Burning Pain Starting In Chest And Spreading Through Body

Question

Asked by the5mills

Burning Pain Starting In Chest And Spreading Through Body

Have had 2 episodes of burning/nausea, etc in the past 3-4 weeks. First time was 4 a.m., woke up needing to urinate. Went to bathroom, on way back became very nauseous, and had terrible pain in abdomen. Had to get up after about a minute and woke my husband. Had horrible burning pain(like an explosion) start in my chest and radiate into my arms and hands and even in my neck. Started w/very sweaty skin but then was cold w/clammy skin.Took BP after about 5-10 mins and it was 198/98. Everything went back to normal after 15 or so. I sleep w/oxygen for sleep apnea, so I put the oxygen on. Felt weak & tired for several days. Had another episode 3 nights ago. I was relaxing at my computer about to go to bed. I felt very nauseous. Went to the bathroom. Did not vomit, but I felt the hot (sweaty) feeling start. My skin was wet to touch. I sent my kids to get my husband. They wanted me to call 911. Said my skin was a gray color. Then I felt the weird "burning start in the center of my chest and go outward to my arms and hands and up into my head. It is so bad that I was doubled over. After it subsides, the sweating goes away and I feel so cold and clammy and weak and tired again.

I am a 44 y/o with a very major past medical history. I am on BP med, thyroid, Adderall (amphetamine), morhphine & clonodine via an intrathecal pump.with methadone for breakthru pain. I had a paraganglioma (carotid body tumor) removed in 2002. I have had bp problems since. My bp can be very erratic since then. I did have a heart workup about 2 years ago when I had a severe reaction to a new BP med I took I was admitted to the hospital for telemetry. Also had outpatient heart tests. All were ok.

Is this to do with tbe heart? or could it be a TIA? Problems from sleep apnea? It scares me so bad. I had hoped after the first I would never have to go thru it again. Any help would be appreciated. I go to a new endocrinologist this week to see if he can get my thyroid and other problems straight. Thanks.

Answer

the5mills,

Thanks for your question. First of all this is not a TIA which stands for transient ischemic attack, more commonly known as a mini-stroke. I also doubt this is caused by your sleep apnea, because one episode occurred while you were "relaxing" at the computer.

Your history is complicated and you are taking several medications. Though you have undergone a cardiac evaluation two years ago, this is still something that needs to be considered and ruled out. IF your heart is OK, then another possibility is your gastrointestinal system, with gallbladder disease high on the list. Other GI problems like reflux, esophagitis, ulcer disease, and delayed gastric emptying.

It is clear that you need to see your physician for an evaluation of your symptoms as soon as possible. Chest discomfort is a symptom that doctors take very seriously, and it is better to be safe and seek help sooner than later.

I hope this has been helpful. Best wishes.

Martin Cane, M.D.