Sudden Chest Pain

Hi all

Just a quick one.

About 12:15am I woke up with severe chest pain and haven't slept. It's under my left breast and has been constant. I struggled to get comfortable but the pain does ease when I sit up or stand up - it's horrifically sore while lying down.

I don't think this has to do with my meds - there is no heart palpitation or hastened pulse - just severe pain. Spoke with GP this morning for some pain relief and I've got some tramadol.

Has anyone experienced this before? I'm hoping it will pass tonight, if not I'm at the docs tomorrow. Thanks all.

29 Replies

  • Could be heartburn especially when it comes on at night like that. Acid reflux. (Hiatus hernia?)

    Or maybe you 'did' something the previous day or two days previous and pulled some muscles.

  • It doesn't feel like heartburn and mainly on one side. I thought maybe I've pulled a wee muscle in my sleep?

  • Ha ha ha!!! You remind me of my older daughter.

    She phoned me one morning and said she has so much pain she can hardly breathe. She speculated that she 'slept wrong'. I told her no body can sleep wrong. "What did you do yesterday or the day before that you may have pulled some muscles?" "Nothing." (In the tone of voice that clearly mom, you are an idiot.) Then an hour later she phoned back. She remembered that she'd lifted a bank of lockers at work to help someone get something out that was stuck. (Mind you this exact same type of phone call happened again a year later.... mother was still an idiot but not for as long..... Then it's "I can't turn my neck.", what did you yank up? What heavy thing did you carry that strained the neck?)

  • You poor thing! This is cheering me up :) I did have a big cycle on Tuesday and was throwing Frisbee vigorously on Thursday....!

  • Well, you sweet thing, sometimes anecdotes are a good way to trigger the memory. Glad you figured it out now. :)

    If you are right handed and are vigorously throwing a frisbee, then the muscle twist will occur at the base of the rib cage on the left side. You see, it is the thoracic vertebrae where twisting of the back occurs. You probably pulled the cartilage attachment to the sternum.

    I did something similar at the right side top where the clavicle attaches to the sternum. It took WEEKS to go away. To say I found it annoying is understatement.

  • Have you considered the idea that you might be having a heart attack?

  • Haha! nope! Would pain last this long? Quite naive I guess :(

  • If you've spoken to your GP then one can only hope that it isn't a heart attack. But I think it would be worth your while to do some thorough research on the symptoms of heart attack in women since you are having chest pain. Heart attacks are not often like they are on the TV for most women (and probably for many men too). You don't just clutch your heart and crash to the ground.

    It is also a common misconception that heart disease isn't such an issue for women as it is for men. In fact heart disease is the second most common cause of death in women, with stroke coming third. (First is alzheimer's disease and dementia). See this page for the main causes of death for men and for women in the UK in 2012 :

    Hope your chest pain gets better soon. :)

  • You would hope! Thanks so much, you are spot on, although the pain is around my heart I wouldn't think of it being my heart!

    I found some information on Pericarditis (google is sometimes bad, probably jumping the gun) where pain is worse lying much out there :/ Ok, hopefully this tramadol works!

  • :-) lucky you, if i would get that sort of oain, my first idea would be heart, i had mild pain now, and now as well, around that arrea, and it is from heart i know, some people say heart doesnt hurt:-) yes it does:-) .......i just hope its not big deal and will pass by, but this can point very much to a heart, did you chnage your therapy recently? And what doses are you on?

  • Hi Ivy

    I did indeed - started a combination therapy nearly 3 weeks ago and had noticed quite significant improvement since (the big thing is my eyes are wonderful!)

    I'm now doing 50mcg t4 and 25mcg then 12.5mcg t3 (equivalent to 162.5mcg t4 only doese) I was on 200/175mcg T4 before I changed because my GP's are a bit useless. Assumed if it was over medication my heart would be racing/palpitations? Thanks lovely x

  • So i am almost sure it is t3 causing this!!what you described i got from t3 introduction but i went on too high dose too soon, was taking 25 mcg t3( not good idea to start with!) i decreased it to only 6 and just as i write i have that left breast side area some unplesant comes and goes....its heart pulse was 77 ....i did not have it higher then 80 nor i have palpitations....i am just getting some irregularities becasue i was doing stupid things chnaged from 150 t4 to 100+25 combo, 15 days on it, i had those heart sensations since the day 5 .....and then the worst since day 11 onwards.....what is happening with you now is, your t3 meds are starting to work stronger since your t4 meds wear out....and you dont produce so much rt3, its 3 weeks that is long enough for t4 to clean out of the system so you started to feel it only now( gabkad made this explanation to me, and i think is very true)

    So yes watch your meds, it can be from too sudden chnage...i think these t3 and t4 meds should be just not looked as interchangable....t3 must be introduced in 6 mcg increments no matter how much t4 you had, it goes directly in blood and hear muscles are very very sensitive to those lvl chnages thats why my heart hurts now as well as yours!!!

