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What do you reckon this was? thought I was having a heart attack!

(24 Posts)
EndInTearrs Fri 05-Aug-11 10:33:51

So yesterday my lovely grandma treat me to a pub meal. I ordered fish and chips and when it arrived it was bloody HUGE. I'm not used to eating big meals but ate as much as I could (almost all of it) because I didn't want to waste it. About 10 minutes later I developed a horrible pain between my ribcage at the front where I assume my stomach is. It was like a crushing pain and it kind of came and went but when it came on, I honestly felt like I was going to collapse. I couldn't breathe properly and the pain started shooting around to my back, up my chest and slightly down my left arm. I started to think it was my heart. We got back to the car, I sat down, it didn't go away - I sat for 5 minutes and eventually after I'd been driving again for around 10 minutes it started to wear off.

What on earth was it?? Is that what true indigestion feels like??

Sounds like it to me - fatty food's a killer for heartburn and indigestion. If you've not suffered with it before, then it can be quite scary.

theotherboleyngirl Fri 05-Aug-11 10:39:05

certainly could be gastro-intestinal. I had something very similar once but it was a reaction to medication and they think my stomach lining was packing up. It came on suddenly at 4am, I too thought I was having a heart attack. After half an hour DH called NHS direct who sent an ambulance (thank god it wasn't a heart attack!). They pumped me full of Omeprazole in hospital and it gradually subsided. That was last October and I still get bad stomach on anti-inflammtories now.

So I guess it does sound gastro-intestinal and v bad trapped wind can be very painful, but a bit extreme nonetheless!

Imnotaslimjim Fri 05-Aug-11 11:18:29

sounds like heart burn to me, horrifically painful (and damn painful) isn't it?

If it happens again, try and get hold of a glass of milk, or water if thats not available. And a good belch usually eases it

EndInTearrs Fri 05-Aug-11 11:36:21

But isn't heart burn like a stinging sensation? like acid burning kinda thing? This felt more like someone had punched me full force in the stomach and broken a few ribs for good measure! lol

colditz Fri 05-Aug-11 11:38:09

It was trapped wind/acid indigestion. Intensly painful, almost completely harmless.

Zantac can help, as can 2 paracetamol

colditz Fri 05-Aug-11 11:39:03

And the stinging sensation you are thinking of isn't heartburn, it's acid reflux.

heart burn is called heart burn for a very good reason - it feels like something is wrong with your heart!

Footle Fri 05-Aug-11 12:58:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DBennett Fri 05-Aug-11 16:04:28

I don't think you had a heart attack.
But there are two main reasons why I think that.

You're alive to type your post.
You're young enough to have a living grandparent.

Apart from that your symptoms are disturbingly close to a heart attack.
As you already know.

You should have called 999.

Assuming now that you didn't have a heart attack, you need to rule out angina (similar symptoms but you'd be alive to tell the tale) heavy meals can even bring it on.
Talk to your G.P. about the getting the work up.

I apologise if this seems alarmist.
I'm sure it seems excessive given the other posters comments.

But a stupidly large number of people don't seek help in these situations, mainly women.
And a bunch of them die because of it.

Don't make this an ignored warning you'll regret.
Especially at the cost of a twenty minute appointment and some blood tests.

EndInTearrs Fri 05-Aug-11 16:10:56

Thanks for the replies.

It's funny that gall bladder was mentioned because I've been having A LOT of other gall bladder symptoms such as pain towards the right of my back, feeling full after eating small amounts, dizzyness etc - I'm at doctors (AGAIN) next thursday about the back pain and am currently awaiting an ultrasound scan on my ovaries.

My health seems to have taken a sudden dive, it's quite scary sad

DBennet, I will mention what happened to the doctor just to rule out anything serious, can they pick up stuff like angina with a blood test?

Footle Fri 05-Aug-11 18:42:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DBennett Fri 05-Aug-11 18:46:06

They can pick up the risk factors/causes of angina with a blood test.

If these are suggestive, along with your history and physical exam, further tests may be performed in a cardiology department.

ameliagrey Fri 05-Aug-11 21:53:36

I think you should go and see your GP as soon as you can.

Blood tests etc are needed and the sooner the better.

You have had all the signs of a heart attack and should treat it as such until proven otherwise.

eating and especially large meals can, sorry!- be the catalyst for attacks if someone is about to have one.

My uncle died after 2 heart attacks- the first one he thought was indigestion after a big meal. The 2nd one killed him in his sleep.

A close friend's father died after a family curry meal- again in the night.

Both men were aged 51. Second one had no history at all and was fit.

If you are under 45 it is highly unlikely you have had a heart attack but you MUST go to drs and tell them what you have told us.

fargate Sat 06-Aug-11 17:32:21

Some pretty alarmist posts, here!! confused

FWIW I think your pain sounds much more likely to be indigestion than angina or a heart attack.
But.
Please don't just take my word for it - ask your GP for some reassurance.

Hope you feel better soon.

Shutupanddrive Thu 18-Aug-11 15:22:47

Sounds like gallbladder to me. I'm on the waiting list to have mine removed. The pain you described sounds like the pain I get during an attack. The first time it happened I got dp to take me to a&e as I thought I was having a heart attack. I have never had an attack as bad since, but have had several smaller attacks. I certainly wouldn't be able to drive when I had this pain though, so I don't know how you managed that tbh. Definitely see your gp ASAP as there is usually a long waiting list to get it removed. I've been waiting since march and have been told it will be the end of the year beforei get op sad

BustAMove Thu 18-Aug-11 16:33:47

I've had my gallbladder removed, and again sounds like what I experienced after a fatty meal. Did also travel down the arm, which I think is common?? All the best at the docs

Dlamis Thu 18-Aug-11 17:05:25

I have to second what DBennet said.

I had a similar situation to you, big meal, chronic crushing pain, down the left arm, assumed it was the big meal, only in my case it was a heart attack. Also picking up on a couple of points made - being under 45 and having a surviving grandparent making it unlikely. It's highly unusual yes, however I have 2 surviving grandparents and was only 38 when i had the heart attack.

You do need to get checked out. Chest pain like that should always be taken seriously. The doctors ambulance crew etc would much rather deal with many false alarms than have missed the real thing.

magicmaggles Thu 18-Aug-11 22:09:37

Hi Endintears,

I have to agree with DBennet and Dlamis - do get it checked out.
I am 40 years old and two days after my 4 child was born (I posted re this in an earlier post) I complained to the nurse that periodically 'it felt like someone was sitting on my chest'. I have a history of asthma and she put it down to that but 5 days later (home from hospital) I had another pain which was 'like a truck on my chest' and a numbness down my left shoulder and a cold sweat, my neighbour who is a gp called the ambulance and sure enough it was a heart attack.

I don't smoke, am slim (ish), didn't have high blood pressure, or the other usual criteria for a heart attack. I had stents put in and an implantible cardiac defribrillator. Grant it the docs said its very unusual for someone my age but to put your mind at ease get it checked out. Hope everything is ok and I'm sure it is. Let us know how you get on.

Best of luck.

Desiderata Thu 18-Aug-11 22:13:55

There is a certain, but unspecified catering fat which brings on, with me, exactly the same symptoms the OP describes. I used to get it every time I travelled on the Dover/Calais ferry (twice a week because it was my job), and at no other time.

I've never found out the name of the catering oil, but if you had chips, and fish in batter, I suspect this was the cause.

Heart attack? Come on ...

Dlamis Fri 19-Aug-11 00:39:24

Desiderata "come on?" - I understand where you are coming from. It can sound a bit alarmist, but having had a heart attack, I would err on the cautious side.

It's scarily easy to confuse indigestion with heart attack/angina symptoms. Even in the ambulance I remember the paramedic saying something like "it sounds like something gastro*** going on" I didn't catch the "******" part of it. It was only when they did the ECG they said in surprised voices "It's abnormal" and "We think you're having a heart attack"

Yes, it's probably more likely that it was indigestion than a heart attack and I hope for EndInTearrs sake that it was just indigestion but like DBennett said
"But a stupidly large number of people don't seek help in these situations, mainly women.
And a bunch of them die because of it."
And if it wasn't for the lovely pharmacist in Boots who called for an ambulance while we were asking for indigestion tablets I could've been one of them.

I'll say it again. The doctors ambulance crew etc would much rather deal with many false alarms than have missed the real thing.

Blethermouse Fri 19-Aug-11 00:45:44

It sounds likely to be biliary colic [ gallbladder pain] but a heart cause cannot be excluded without blood test and ECG both of which can easily be done at GP or AE.
If you get the pain again call 999 and get ECG and monitoring.. if all is well they will send you home after 12 hrs.

higgle Sat 20-Aug-11 13:36:26

Yes, it sounds like gallbladder pain to me too. I have never been in such agaony as I was when I had my first episode, I went to hospital but they couldn't find anyting wrong with me, but later on a scan showed some stones. It happened 3 times and now has not happened again for over a year - I'm very careful what I eat.

Thumbwitch Sat 20-Aug-11 13:46:04

Gallbladder seems marginally more likely than a heart attack but DBennett is right - more women die of heart attacks because they don't recognise the symptoms (which can go on for a while) - they aren't quite the same as those commonly mentioned for men.

Did you have any shortness of breath? If not, more likely gallbladder.

However, tell your GP about it; and I'd try and get seen sooner rather than wait.

BurningBridges Sun 21-Aug-11 16:22:07

About 3 weeks ago I had a huge curry. At the time I thought god I can't eat this, but then it was soooo nice, I continued. My life has never been the same since - next day I was in agony with what felt like a 9 month pregnancy in my chest cavity. I am still being investigated but it looks like a hiatus hernia, and the symptoms of these are often mistaken for a heart attack as you describe. I've had a right battle with my GP to get an endoscopy sorted out due to funding issues (christ on a bike its cheaper to give me antacids than find out what is really wrong) - be very interested to hear how you get on.

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