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I am wondering if I am having heart problems. Since Christmas the following symptoms have occurred 3 times. Suddenly, I feel discomfort/pain in the center of my chest under my sternum. It feels like there is a pool ball in my chest. It happens when I am at rest. At times there are slight radiating pains that go up the right side of my neck and into my back. I am 33 years old, normal weight, active. I am really worried that my heart is having a problem. What is strange is that when I swallow during one of these episodes it seems to get even more uncomfortable. The episodes last about 15 minutes give or take and sometimes longer.There doesn't seem to be any gas associated with this. But, it feels like if I were able to burp it might give me some relief. What do you think is wrong? :-(

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Health Ace
6880 posts
Several years after I had heart bypass surgery, I was having some severe pain similar to what you described. My doctor told me to go to the emergency room so they could check it out. He said they had a test he felt would settle the question. I expected them to hook me up for some real heart tests. Instead the doctor gave me something to drink. He came back to see me in a couple minutes and asked if I felt any better. A lot of the pain had gone, so he left. He came back in about an hour to see how I was feeling. The answer was, great and he gave me a prescription for Prilosec.

Instead of beginning with a bunch of expensive heart function tests, he gave me something that contained a pain killer like novocain to numb any rawness of the esophagus. That's why he wanted to know if I was any better right away. It also contained something to neutralize the acid reflux but that takes longer to work so he waited an hour to check with me again.

Ha! A very simple and inexpensive way to sort out possible heart problems from acid reflux.

Why not just buy some over the counter Prilosec to see if it helps?
It doesn't work instantly. It's something you have to take once a day. You know how often you have the problem so if you take the Prilosec for long enough to cover the time in which you should have had an episode and you don't, that may be your answer.

Unless you feel the urgency to go to the emergency room.
If you think you may be having a heart problem, get in there right away.
I'm NOT your doctor.
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