    So amazed your doc did not figure that out

  • Lol i know, i feel like my view is christal clear and has not been like this for decades!!!!but these t3 should go slow......and it may be overmedication, when i decreased the dose was much better! Now i get heart hurting only ocassionaly, amd 2 days into decrease only, but the thingnis you were probably overmedicated on t4 and produced too much rt3 that gave you protection from high t3 and you did not feel it but just now 3 weeks into it , where so much of that t4 went out its a suddennchnage for your will have to adjust the dose....dont panick its no big deal, i was feeling it for 10 days:-) and i feel sick now when heart hurts but must calm down:-) my doc told me i wont die from heart attack lol....its just unpleasant did not do much fuss, but i read the symptoms of heart, what you described is tipical for heart

  • Wow, were you in a lot of pain? x

  • I was in lot of sickness, like feeling vomit, dhiarrea which are also heart signlas, and heart pain like pressure on top of my left breast and under arm pit, and had panick attacks constantly, because my hunger and blood sugar were not controlable anymore, so sense of weakness would overwhelm, another heart signal!......2 days on 6 mcg made me feel fabulous:-)in comparisson to that ......its just sooo much better, i was confused like you because was not expecting delayed respons to such instant working med, and its because of t4....when you lower the dose you lower rt3 production as well!

    It is surrela experience must say, you dont want to give up on the benefits so you suffer pain:-)

  • I am 100% sure its from t3 meds, my pain was small not so that it would keep me awake, but was starting to be constant, i dont think you had heart attack, but if you had such pain for several days, some mild heart attack very possible, but this is how it happens with strong should lower the dose immediately i think.....and if pain becomes less and 1 day after the lowering almost not there its from the pills...i was woken in the night by 1 sharp chest pain....and it was scary..after that pressure in left quadrant around heart was constant and moving to left arm, its heart typical, it doesnt mean heart attack, just too much pressure for a heart

  • pennyrose has the doc explained why heart attack has been excluded? Or asked questions to exclude it? Would you consider calling NHS Direct to ask them about it? I'm uncomfortable to think that perhaps this hasn't been addressed as a possibility.

    As humanbean said, heart attack symptoms are often atypical, esp in women and yes, heart pain can absolutely carry on for hours or be intermittent over a period of hours.

    Having said that your symptoms do sound like hiatal hernia. Have you had vit d tested? Could be costochondritis though I don't think that would wake you in the night.

  • He didn't actually. He asked if I was experiencing shortness of breath which I told him I do have but only when the pain is severe (mainly lying down).

    I've taken 2 tramadol and it's now just a numb pain radiating. I think if it's still bad after work I'm going to call NHS direct. I called the GP's again to book an appointment for tomorrow but she said it's emergencies only and I was to call in the morning if the pain is still there.

    My Vit D was tested but when I called for the results they said they were normal - they aren't! They were insufficient at 42.4nmol/l so I started supplementing about 2 weeks ago.

    Thanks everyone, I'm less frightened than last night when the pain was terrible (and my pain threshold is good - ruptured appendix and all!). Feeling a bit calmer....x

  • Pennyrose, My GP surgery has an automated message "patients experiencing chest pain should put the phone down and go to A&E" before offering appt and other options.

  • Eeek....Going in an hour, husband going to take me. Feeling a little floaty but can still feel pain (not as bad mind!). Told the receptionist it was chest pain as wanted to see doc immediately but she said only urgent appointments were available.....why am I still with these guys again?

    Probably a pulled muscle but will get it checked out x

  • Pennyrose, you're probably right but it is sensible to get it checked out. I wonder what your GP practice considers an emegency.

  • Maybe your head falling off.....? Or an alien rupturing through your stomach threatening to destroy the rest of the crew?

    Ok, these drugs are making me weird (er!) x

  • It may be costochondritis, which is inflammation and can be excruciating. It settles eventually but is terribly painful when breathing. I had a heart "event" as they called it when I was 39. It started in the middle of my back, I felt short of breath and then felt as though someone had their hands around my throat and was pressing on my wind pipe. It was scary at the time and lasted about 30 minutes. Clemmie

  • Thanks lovely, poor you! How long did it take for them to help you?

    I'm going armed with lots of information x

  • I went to the doctor a couple of days later and when I told him what happened I thought he was having a heart attack! Sent me straight to hospital but as it was days later, after all the tests I went home with aspirin and cholesterol lowering drugs and anti hypertensives. I've been fine ever since. I hope that your pain eases soon. Clemmie

  • Let us know how you got on Pennyrose, best get checked out, J :D

    I think you had jaw pain before & low vit D?

    I thought I had costocondritis too (suggested by physio) and was also seeing an osteopath who asked why I was shallow breathing - I hadn't realised how much my rib cage hurt.

  • These are typical symptoms but you can have it for days sometimes before real heart attack, these are warning signals heart is having hard time.......

    Shallow breathing is part of hypo too, i remember now when i ve done spyrometry test i could not blow all the my worst hypo condition

  • I had muscle ache in my left shoulder and arm when lying in bed.

    After a few days, i saw my GP who sent me to A&E.

    The result if a blood test indicated that I had had a heart attack, which was a big surprise, as i felt fine apart from the muscle ache.

    An Angiogram revealed a clogged artery, which was fixed with two stents.

    I suggest a trip to A&E ASAP.

  • I had the same symptoms and they thought I had an pulmonary embolism. My bloods showed that my d-dimer was abnormal (600-700 indicates a clot, mine was 560, normal is under 500). Luckily the oxygen in my blood was normal and they said it was an inflammation in the chest wall.. something like that. Hope everything goes well.

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