How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Vivek Pillai Your Own Question

Vivek Pillai
Vivek Pillai, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 150
Experience:  M.B.B.S, M.D.( GENERAL MEDICINE).
Type Your Health Question Here...
Vivek Pillai is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Ive been having heart palpitations, left arm, and chest pain

Customer Question

I've been having heart palpitations, left arm, and chest pain over the past week. I've been to the ER twice, once last Monday and yesterday, and both times they've
said the ECG was normal, and my blood pressure and temp are normal. However, I am having problems sleeping at night-
last night I felt a shortness of breath and couldn't fall asleep. I've also had a lingering
pain in my left arm, in the forearm and above the elbow. I also have chest pain in the upper
left pectoral, and what feels like numbness at times in my chest and left arm. All of the pains come and go, and
are not sharp or overwhelming. I would call the pain itself "minor" except for where it is.
The ER doctor said they couldn't do anything for me because the ECG was normal, and
said I need to follow up with a doctor- however, I don't have insurance and I don't have a
doctor, so I don't know what to do. I also had a small amount of red blood in my stool
today. Please help, thanks.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Vivek Pillai replied 5 years ago.

hi...

left arm pain along with diffuse chest pain and palpitations is likely to be cardiac in nature... please note a one off ecg may not pick up the cause of palpitations....the suspicion of cardiac disease is heightened when you said you had shortness of breath during sleep...so here is what you should do...try to get a HOLTER( an ambulatory 24 hour ecg done) and also an echo cardiogram .

as for the red blood in the stool if it persists and defecation is painful it is likely to be a local cause like a fissure in ano... also please note if the colour is red or really a dark red..because that may be useful in determining the site of bleeding... however in the meanwhile, you should take a high fiber diet and plenty of fluids to avoid constipation, it should help....

if you are satisfied with my answer kindly press the ACCEPT button so that i may receive the payment to be credited to me....please feel free to ask any more queries.. all the best,

vivek

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Vivek,
I guess I'm wondering how long these kind of things go on before it's critical-
since the ER said they couldn't do anything further (I forgot to mention, the second time I went to the ER they monitored my heart for over a half an hour and said they didn't see anything abnormal). I can't get a holter monitor or an echo cardiogram until I can get a doctor's appointment, which may not be for a month since I don't have insurance and don't have a doctor here. So do I just wait until I have a heart attack and then call 911? Or should I just be a bit more persistent with the ER doctor next time? As for the blood, is was bright red, not dark.
Expert:  Vivek Pillai replied 5 years ago.

dear jfilm,

dont get distressed !...watch whether the pain increases in intensity, if it is constant you can wait ...but if it is increasing in intensity call 911...there is no harm being persistent with the ER doc, after all it is your health!... and do try some local application like diclofenac gel over the left pectoral and see if the pain decreases, then most likely it is musculoskelatal and not cardiac in nature....as for the stool being bright red the most likely site of bleeding is the lower gastrointestinal tract... watch for a couple of days...if there is still blood in the stools, meet a doctor, in all likelihood it could be a fissure in ano if painful,..... all the best vivek

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NU/nursescare4u/2013-3-31_03429_JApic.64x64.jpg Nurse Milli, RN's Avatar

    Nurse Milli, RN

    Nurse (RN)

    Satisfied Customers:

    4043
    20 years experience in many areas of Nursing. Both Hospital and Private Practice experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    102
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    5622
    Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/drphophalia/2007-08-23_095626_dr._arun_phophalia.jpg Dr. Arun Phophalia's Avatar

    Dr. Arun Phophalia

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    17025
    MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VA/VANP/2012-6-6_235535_Skye2.64x64.jpg A. Schuyler, NP's Avatar

    A. Schuyler, NP

    Nurse Practitioner

    Satisfied Customers:

    12170
    Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    10029
    Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/neurosurg/2009-10-06_120923_profile.jpg Dr. Mark's Avatar

    Dr. Mark

    Doctor (MD)

    Satisfied Customers:

    6234
    U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery