Posted by: Nico | 2004/10/14

Chest Pains

I was admitted to hospital in June what we thought was a heart attack. The results came it I was diagnosed with GERD (Gastric reflux disease). I was put on chronic medicine and felt wonderful for 3 months. I went without medicine for 3 weeks due to struggles with the medical aid to pay for my medicine. Then the chest pains came back yet again. Since then they haven't gone away for more than a day. When I'm busy I'm fine, but at night I struggle to sleep, I stopped gym because I feel awful everyday. I use to smoke but gave it up.

Today I went back to the cardiologist. After examining me he said I had a "lazy" heart muscle. I terrified of heart disease, but it seems that my mind is getting the better of me. I've been to a psycologist and she's relaxed me wuit a bit.

How can I regain control of my life? My quality of life has decreases enormously and I want my old life back!!! I don't like being on medication as well.

Any suggestions would be highly appreciated.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmm, Nico.
Yes, somach reflux into the lower oesphagus ( food pipe ) can fel unpleasantly like a heart attack. If there are medical aid problems, it's worth checking out whether there are generic ( identical but cheaper ) meds, or even over-the-counter meds, that could help as much. Giving up smoking was an excellent idea, both in general, and in terms of this condition, too.
At night, it could be that you'd sleep better if you could find a way to change the angle / slope of your bed, so you were resting with your head "up-hill" as it were. maybe even something as simple as putting the legs at the head-end of your bed up on wooden blocks. That way, its more difficult for the acid to trickle uphill into your foodpipe.
Explore what you can do in varying diet, as some foods seem to create more irritation, and others can be more soothing.
I wonder whether the cardiologist was actually speaking of a "lazy" heart muscle, a term I've never yet heard used, or a lazy muscle at the botom of your food pipe where it joins the stomach. Normally, this "sphincter", a circle of muscle, woks efficiently, relazing when necessary to allow the food you swallow to pass into the stomach, but tightening closed so as to prevent stomach contents including digestive acid, to leak back and irritate the lining of the food pipe.
Go back to your psychologist, and focus not only on learning to relax deliberately when you need to ( a good idea ) but at ways of taking greater control of your life and getting back to the best aspects of your old life. You may be able to become free from the need to use meds, or at least to use just some mild antacids of the gaviscon type. And as art says, positive thinking can help a lot, just as negative thinking can hinder.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Art | 2004/10/15

Nico dude you are your own worst enemy just by thinking negative you allow yourself to get into a stressful situation, you need to focus your energy , your mind set needs to change stop thinking about it , as you said when you are busy you do not even notice it , when you relax your thoughts are straight to the problem, try to change your thoughts about this the mind is a powerful thing and if you dwell in the realm of negativity you will become what you think , start thinking I am healthy, fit etc paint your mental picture of what you want to be and soon you will , of course that does not mean you stop gym , reduce the amount of gym you do or start walking not a casual walk like you see a lot of people doing in t the morning you need to work your heart and muscles brisk one dude and you will soon see you are no longer in need of or you need for medication will reduce drastically give it a try

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