcome! :) As I've been there I like to provide a helping hand - worse than feeling rubbish is feeling rubbish and being told it's all in your head/there's nothing they can do.

    That's not great re placement, I imagine nursing is not going to be the most restful of things to do, and if your chest/ribs hurt is going to make it worse. Have you asked any of the drs about painkillers? I take ibuprofen for my ribs but I know that I'm ok with it so I don't want to recommend it in case you're not - some asthmatics find it makes them worse. But you could ask the dr when you see them, just to make things easier.

    btw your inhaler may not be broken - stuff comes out of the top if your technique isn't good, which it may not be if you're new to taking it, and if you don't breathe in at the right time (it's tricky!) you won't get the benefit as the drug will all go in your mouth or out the top. You need to try breathing in as you press the canister down - ask the dr to check your technique, or they might refer you to the asthma nurse who should be able to give you some lessons.

    EDIT If you aren't already, try practising in front of the mirror. And maybe google it; I think AUK or a FB page called BIg Up Your Chest has videos showing you how to do it.

  • I'm taking co-codamol at the moment, it's helping with the pain a little. The doctor said to take them but couldn't give me anti-informatory drugs because of the asthma. I also asked the pharmacist and he said the same.

    As for using the inhaler, I'm rubbish most of it goes onto my tongue and the top of my mouth. I will try the mirror technique and see if it helps. The pain my be due to the asthma all along and I'm not getting any relief because I'm not using it correctly.

    Thank you, I never considered this.

  • I hope it does work! It's a shame about the anti-inflammatories; you might be ok with them but best not to risk it I think.

    Just realised I also meant to say: you can ask your dr for a spacer as well; this makes it a lot easier as you don't have to get the timing so perfect. They may prescribe one anyway if you're having problems with technique.

  • Some useful links :).

    It takes a bit of practice to learn how to use a metered dose inhaler properly and as Philomela says using a spacer is more effective.

    For info on inhaler technique:

    Click on the top left hand option ""Metered dose inhaler""

    asthma.org.uk/using_your_in...

    tinyurl.com/3agp4n3

    (http://www.asthma.org.uk/all_about_asthma/medicines_treatments/using_your_inhalers.html)

    For info on spacers:

    tinyurl.com/ykhwxh5

    (http://www.asthma.org.uk/all_about_asthma/medicines_treatments/spacers.html)

  • Thank you Ginny

    these sights have helped. Like you both said, I think it's going to take a bit of getting use to. If I am still not successful by mid week I will return to my GP and asked for some help or this spacer thingy.

    Thank you

  • Could go back sooner than midweek if you're having problems as using a spacer does usually help.

    Having said that following step 3 on the demo exactly should avoid mist coming out from the top of the inhaler.

    ""3) Put mouthpiece in mouth and as you begin to breathe in, which should be slow and deep, press canister down and continue to inhale steadily and deeply.""

    Perhaps easier to start breathing in and then press the canister (rather than attempting both at once!). It is supposed to be a slow and deep breath in so there is time to start calmly and then quickly fire the inhaler.

  • Good Luck on placement ! ( I am also a student nurse)

    hope things improve for you soon

    my gp works on the no wheezing not bad asthma have salbutmol and go away hypothesis

    They so wouldn't pass a communication skills osce

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