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Thread: Random High Up Chest Pain?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Edinburgh, Scotland
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    Default Random High Up Chest Pain?

    Hey All
    I wasn't sure if this was anything to do with Lupus and its varied symptoms so I thought I would ask here for a little advice!
    Today when lying down propped on some cusions on my right hand side I keep randomly getting this awful pain. Its towards the middle of my chest, off to the left hand side kinda above my breast there and also further up in a direct line above my collar bone. If I sit up or press it hard it goes away.
    I'd been yelling at my son just before so wasn't sure if I'd hurt myself by shouting too loudly :x or if theres something else nasty going on. I have had a similar pain a few times in the past but it always goes away after a few minutes.
    My joints have been really bad this week and I have some awful back pain just above my waist and below the line of my bra strap on both sides. One mouth ulcer and a migraine too this week.
    Am going to try and see the doctor at my local practice tomorrow but I'll worry until then which is why i'm asking here first.
    Any help and support is as always, hugely appreicated.
    Numpty:- (num-p-tee) dialect, chiefly Scot, ~n. 1. a bumbling fool: one who is intellectually challenged. 2. widely known in Scotland as an MSP (Member of Scottish Parliament).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Victorville, California
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    Lupus can cause pain in the chest areas for several reasons. It may be due to your lungs (pleurisy, pulmonary hypertension) or due to your heart (pericarditis). Both are caused by inflammation (the main culprit in Lupus).

    Pleaurisy is quite common with Lupus patients. The symptom is pain - often a 'catching' pain on taking a deep breath. More severe forms of inflammation and pleurisy produce fluid, so-called pleural effusions. Any fluid in the chest takes useful breathing space away, therefore causing shortness of breath. Pleurisy can be detected clinically and on chest X-ray. Fortunately, it usually responds rapidly to a short course of steroids (usually Prednisone).
    Other lung conditions are less common than involvement of the linings of the lungs (pleura). In a small number of patients, a scarring occurs in the lungs, so-called fibrosis. This can be detected both clinically or on chest X-ray or scan. This condition produces shortness of breath, especially on exercise.
    Another rare manifestation of lupus in the lung is the so-called 'shrinking lung' where on chest X-ray the lung areas look smaller than normal. These are all signs of active disease and require treatment.

    The heart - Pericarditis;
    The pericardium or tissue membrane surrounding the heart is identical to the pleura surrounding the lungs and is also frequently inflamed. Classically, the pain is in the centre of the chest at the front and sometimes mistaken by patient and doctor for a heart attack. It can be detected clinically or on chest X-ray or echocardiogram. Fortunately, it rarely causes damage to the underlying heart and responds to steroids.

    Heart valve disease;
    A small number of lupus patients develop heart valve disease. Many of these patients were, in the old days, wrongly diagnosed as rheumatic fever, but we now know that this was not the case. There is a very strong association with the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies ('sticky blood') and this will be discussed in another fact sheet. Leaky heart valves result in shortness of breath and require expert cardiological advice. Ultimately some patients require valve surgery. Fortunately this is exceptionally rare.

    The heart and lungs are not the most commonly affected organs in lupus but pericarditis and pleurisy are often quite scary. Fortunately they respond well to steroid treatment.

    Peace and Blessings
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    In addition to considering the possibilites Saysusie posted, look up a condition called "costochondritis." That might also be causing your chest pain. But it's definitely a good idea to go get that checked out to rule out anything that's potentially serious!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts



    Costchrondritis is pain right above your sternum in the middle of your chest that spread an inch to the right and left of your sternum. If there is inflammation, believe me you will see it because it will be swollen and enlarged. Warm heat usually helps though I don't think that is what you have.

    Take care,


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