Does/Has anyone else suffered from sporadic chest pains?

I have been suffering from random sharp sporadic chest pains in the middle of mychesg and often to the side near the middle of the rib cage. They are very random and more apparent when taking deep breathes and moving suddenly as well as laughing or yawning. I also have been suffering from Tachycardia (high resting heartbeat - over 100) for the past month too. My doc has been investigating over the past month and initially it was thought my Thyroxine dose was too high which has been lowered. We tried meds to reduce acid in stomach as they thought it was gastro reflux related but again that hasn't helped. In between the pain was very severe and my chest became very tight which was scary. It lasted about an hour and once it calmed down I rang NHS direct and explained the feeling. They sent a ambulance within minutes which I was surprised by. They did an ECG right away which was normal but blood pressure was really high 150/106. They also did an chest X-ray which came back normal. I was sent home but told to monitor symptoms and should it happen again ring 999 immediately. It hasn't happened so severely since thank god and this was about 2 weeks ago.

I have recently also undergone a chest CT scan and that came back with no abnormalities, no clots, lung damage or boney damage. Although I am extremely grateful that was the case I am also confused as to why I'm still getting the pain. Has anyone else had similar experiences and found a resolution?

Thanks in advance!

18 Replies

  • Hi rooks, I have been omitted to hospital on more than one occasion for same problem and it was the lupus attacking the lining (tissue) around my heart the joys of lupus Mmm.. Gaz

  • I've been through exactly the same situation, emergency ambulance, hospital admissions etc. After all the tests came back ok, I was told I had mild pericarditis, inflammation of the heart lining, and also costochondritis , inflammation of the connective tissues between my sternum and my ribs. A course of steroids and anti inflammatories settled it down. I still get quite severe attacks, and have been told to get them checked every time, but now I know what it is, I don't worry as much.

    I hope your pain settles down and you get some answers.

  • We never know for certain what is causing our chest pain, until we have been examined by a Doctor always call an Ambulance. Just because it has been ok in the past it doesn't mean it will always be ok.

    If you phoned the Doctor about it or NHS direct they wouldn't risk saying ignore it.

    My Heart attack wasn't really that painful slight indigestion feeling getting worse and pain down my left arm, getting heavier and chest tightening, everyone is different.

  • Hi Rooks, I have been through exactly the same, taken as an emergency to hospital last night, also with very high blood pressure. I have been particularly unwell over the last 5 weeks. I am currently on 400 mg plaquenil. Feeling a little bit sorry for myself today with a screaming headache. Mostly I am very positive as I am very lucky to be under the care of a brilliant gp but today my tears won't stop, not helping my headache. Hope you feel better soon xx

  • Hi there, It seems it's not that unusual for us lupies, I too have had real pain in my left ribcage area - I've had an ambulance and was admitted on one occasion - thankfully with tests coming back negative, but have continued to have the pain for many months (over a year in total)!. GP believes it could be constochondoitis - rheumy has done new x-rays and I still suffer the pain.

    So sadly, other than a tentative diagnosis of costo I have no real answers for you, or for me.

    All the best and I hope you have some relief soon.

  • I have been admitted 3 times now for chest pains just above my rib cage,each time a suspected heart attack but every test has ruled it out. Worried that one day it will be the real thing and I will put it down to lupus. I keep taking extra aspirin so that am not having an attack I know it's silly but I just think it's better safe than sorry healing hugs Luppychick x

  • As many others have stated, yup, chest pain is yet ANOTHER joyous thing that I have come 2 associate with my various AI conditions :/ Having said that, obviously any chest pains should get checked out ASAP but I can confirm that as a fellow lupoid, it is not uncommon 4 me 2 b writhing around the floor like a worm on speed, not being able 2 breathe properly & thinking I am having a heart attack. Thankfully, this does not happen as much as it used 2 ;)

  • Thanks everyone for all your replies and kind advice! it makes me feel better that i'm not a hypochondriac. I do often feel when I have a new symptom if I am being paranoid and never know whether to ignore or actually ask for help. The chest pains do really worry me so I will continue to ask for it to be looked into and wont ignore if it gets worse. Its really scary thinking that at the age of 28 I could have heart problems when just last year I was so active, confident and felt I was completely fine. The past 3 months have really turned that on its head its weird. I guess I'm going to have to get used to these ups and downs and not let it get the better of me. I'm determined to lead as normal life as possible.

