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Microvascular angina (cardiac x syndrome)

(6 Posts)
Tagetes Thu 17-Nov-16 20:25:10

I've been suffering from chest pains, shortness of breath and a 'thumping' heart for nearly a year. Chest x-ray, echocardiogram, angiogram etc have ruled out any major heart or artery problems. Nitromin spray doesn't help and basically I've just been left to get on with it. I've done some Googling and microvascular angina exactly fits my symptoms. I have asked for a referral back to the cardiology clinic but meanwhile it's making my life a complete misery. I'm only mid-50s but can't exert myself in the slightest (e.g. walking up a short flight of stairs) without bringing on the symptoms. Some sources I have read suggest exercise helps, but I'm almost too scared to move. Does anyone suffer from this? How do you cope? Has any medication helped? I'm only in my mid-50s and can't bear the thought of having to live like this for the rest of my life sad

Tagetes Thu 17-Nov-16 20:28:02

Sorry - bit hung up about my age there...

IamaLadyeee Fri 18-Nov-16 12:12:03

you are not alone! I have had trouble with my chest for about 3 years now. I am 45.

I have a past diagnosis of coronary artery spasm and inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

I too get chest tightness and breathlessness on minimal exertion. Like you, even one flight of stairs makes me out of breath and tight chest. I do try to have a 10 minute walk outdoors every few days, but its difficult. Its is complicated by the fact I have fibromyalgia and feel generally weak and tired anyway.

I am seeing a different cardiologist next week as I have also read about microvascular angina and I wondered if I might have that. It cannot be seen on angiogram apparently as the vessels are too small and from what I have read, can either be the vessels clogged up or going into spasm.

I have been taking Bisoprolol and Nicorandil for the past couple of years which help and can manage ok around the house but trying to walk any kind of distance, even on the flat is a nightmare. I have a GTN spray for when I go for a walk and I think it does help. I do sometimes get chest tightness and breathlessness at rest too.

Tests I have had in the past are:

Chest x-ray- normal
Coronary angiogram - normal
ECGS - abnormal - T wave inversions at rest/tachycardia
Stress test- only managed a couple of minutes but showed subtle changes

anyway, I will see what happens with the cardiologist next week, might be good to get a different opinion

Tagetes Sun 20-Nov-16 08:45:44

Thanks for replying lama and sorry you are having such a hard time. I will look up the medications you mentioned. I'm going to try and lose some weight as that's probably not helping but exercising is counterintuitive when it's so painful - I can't believe it's not going to do more damage. I hope your appointment goes well.

IamaLadyeee Thu 24-Nov-16 13:08:24

Thanks for that Tagetes, Sorry for late reply, been busy!

I had my appointment, examination was ok and we did discuss syndrome X and the Dr did write down “possible Syndrome X”. Unfortunately there is no specific test for it and I am already on the correct medication but it is a possibility. He also mentioned this could all be linked to my fibromyalgia. I have to have another echocardiogram and exercise treadmill test. I got the impression this is not thought of as a major concern, but I don’t think it is properly understood how debilitating this condition is. I used to be able to walk miles, in the countryside and up hills but now I cannot even walk 200 metres to the end of my street without chest tightness and breathlessness. Sometimes even the stairs at home are a problem!

Have you looked on the British Heart Foundation website? There are a couple of articles and an information sheet about Cardiac Syndrome X which I found useful.

I think it is just a case of trying to eat healthily, keeping weight down, no smoking and carry on with my current medication and try to manage as best I can. I am mid-40s but feel about 90!

I have not got another appointment made, the dr will only contact me if anything untoward shows up in the tests.

I hope your appointment goes well and is not too far away!

IamaLadyeee Tue 17-Jan-17 10:50:56

Sorry to resurrect this old thread, how are you getting on Tagetes?

I have had my echocardiogram and exercise stress test and the Cardiologist was very reassuring at my clinic appointment and I thought I wouldnt hear from him again but today in the post, I have received an appointment for a myocardial perfusion stress scan! and I am slighty very panicking! arrrgghhh

Does this mean something has shown up on the stress test? I havent had any other communication from the hospital and the stress test was only 10 days ago. This perfusion test is in a couple of weeks!

oh buggar, more waiting and I wanted to book my summer holiday, now I will have to wait regarding the travel insurance, oh well confused

Hope you have had your appointment and got some answers?

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