Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chest Pain

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: erica_mohs
  • February 6, 2007
  • 06:01 PM

Hi. I have a long-winded puzzle for you.
In June 2006, I began having dull, constant, aching chest pains in the center of my chest, through to my upper back. The pain seemed to be worse when I leaned forward or slouched, and I could not cause it with pressure. I felt the pain when sleeping on my side (either), and felt fine on my back or stomach. I could also exercise normally (and have been since). I can't remember what I was doing or had been doing when I first felt the pain, but I assumed that I had pulled a muscle or something.

When the pain did not improve in a couple of weeks, I went to the doctor. They took a chest X-ray and did an EKG. Both were normal. The doctor could not hear anything wrong with the stethoscope. They drew a blood culture, and I had an elevated white blood cell count. The doctor's opinion was costochondritis. I was prescribed prednisone and ibuprofen for the pain/inflammation, for the course of a week. I finished my prednisone, and had no improvement. I was told to continue the ibruprofen (800 mg dose) for the inflammation.

By July 2006, I went to the gynecologist for my yearly exam, and I was still having the same chest pains. My gynecologist found white blood cells in my pap smear. She tested me for STD's and prescribed me an antibiotic (week long course). The tests came back negative for any STD. However, after 2 days on the antibiotic, my chest pain lessened. The chest pain was gone upon completion of the course of antibiotics, but returned within a month to a much lesser degree).

My company changed health insurance providers in September 2006, so I took the opportunity to see a new doctor. I told him all of the above and he examined me. He also looked over my X-ray, EKG, and other records from my previous doctor. He said everything looked fine, and thought that it might be acid reflux (as I had told him that I had occasional heartburn). He prescribed Aciphex.

I am still taking the Aciphex, and while it has helped my heartburn, my chest pain has returned to the intensity that I was having in June 2006. He's going to check my cholesterol levels. I just need to make the time and go have my blood drawn.

And this may sound crazy, but I noticed a tiny, hairline, black streak in the nail of my right index finger. It's less than 1/16" in length. I noticed it in June 2006, but it grew out with the nail. Well it's back now in the same place. Probably unrelated, but I wanted to put it out there.

Has anyone experienced what I'm describing? My first instinct is wanting to go back on antibiotics (because I experienced relief). Is there some sort of low grade infection that would be causing chest pains (no other symptoms to speak of?) that I would need to discuss with my doctor? I'm afraid that I'm not asking the right questions, and/or coming across like a hypochondriac to my doctor. Any advise you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

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2 Replies:

  • I've actually had the same problem, a dull but stabbing pain in my chest. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease back in May and have since gone into remission. However, at that time I had dull stabbing pains in my head that aren't necessarily a symptom of Graves Disease but were never really looked into beyond an MRI that came out normal. I am also afraid of going to the doctor with this problem and "looking like a hypochondriac" because I've definitely felt that way over the last year. So, I guess I am wondering if there could be a Graves Disease connection. Have you had your thyroid checked?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 9, 2007
    • 03:47 PM
    • 0
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  • Thank you for your reply, although I don't think it's Graves' Disease. I had my thyroid checked in September, and the doctor said that my hormone levels were fine. I can't say that I know the results off the top of my head, but supposedly I'm in the "normal" range. Thanks again.
    erica_mohs 1 Replies
    • February 10, 2007
    • 05:01 AM
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