Tight chest

I wonder if anyone can throw any light on this one for me. I have several criteria that would be strong indicators for lupus but no diagnosis as yet. My chest has felt tight for ages, as if I cannot fill my lungs fully. When I lie down it feels like there is a heavy rock in the centre of my chest. As xray has been normal, the GP thinks it's anxiety but this doesn't make sense to me as it's a constant and doesn't just happen when I'm stressed. I am a calm person and have been through more stressful events without this tight chest. Any clues ?

9 Replies

I have had up and downs with that tight chest feeling where I can't seem to catch a deep breathe . Its work sometimes, and exhausting, as well as scary. I can only conclude that my lungs become inflamed when this happens, so I drink a lot of ginger tea and turmeric to try and reduce inflammation in my body. I have been ok the past couple of days, but when it returns, I will let you know if this works. I have not tested yet. I recently as well had an xray thinking I had pneumonia because I had the flu. My lungs were clear. Not sure the xray can show inflammation. Hope someone else can help with some insight...


This is my experience - not saying it's definitely the same for you but thought it worth sharing... I get pain in my chest - I wake up with it like someone is sitting on my chest. It eases if I sit up but the pain and tight feeling can last all day at times. I was sure it was my lungs getting involved in the lupus party but my gp suggested it was probably "just reflux". I felt I wasn't being taken seriously. I've had reflux for years it doesn't feel like the reflux pain - it's not my tummy - it's my lungs. But sure enough upping my esomeprazole and gluging back the gaviscon when I wake with it seems to prevent reflux happening in the first place. The reflux causes the muscles around my eosphagus to spasm and these are linked to the muscles round the trachea so they spasm too. It is truly frightening but now I know it's nothing serious I can deal with it better. I largely manage it with meds to prevent reflux but have also been given anti-angina meds (you put under tongue) to ease the muscle spasm tighteness when they do happen.

I hope you get some answers soon and that it's something as easily treatable as mine


Hi Kyliesinead

I too get a tight chest which is caused by inflammation either in the lining of my lungs or heart. Extra steroids sort it for me especially when I have pain too. I also have an anti-angina spray that works . It's not nice to have but is treatable. Hope your better soonX


It sounds like costochondritis which I have. Google it and see what you think x


It's horrid when you don't have a diagnosis of an illness and a few bandied around.

When will you find out if you have Lupus? Where are you being investigated and what other symptoms do you have?

I hope they get your chest sorted and it is nothing to do with Lupus. Take care


I would ask your GP or Rheumatologist to arrange a lung function test,as lupus can inflame your lungs, also check your oxygen levels, when done at the hospital, (the finger probe) should be between 94 and 99, any lower and you need to see the chest clinic doctor.

I have the same problem as you and ventolin nebulisers, steroids and Rituximab seem to have helped a lot.. Hope you get some help soon.


Asthma? I was diagnosed with it a few years ago after believing I was having panic attacks in the night. Still getting tightness in my chest, that feeling of sometbing heavy on your chest, which I find more distressing than the shortness of breath..and I have SLE. Might be worth having a breathing test...It was bad attack one morning that got me to see my gp and he diagnosed asthma straight away, I came home with a spray and its helped enormously


Thanks so much for your responses everyone. Due to see G P soon and rheumatologist at end of May so will certainly mention it again. It does feel like inflammation so thanks for ginger tea suggestion. A asthma ruled out, ironically it eases after gentle exercises. I am still smiling !



This needs more info I'm afraid. Do you have a cough. Is it productive? When you cough, when do you cough day,night or during exercise? Since you have seen a Gp I'm sure they have asked these questions and they always ask if you smoke or if you have ever smoked.

You don't mention your other symptoms that suggest Lupus either. Also have you had a chest infection.

I am nosey aren't I. Sorry. If the Gp hasn't asked you these then he/she will. It kind of points you in the right direction. I had what felt like anxiety attacks after pneumonia as I was struggling to get about. My heart raced my chest tight and i found i was so easily out of breath? The other thing that's already been mentioned is it could be an asthma type thing, especially if you can identify something that might set things off. Asthma is often worse in the morning, evening and at night. It can often feel like your chest is tight and breathing is difficult. Spirometers will help to identify if there is a problem but if your ok at the time it's not always that reliable with asthma , unlike in COPD.

Sorry I can't come up with an answer as as you can see there are so many variables. X


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