Left Arm Pain: Hi, I have had 3 heart... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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Left Arm Pain

bee2
bee2

Hi, I have had 3 heart attacks in five years but angiograms show my arteries are clear. My cardiologist is investigating and mentioned Vasospasms I also have chronic Migraines and an aspirin allergy. Stress brings on chest pain and pain down my left arm. I also get this at rest when just sitting. But sometimes its just the pain in my arm Could just the arm pain without chest pain be a vasospasm?

20 Replies
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I get arm pains even wen I’m

Not stressed but stress doesn’t help ur heart,

bee2
bee2
in reply to gal4God

Have you tried taking GTN for the arm pain gal4God? I did and it cleared it but then left me with a migraine. Its swopping pain for pain. I have another angiogram booked for Thurs to look at the small vessels and been promised a diagnoses so here's hoping. X

gal4God
gal4God
in reply to bee2

Yea and the weakness and pain cleared. It worries me but my cardiologist knos it happens.

bee2
bee2
in reply to gal4God

I thought as chest pain wasn't there it could just be a trapped nerve though the same pain as when I have had heart attacks. I did get it last week during a treadmill test so hopefully it shows up somewhere.

gal4God
gal4God
in reply to bee2

Mine has shown up in a whole body mri Scan as I told my cardiologist it happened. I knew it could be heart related and he asked.

Yes, angina (which is what we are talking about) can manifest itself in many different ways, including even as abdominal pain. There appears to be a relationship between migraine and vascular conditions; indeed, it may be that your migraine is a consequence of vascular disease, in particular microvascular disease. Here is one article I found in a quick search: healio.com/cardiology/chd-p...

You may indeed be suffering from arterial spasms (also known as Prinzmetal's angina). Additionally or alternatively, you may be suffering from coronary microvascular disease (CMVD). It seems that coronary microvascular functional and structural obstruction can cause heart attacks: academic.oup.com/eurheartj/....

This paper may also be of interest: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

I suggest that you mention CMVD to your cardiologist. Most cardiologists lack knowledge of vasospasms and CMVD, and - depending on how things go - you might wish to seek a referral to a more knowledgeable consultant.

Talking about being knowledgeable, my HealthUnlocked friend Milkfairy is tremendously well-informed and I hope will add to my reply.

bee2
bee2
in reply to JonathanH

Thank you JonathanH yes my GP has said I have most likely been misdiagnosed for years if not decades. I have always thought my migraines a separate and the dizzy spells, breathlessness, and what I describe as a sponge leg that makes me stumble were part of that. My first heart attack five years ago was a result of my migraine meds which triggered Long QT. Since then and meds being limited its been one thing after another. I am now under a Professor who studies Small Vessels he promised me a diagnoses at long last.

JonathanH
JonathanH
in reply to bee2

Then you are in good hands! Your GP sounds good, as well as the professor. It is usual for those with CMVD and/or spasms to wait many years for the correct diagnosis.

bee2
bee2
in reply to JonathanH

Thank you for those articles. Just skim read one which mentioned problems in pregnancy being indicators. That answers a question on my list as was one of the questions the professor asked me but as usual I never think of asking the reason at the time, only later when I leave the hospital.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to bee2

Hi Bee2

I sadly have expertise by lived experience as they say of living with vasospastic angina.

I have spasms in the small and large coronary blood vessels, migraine and neurological symptoms with my angina and Raynauds phenomenon.

All these conditions are thought to be related to the mal function of the inner lining of your blood vessels. Microvascular endothelial dysfunction.

I get my pain in some unusual places too, stomach, upper back between my shoulder blades, inside of my left arm and hand little and ring finger. Pain in my neck and throat and behind my left eye.

If severe and prolonged coronary artery spasms can cause heart attacks known as MINOCA Myocardial Infraction no obstruction of Coronary Arteries

onlinejacc.org/content/71/1...

Pre eclampsia, gestional diabetes, and preterm birth are associated with Heart problems later in life ....not in my case all my 3 pregnancies were healthy no raised blood sugars and not a baby under 4kgs!

sciencedaily.com/releases/2...

bmcpregnancychildbirth.biom...

I too have good care from my GP, Physiotherapist, local cardiologist and specialist Prof as well as input from the Pain Team and Cardiac Psychologist.

Some of the drugs used to treat migraine can make coronary vasospasms worse along with beta blockers.

Glad to hear that your Prof is on the case too.

Where are you based and who is your Prof ? I may well know them especially if you are up in Scotland.

bee2
bee2
in reply to Milkfairy

Hi Milkfairy, so glad I found this site as there are some who believed all this was in my head! I also am very low tolerance to medication and the acquired Long QT doesnt help. I also have bradycardia heart rate going down to mid 30's. The only med I am on is 2mg of Candesarten as higher dose lowered my BP too much. I was referred to Prof Berry a month ago and things seem to be moving at long last. X

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to bee2

Hi Bee2

I know Colin Berry very well. You are in the best possible hands!

bee2
bee2
in reply to Milkfairy

Ah when I saw him he said he would put me in touch with others under his care who have similar symptoms. I wonder if you were one of those. I did find him very nice and down to earth as opposed to cardiologists I have seen who because I didn't fit into the normal heart attack patient box just dismissed me till the next time I was admitted.

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star
in reply to bee2

Yes he is a lovely genuinely caring person.

He is actively researching with others into the condition

Hiya bee2

When you say arm pain, how did it feel?

Was it more of an ache or a cramp, or was it a sharp, or pinching kind of pain?

bee2
bee2
in reply to young85

A dull ache I would say 😕

young85
young85
in reply to bee2

How long does it normally last for? Have you got it checked out?

bee2
bee2
in reply to young85

Yes I am undergoing investigation. I'm hoping to get some results soon. It somerimes goes away when I take my GTN

Hi Milkfairy and Everyone,

Did you mention pain in your stomache as well? I am being investigated at the moment for abdominal pain I wonder if its MVD or spasms in there too? I am working my way through various consultants; Urologist and presently a General Surgeon while they rule things out.

Considering I believe I have spasms elsewhere than just my heart doesn’t seem the biggest leap for me theory wise. I have MVD CAS one HA, Myocardial Bridge, prolonged QT, Migraines, blah blah. Any ideas most welcome.

Thanks

Nicky

Milkfairy
MilkfairyHeart Star

Hi Nicky,

I am sorry to read your long list I totally get the blah blah!

CAS is thought to be associated with migraine and Raynauds phenomenon and other disorders of the endothelium the inner lining of the blood vessels.

I was told by my cardiologist that I was having spasms in all the blood vessels in my body.

Before my diagnosis of MVD leading to Microvascular and coronary artery spasms I was investigated for left sided upper back and loin pain thought to be kidney stones and stomach pain.

Women tend to experience heart pain in other places than their chests along with extreme tiredness and flu like symptoms.

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