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British Heart Foundation
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Looking for a bit of advice reference possible heart problem symptoms

Hi guys, I hope everyone is well and enjoying the festive period. I am hoping for a bit of advice from forum members. I have been experiencing random bouts of chest pain since I was about 16. There is no particular patterns to them and I haven't found anything which aggravates them.

I have been to my doctor numerous times in the past and he has always sent me for ECGs but they have always came back negative. One day quite a while ago I had severe chest pain and i was taken to a local a&e. I was put on an ECG and they monitored my heart for about 40 minutes. Apart from a slightly raised pulse which they put down to the pain they could find no problem with the rhythm.

Lately I have been experiencing random palpitations. They don't tend to last long but scare the hell out of me. I am getting to the point where the anxiety is getting the better of me and most nights I am worried to go to sleep for fear I may not wake up. I also have 2 children which concerns me, if there is an underlying issue they need to be tested regardless of what happens. Can anyone advise me where I am best going with this? I don't feel like I will get much joy from my doctors.

Any help much appreciated.

21 Replies
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Hello and welcome to the forum! May I ask how many years ago you were 16? Also does the pain come on at rest or when exercising (or walking up hill/gardening/etc)?

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Hi thanks for the reply. I’m 31 now so 15 years ago

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need to check gut . i did twice troponin test fearing heart issue but it came out gut issue due to aspirin i was taking

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I'm no expert so this is just from personal experience . I found anxiety and caffeine (coffee, coca-cola, strong chocolate) caused me to have palpitations. Re. the chest pain I would keep pestering your G.P. until you get some answers. Also when I had a heart attack 10 weeks ago my e.c.g. was normal and it was my raised Troponin which signified a heart attack. If you aren't already leading a healthy lifestyle you need to start!

Good luck.

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Hi thanks for the reply. I will go back to my gp and try again. It doesn’t seem normal at all.

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Hi, Some foods and drinks can set off palpitations. These can include alcohol (mixing drinks) dairy foods etc. If it happens at night time limit your caffeine and have a cut off time. If it’s indigestion linked try a glass of milk prior to going to bed. You can always keep a dairy to what you have eaten prior to any irregular heart beats. To find out if you have any heart muscle damage ask your doctor to do a simple blood test Pro BNP and this will indicate any damage to heart the muscle. An ECG is a great tool but will show how the heart is beating at that moment. Hope this helps.

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Thank you I will mention this see what he says

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I had a heart attack in June 8am in the morning. Didn't go to walk in centre till 6pm where a nurse saw me and said I think it could be a heart attack and ambulance was called to take me to hospital where I had an ecg and sister came and said I'd had a heart attack and I'd be getting a stent in. That was 7 hrs from heart attack. I got told off for not phoning ambulance and told if I got a pain in my chest phone ambulance.

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Ask your gp to refer you to a cardiologist to get some deeper answers. Good luck.

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Hi thanks for reply. Do you think the gp will agree? I feel as though he won’t take me seriously and just dismiss it as muscle pain etc

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You could see a different gp or keep going back and each time repeating your request to see a cardiologist. You can then be tested thoroughly at the hospital. ECGs only show a current time snap shot, you would be better with a 24/48hour or 5/7day Holter meter which records everything over the longer periods. I was only taken seriously after collapsing many times over the years. Then af being caught on ECG at the hospital after a&e admission following an episode of collapse. Firstly I suffered from a tachycardia & spent 5 days in hospital but a few years later I developed arrhythmia as well (another few days in hosp, my gp finally believing me when i had been like it for 2 days and her ecg caught it, so she called an ambulance for me) so had an ablation. Years of not being believed, I even changed hospital to get the right treatment. I have a letter from the first hospital stating 'nothing of concern here'.....I think not !!

Keep pestering until you get answers to your satisfaction.

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Wow that sounds like you have had a terrible time. I don’t understand why they don’t take these types of problems seriously?

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You can demand a second opinion.

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Thanks for reply. I will speak with my Gp and hopefully get a more positive investigation

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Hi Dan2k7. This may be too simple an answer but i have experienced what I describe as irregular flutters in my chest for many years, but these normally show up on an ECG as ectopic heart beats which is a very common condition and your GP would identify.

I read a small quote from a very well qualified Cardiologist in the Bristol Heart Institute, I think his name was Glyn Thomas, and he takes a dose of Magnesium Sulphate daily, "gone are the palpitations" he says. My GP has not heard of this but you may like to follow up on the man himself or Bristol Heart Institute, its all good research!! Good luck

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Hi thanks for the reply. I have had many ECGs over the years, would guess 8-10 but they have never showed up any problems. The only time I was experiencing actual pain was when I was in hospital but they said the ecg readings were all normal?

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Hi,

Hope all goes well for you. Have you ever had a chest x Ray done. I had been complaining about my chest hurting for years, and being breathless to always being told my lungs were fine (as that's what I thought it was). I fainted at work back in February. Had ECG done told heart rate a little slow, all ok. So I mentioned I will just carry on then. Told I had not mentioned this before, said I had been complaining for over 10 yrs. Sent for chest x Ray to find lungs were ok but heart rather larger than it should be. That's why I had the breathlessness and chest pain. Found I have a hole in heart, bicuspid aortic valve and a branch missing on top of the aorta. Missed at birth?? So do keep complaining because if I had not said what I said I would still be none the wiser. I have two more tests to go, then decide if will do any or not? Happy New year to you.

Regards Dee.

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Thank you for that Dee. I’m amazed by how many people on here have been fobbed off for years with these types of compaints? I can’t understand why these things aren’t taken more seriously

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Try a rheumatologist. There's a condition called costochondritis which is inflammation of the cartilage that joins ribs to breastbone; harmless but very painful. Not all chest pain is heart. I've had palpitations for years. I had a stress test which showed absolutely nothing but they left the electrodes on when I sat down and thankfully they happened at rest so they could see where they came from and assure me they were harmless. Keep pushing for answers but remember, anxiety can cause a lot of these problems

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Thanks for your reply. I do hope it isn’t something heart related. I will push my doctor for more investigation

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Try to take someone with you to your appointments if you don't already do this. It's difficult to remember everything that's been said when you're on your own. Also it gives you some moral courage and helps you to stay assertive which is difficult when you feel ignored.

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