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What does one do if she experiences major chest pains and medical examinations reveal no heart or BP abnormalities? This is a particularly good question because it applies to all fields of medicine, and to all people who at some time in their lives will become patients (Yes, even doctors). If a person is experiencing symptoms that are not accompanied by signs of disease, or evidence in the form of an abnormal test, the diagnostic work-up will sometimes cease. Yet the patient still has the symptoms. What should be done? First, were all the elements of your complaint dealt with? Please see my prior posting about preparing for a visit to a cardiologist . It is appropriate for a visit to any physician. Second, what constitutes a full work-up for chest pain? This is actually different depending upon the likelihood of different processes causing the discomfort. Arteriosclerotic coronary artery disease is quite unlikely in very young people (but congenital disease may be more ...
As I sit here writing, I'm in a lot of pain. The left side of my low back is throbbing. Often I can ease this pain by popping the back, but this time that hasn't worked, and neither has Advil. The next step will be to put a prescription pain patch on it.
"Depression hurts," say the Cymbalta commercials. Yes, it does, and antidepressants that, like Cymbalta, work to make more of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine available have also been shown to relieve pain.
My questions arise from my own experience. Although I was formally diagnosed with bipolar relatively late, I see symptoms going clear back to childhood. I began to have chronic pain in my early 20s, first in my neck and head, then crippling pain in my arms that finally moved to my mid and upper back. This was diagnosed, after 9 difficult years, as fibromyalgia. Then later I injured my low back and have had trouble with it ever since, while other areas of my back flare up periodically.
One of t...
Esophageal spasms can cause a lot of pain, problems swallowing as well as vomiting. Unfortunately they are also more common in people with GERD or acid reflux disease. Normally the esophagus moves food through to the stomach in a coordinated way. This process is called peristalsis. Esophageal spasms can interrupt this process and cause a host of problems. Some of the symptoms of esophageal spasms include: vomiting, squeezing chest pain, problems swallowing, feeling like food is stuck in your throat. These symptoms must be evaluated by a physician to determine the cause and rule out heart related chest pain.
One of the best tests for diagnosing esophageal spasms is called esophageal manometry. During an esophageal manometry test a tube is placed into the esophagus to asses the effectiveness of your esophageal muscles. Other testing might include: tests to rule out heart disease, x-rays or a barium swallow and a scope or Esophagogast...
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