Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

strange chest discomfort awakes me just as dropping off to sleep.

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 11 Replies
  • Posted By: mwcforster
  • August 30, 2008
  • 11:36 AM

Hello to all.

I’m a 47yr-old 6’4” 220lb male, well-built 50” chest, 37” waist. Lowish HR – 50BPM at rest. Generally fit and healthy other than:

History of GERD since age 25.
Atrial ectopy since age 25.
Occasional paroxysmal lone atrial fibrillation since 1999 – 8 episodes to date always late evening always self-converting. Heart checks out A1.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder since late 20s. Some anti-depressants on and off over years – Citalopram the most useful to me – none now for last few years. Occasioanl panic attacks in mid-30s.I run two businesses, am financially successful, have ferocious attention to detail and am educated to PhD level.

My current issue/problem which has plagued me on-and-off for the last few years is as follows. Just as I am dropping off to sleep (and I mean at the VERY moment I’m moving from the realm of awake to asleep) I return to awareness with a strange tight sore ‘pressure-y’ feeling in my chest. Although I tend to want to breath a bit urgently, I think that that reaction is almost entirely in my head as such. I am not sweating, my heart rate is not raised and I am not experiencing any palpitations. This problem can re-occur every five or ten minutes for hours. It NEVER happens when I first go to bed. It often happens in the early hours of 5-8am and almost ALWAYS happens when I try and nod off for a nap during the day when semi-reclined. I appreciate (especially when re-reading this post!) that this sounds a lot like apnea and I sometimes have the vague semi-awake awareness of hearing myself hitch a breath as it happens (and I do snore loudly sometimes) BUT I can often have a series of these events with my girlfriend awake beside me and she hears nothing AND the chest sensation is more than a little strange/odd. Although I do take 20mg omeprazole for GERD each morning, I nevertheless wonder if my problem might be rather more GERD-related than apnea-related.

So; anyone else here ever experienced anything broadly similar? IF so, what was the upshot??

Any and all input will be greatly appreciated.

Kind Regards to all,


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11 Replies:

  • HI,I am having the same thing happen to me... Between 5 and 8 am I am awake and have a burning sensation in my chest. Also - I can not fall asleep during the day - I am awaken just as I go into deep sleep. I also am taking Nexium. However, I have other problems as well. I am having severe joint pain and muscle pain. I am also having burning sensations in my extremities as well as having nerve impulses.. They feel like I am getting electric shocks all over my body including in the back of my neck and in my head. All the tests that my Doctor has run and they have run almost every test that they can think of have come up normal. The Doctors are stumped!!!! I am seeing an Infectious Disease Doctor on Tuesday but I am not holding out much hope.-Chris
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 1, 2008
    • 05:40 AM
    • 0
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  • I get the same thing...just as I nod off, it is like a little shock that wakes you up. A single jolt that is hard to determine where it even comes from.I have been having another one happen also when I am wide awake, usually at night, and usually when I am relaxed on the couch or in bed. It is like a surge that sends a wave across my chest and even into my head.It is like when you ears pop with pressure, but 100 times more intense and into the chest as well. It freaks me out, and I now get fearful of the evening as I worry about it coming on.
    Nutty-lulu 2 Replies
    • September 29, 2008
    • 09:13 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hello, I read your comments and I am wondering if you have ever had a sleep tests done before. It sounds like it could be sleep apnea in which has allot of your problems. I have done testing on patients for over ten years and I think it is something that could be ruled out. Hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 30, 2008
    • 01:45 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi there - message for Chris, I am a 33yo mother of 3 and have just developed exactly the same problems as you. Burning in chest and extremeties as I drop off to sleep - nerve impulses and muscle twitching. My doctor has put me on anti-d's, but doesn't help, I need sleeping pills to put me to sleep and keep me asleep. This is so upsetting because until a couple of weeks ago I was such a fantastic sleeper! Have you had any luck finding out what is the cause? I would really love to know if there is something I can do about it. Thanks,Natalie
    nattygirl_nz 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • this is a symptom of a virus that is going around, drs. are mislabeling it as CFS or fibromyalia, when in fact it is completely something different. i am going through the same thing and having neurological probs from it, loss of motor function, sore throat, wekened immune system... some people call it cfids. chronic fatigue immune disorder syndrome. look it up and especially check into dr. a martin lerner's work on the topic.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • My best guess is that it's related to your reflux.Do you take the omeprazole just before breakfast like you're supposed to and with 8 oz. of liquid?My experience has shown that taking a pill is not often adequate treatment for reflux.Other things that can help are not eating 2-3 hours before bedtime,elevating the head of the bed 6'' on bricks or blocks,and taking an antacid(Mylanta or Maalox)1&3 hours after meals(2 tbsp.).If this doesn't help,nothing else will!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Blaze,you're so full of s--t!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Blaze:Please tell us one more time how it is that you're so ******n electro-sensitive yet you spend so much time at your computer!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have yourself checked out for dietary deficiencies. My husband was having episodes a lot like this. He was also on citalopram. One of the side effects of this type of medication is that it can take potassium and other minerals out of your system. However, you said you are generally well built, so I am assuming that you eat a more or less balanced diet. Do you take any vitamins? You said you are taking omeprazole, which I believe stops acid production. If you reduce your acid production too much it can change your ability to absorb a wide variety of nutrients. Talk to your doctor and ask him/her if this is a possibility for you. If you have a test to show your mineral levels, remember that the low end of normal means LOW and if anything should show low it is a good idea to see a nutritionist.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Blaze,you're so full of s--t! Thats the wrong way to say it, but in a way Im starting to agree
    Porphyralgia 9 Replies Flag this Response
  • Not sure if this would help anyone, but I have experienced some of the symptons that some of you are experiencing and I would also suggest a sleep study test just to rule some things out. I had one done a few years ago and my results read that when I'm sleeping my body is resting but my brain is going a thousand miles an hour thinking about everything so I'm still restless because my brain never slept. That only explained to me why I was so restless but still didn't answer the snoring and chest pain. But next week I'm going to have a mri and mra done of my brain just to try to get some answers. Far as the joint and muscle pains, which I've been suffering with for about six months now, I just learned from a blood test taking last week that my vitamin d level is very low which could play a big part for the joint pain and my doc is ruling out other things because it's possible that I could have fibromyalgia.
    jordyn 1 Replies Flag this Response
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