Discussions By Condition: Cardiovascular disease

Do I have Variant (Prinzmetal) Angina? Please help!

Posted In: Cardiovascular disease 6 Replies
  • Posted By: Predaphin
  • July 19, 2008
  • 01:44 AM

I'm a 29yr old male, measure 5'9, and weighed 250lbs when I began having symptoms (I am currently at 240lbs and continuing to lose weight)

I have a had a history of uncontrolled mild high blood pressure (which was first detected at about age 23), have had migraines since the age of 15 (untreated also) and recently quit smoking pot (I was a heavy consistent everyday pot smoker for the last 2 years or so). I've considered myself very inactive both at home and and work as my job requires sitting in front of a computer for most of the day for the last 4 or 5 years and my eating habbits were careless, as I did not watch what I ate (I actually had the tendency to eat out at fast foods alot).

It started about 2 months ago when I started having different kind of pains in the left side of my chest approx an inch to the left side of the center of my chest (aligned with the nipple). The chest Pain comes as Dull, Achy, Shocking, Spasm, Sharp, Stinging, Tightness & Pressure. These chest pains can range anywhere from a pain scale of a 1 through 7 most of the time. Although on one occasion I did feel a “9" (which lasted about 10 seconds) and made me hunch over and almost fall to the floor. These chest pains are now going on 2 months “DAILY” (day and night) and continuing as of today. Some days lighter pain than others.
Chest Pain comes on spontaneously (for no apparent reason), sporadically (on and off) and usually lasts between 3 seconds to about 4 minutes. Chest pain comes on both day and night, but most notably, more severe at night (while sleeping) and early mornings. Chest pain has woken me up at night from the severeness of it. On some occasions, I felt chest pain come on with cold climate conditions ( i.e., air conditioner in car), emotional distress (i.e., such as getting spooked/scared unexpectedly), after having sexual relations or when taking a deep breath. OCCASIONALLY, I have also felt these chest pains about 20 - 30 minutes after a meal.
- Pain that radiates to my Left Shoulder/Arm, Neck & Back - On some occasions, I beleive I have felt sharp, dull and achy pain that can radiate to my left arm (under armpit) down to the inner part of my elbow. The pain can also radiate up to my left shoulder (between left collar bone) and up to my left side of neck. Only twice, I have felt the pain radiate in my left side of back (almost as if aligned with the front part of the chest pain or almost right below my left shoulder blade). The pain can radiate to these body parts with or without the chest pain, with the exception of the back, which seemed to come on always with front chest pain.
- Heart Palpitations - On ocassions, I will get heart palpitations that come on spontaneously and sporadically. Sometimes they come after a meal, simply walking or simply by sitting up. They may also come with or without chest pain. However, most notably, they begin to come in groups about 15-20 minutes into my exercise and at times I may have to slow down or stop until the heart palpitations subside.
- Dizziness/ Lightheaded, Fatigued/Sleepy and Nausea - OCCASIONALLY, I may begin to feel Dizzy/lightheaded, Fatigued or Nauseated for no apparent reason. OCCASIONALLY, the Dizziness can be accompanied by heart palpitations. The Dizziness, Fatigue and Nausea comes on spontaneously and sporadically, but may not be necessarily associated with each other. Dizziness may come on with or without heart palpitations, and may even occur when simply sitting down. On rare occasions, I may also feel Nausea, but have never actually vomited to date. I also have the tendency to feel fatigued/sleepy/tired at times for no apperant reason.
- Shortness of Breath - Shortness of Breath tends to happen ONLY at night OCCASIONALLY. Shortness of breath is usually felt right before or after I am asleep. OCCASIONALLY, I will wake up gasping for air, as if I were not breathing while asleep. Shortness of breath does not occur every night, but I would estimate about 3 nights a week (varies), coming on various times on a single night.
- Slow/Fast Heartbeat - This is my most deceiving symptom of all. I tend to beleive I feel a Slow heartbeat usually at night after I am asleep. After waking up to chest pains at night or simply changing my sleeping position, I tend to feel my heart beat slower than usual (seemingly also in an irregular rythum) when going back to sleep, at times prompting me to sit up to make sure my heart beats a bit faster. I cannot tell if this symptom is real or simply my mind playing tricks.
A Fast heartbeat is usually felt with strong thumping after getting up from laying down or sitting down for a prolonged period of time or after a meal. Almost as if my heart is working harder tha usual. I always beleived this was due to high blood pressure. This symptom is for real.

For the first week of pain i brushed it off, in hopes that it would go away, possibly by excersising. I decided to start excersing after I quit smoking and also decided to change my diet. But after a week and a half, I woke up with heavyness in my chest for 2 days in a row, not to mention a continuance of "on and off" pain that had not gone away, I thought I better seek medical attention by making an appointment with my family doctor. They took me in right away as I complained of chest pains.

I have had the following tests done:

-Blood Test
-3 resting EKG's
-Chest X-ray
-Holtor Monitor (24 hrs)
-Stress Test

In which all have came back NORMAL (THANK GOD).

The only factor I can clearly point out is that the chest pains seem to be more severe at night (when sleeping) and early morning. Other than that, I cannot make out when the chest pains will come or what causes these chest pains.

My chest pain is focal. I can clearly point out where the chest pain is coming from (approx about an inch to the left of the center of my chest, aligned with the nipple).

Also, the reason I stopped smoking was because I was starting to feel ill everytime I would smoke towards the end, almost as if I was having a panic attack. My heart would race and I would began to feel as if I needed to run to catch my breath. I surely thought I was either too high on pot or was simply having an anxiety attack. My brother would tell me to realx and take deep breaths and it would go away, but then it may begtan to feel like it was going to come back.

I really don't feel any pain while excerising. On a few occasions, I may have felt pain come for a few seconds while excerising, but it tends to go away, despite my contiuneance of excerise. I exercise (treadmill) about 5-6 times a week / 40 minutes a day.


- High Blood Pressure (Diagnosed at the age of 23 - Untreated until now)
- Migranes (untreated all this time - diagnosed since age 15)

My greatest concern is that my chest pain is related to Coronary Atery Spasms/ Variant (Prinzmetal) Angina/. Being that I had unctrolled high blood pressure smoked pot heavily, was inactive both at home and at work, Over-ate (Also due to Pot) and have read in many articles it can be associated with migraines.......
My Doctors seem to tell me that I am ok and nothing is wrong with my heart (especially because all test have came back negative). I was referred to a cardiologist and he did not seem to take time to listen to me. As a matter of fact he laughed when I told him about smoking pot (in which he apologized). Every article I;ve read seems to fit my symptoms description, which freaks me out. The doctors don't seem to take this seriously. From what I;ve read it could be hard to detect variant angina as it is uncommon.

Could it be possible I have variant angina???? What test are needed to be done to dismiss Variant Angina??? Could this be heart related? Could I have somehow caused damage to my heart? Could I have heart disease?

I don't know what else to do....I fear I make get the "BIG ONE" at anytime now, especially without being treated.

Any help or suggestions would be appreicated


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