    Gaz and janpiercy - May I ask how you got to the final diagnosis? Did you also have ECGs etc which showed no concerns beforehand? Is there anything in particular I should request my doctor to look into?

    daisyd, luppychick, Sher78, Slowmo, madison - sorry to hear you also been through such rough time. thanks for sharing your stories too and hope you are starting to feel a little better?



  • Hi I have been to a/e on a number occasions where after blood tests and then a couple of hours wait then bloods repeated again ( if you have had a heart attack it shows up in the bloods apparently) ecg...and history's then l was sent home..the hospital have to rule out serious problems and any chest pain you have , should be taken seriously A/E .My rheumy and GP then diagnosed costrochrondtis... It can last weeks or maybe a short time ( although not often!) usually up my prednisalone at this is very pain full and hard to breath runs around my bra line .. and is bad where the ribs meet in the middle and each rib when you move is so very painful .I don't wear one when it is around ! Hope this helps x

  • Hi, wow... I had this a few months ago and it felt like I was having a heart attack but on the wrong side-pain was right sided. They did ECG at local a&e but everything was fine and sent me home with pain killers...this was before I had my diagnosis approx a month ago and it's all beginning to make sense. So glad I found you guys cause I am sure hubby thought I was going mad...he he :)

  • Oh great, in the sense 'oh great, im not the only one who suffers from the chest area pains, have had lupus (sle) close to 40 years, and have had to do so many changes in my life, when my female rheumy in the UK, pointed out that stress and anxiety actually brings on the chest pain. Why the rheumys didn't point this out in Canada where I was living at the time, and where I was diagnosed via a bone marrow test, and why the rheumy didn't point this out when we moved to Holland after, I do not know... but it is true to say, that yes, cold weather makes it worse, and in fact, I found that hot weather suits me better so I do live a good chunk of my time in Malta, mainly because swimming in open sea helps tremendously, the rheumy also found, that my not good relationship in my marriage, brought on flares ups all the time, and the other thing that I never thought of, which I guess makes sense, is to make sure during intimate moments, is not to have your breasts roughed up because this excess berates tearing tissue as in the case with costochondritis. The hardest lesson for me, was that while we accept all meds we are given and take, I did not think to read the indications or question anything, and now so many years later, I am antibiotic resistant having to be admitted to receive meds via I.V... in fact, I was in hospital 3 weeks ago, with an internal haemorrhage caused by the same drugs I have been taking for years. Prednisolone weakens us, if taken over many years. I find personally, that removing negative people from my life, mediating and good diet, because even some foods are not good for us, ( did you know this ?) - all help. I can really relate to you all, I would have to say I know every hospital in the countries I mentioned, honest to goodness. Hope my input helps in some small way. :)

  • Horrible isn't it. Just wanted to say I am really thankful that I had a heart attack, I am now able to walk up hill without having to stop several times.

    I have had in the past a 24hr blood pressure and heart monitor for 24hrs, Eco cardiogram, trans thoracic ultra sound, angiogram.several weeks in hospital, I am sure their is more but memory poor.

    I only have mild Lupus, thank God, eventually I was diagnosed with Hughes syndrome (sticky blood) and since being on Warfarin my breathlessness on exertion has improved also my brain fog, memory still rubbish.

    Perhaps your Doctor could refer you to a cardiologist.

  • Hola a todos, hace un año y medio me detectaron LES con esos mismos sintomas, al principio dolor de pecho leve esporadico, soy enfermera y trabajo en el area de emergencias, tengo amigos medicos que al consultarles pensaban que era hipocondriaca porque el dolor se presentaba en diferentes partes del pecho que desaparecian por momentos pero luego el dolor fue mas intenso y aumentaba al respirar profundamente, mi frecuencia cardiaca fue aumentando de 80 a 120 x minuto, aumento el cansancio, me cansaba al caminar unos cuantos pasos y no podia acostarme tenia que dormir sentada. Me hicieron Radiografia de Torax y Ecocardiograma con lo que me diagnosticaron Derrame percardico leve (liquido en el corazon) y cardiomegalia (corazon mas grande de lo normal) inicie tratamiento con Prednisona, Hidroxicloroquina y Azatioprina en dosis altas y con eso mejore rapidamente. Ahora continuo con el mismo tratamiento pero en dosis bajas, el dolor de pecho aparece de vez en cuando pero desaparece rapidamente, el dolor aparece sobre todo en los momentos de tension o estres asi que trato de estar casi siempre relajada. Ahora puedo seguir trabajando en el area de emergencias y trato de hacer deporte cuando puedo sin problemas. Este año pase un control con mi cardiologo donde me hicieron un electrocardiograma (ECG) y un nuevo Ecocardiograma todo bien y le pregunte sobre el dolor de pecho y me respondio que el dolor es por que a veces la pleura ( tejido que recubre el corazon y pulmones) se inflama y al tocar el corazon o los pulmones se pega y al despegarse se produce el dolor pero me dijo que no era grave y que con el tratamiento el dolor disminuiria y asi fue. Creo que el dolor me acompañara siempre, teniendo en cuenta que el LES inflama los organos pero tambien se que mientras este relajada el dolor no me visitara y claro acudir siempre a mi control con mi reumatologo, cardiologo y nefrologo. Suerte a todos. :) (Disculpen la ortografia no hablo ingles asi que uso el traductor)

  • Hola Deysi,

    Lo siento, No entiendo español, habla ingles?



  • I had the same thing just last Saturday. Woke up with bad pain on lhs chest, back, shoulder and down my arm. Felt a bit like a stitch and was worse when I breathed.

    Sent into hospital by GP where Heart Issues and PE were ruled out, chest x-Ray was clear and I was eventually diagnosed with Pleurisy - basically lupus had decided to have a go at my lung tissue.

    Lupus is listed as one of the main non-viral causes of pleurisy. Hope this helps....

  • Thanks Donny. Sorry to hear that te Lupus got to your lungs :( How are you feeling now? I hope as good as you can be?

    I did originally think that too and am did my doc. I have had a CHEST CT but that came back with no sign on 'lung problems or boney damage'. Still getting the sporadic pains so very confused as to what it can be, I have my clinic appt on Monday so will make sure I leg my doc know it's still a concern and will update you all of there's any more light she can shed! Fingers crossed!

  • Hi Rooks, it's not too bad and seems to have settled down a bit with Diclofenac. It only seems a dull ache and blends in with the rest lol. Woke me up tho hence the 4am reply....

    As I'm newly diagnosed with SLE I'm not on any other meds as yet as I'm awaiting more blood test results and next Rheumy appt.

    I hope you get to the bottom of it soon.

  • I have had Lupus SLE for almost 3 years w/ Pleurisy pain the entire time. Recently I expected chest pain more in the heart area and right side of heart. I had shortness of breath high bp and pulse. I was admitted to hospital. Initially they suspected it was heart related, I had ekg, CT scan to check the heart, 24 hour heart monitor, echocardiogram. Everything was normal. So they called in a Pulmanologist who started her testing...she suspected either shrinking lung syndrome, scar tissue in the lungs or Pulmonary Hypertension. Underwent CT in nuclear med to search for even smaller blood clots, PFT, and only found minor scarring in lung. She suspected Pulmonary Hypertension. It was a Holiday and weekend so she sent me home on oxygen and I was to see her in 1 week. It was about 1 1/2 weeks later and I was better. She wanted to wait for a couple more weeks to see if I needed a heart cath....the only way to truly diagnose pulmonary hypertension. I went back to her and was fine. She was very surprised and happy. She scheduled a f/u appt in 4 months. Well, a couple weeks ago I became extremely fatigued, shortness of breath again and sharp pain in middle chest. I don't know if PH gets better, than can get worse again?? But, I have an appt w/ a cardiologist this week and they will do a heart cath to see if it's PH....which I hope it isn't. I have great Dr.s, but we have to be advocates for ourselves and push for tests if we don't get answers. PH is highly underdiagnosed and the damage is done before it is diagnosed and tx started...Good Luck...Hope this helps.

You may also like...