Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Somewhat Serious Concern: Chest Pains.

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Somewhat Serious Concern: Chest Pains.

    Hey everybody.

    I know this sounds a little like a troll thread to scare people, so let me start by saying that I am not trying to sully the mood or discredit PB. I think this way of eating is fantastic in theory and I notice other benefits in practice. I have no doubt low-carb (and particularly no grain) is ideal for losing weight--never saw my abs until I cut carbs and now I rarely do sit-ups. I generally feel better when I eat this way and I enjoy the taste.

    However, I am having some concerning chest pain (and even more worryingly, in the left lower shoulder), particularly this morning and I don't know what to attribute to other than a higher fat/cholesterol diet. Background on me: I am a fairly fit 21 year old. I'm about 5'7" and have been a stable 130 lbs for a couple of years (yes, I'm small, but I do pack some muscle). I've never had a weight problem. My biggest concern when I'm older will be heart health--I never saw my maternal grandpa because he died of a heart attack when he was 50. He was neither overweight nor a smoker (in fact, pictures show him to be extremely lean aside from perhaps the slightest gut, which I realize is the worst kind of weight, but still)

    (Yes, I am a fan of parentheses)

    Now I'm not concerned with having an imminent heart attack, but this is making me reconsider this diet. Here are the foods I've been eating:

    Fruits/Veggies:

    1/2 - 1 grapefruit per day
    1 banana per day
    1 apple per day
    -Frozen unsweetened strawberries
    -Raw carrots
    -Raw spinach (lunch salad)
    -Avocado
    -Canned tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno peppers (yep, I made guac for a party and it was a hit!)

    Nuts:

    Walnuts (a few sprinkled on salad)
    Almond butter (spread on banana or apple)
    Unsweetened almond milk for smoothie

    Meat:

    Here is an admitted deficiency. I'm not financially independent, so I'm not picking grass fed. Hopefully when I can make a living, I'll switch over. To limit the harm, I'm trimming the fat when applicable (pork-chops, for example)

    -Bacon (4 slices per day when I have it)
    -Pork chops (two small cuts)
    -Ground beef (with tacos my mother made, this was the sole grain I ate a couple of days ago)
    -Steak (1 large cut)

    Eggs: Never more than 2 per serving or 3 in a day. My mom won't pay extra for my "luxuries" (and is not particularly supportive of this diet in general), but since eggs are cheap and within my means, I opted for cage free Omega 3 enriched.

    Oils: Extra virgin olive oil for salad, butter for cooking eggs and meat.

    Dairy (I will confess to probably eating more dairy than is typical for paleo):

    -Shredded cheese on salad,
    -1 Greek yogurt per day (I used to eat vanilla Chobani, but in the spirit of reducing sugar and increasing fat, I've switched to Total Fage, which is 80% daily recommended saturated fat by CW, so if CW is right, that's a problem.
    -Cottage cheese (1 serving): I opted for 4% milk fat, which tastes great btw.
    -Butter and sour cream for flavor enhancement

    Supplements:

    -Optimum nutrition strawberry flavored whey protein powder (I use for post work out, put in smoothie)
    -Green Tea at least 1 cup daily (not really a supplement, but whatever)

    Spices:

    -Cinnamon (I've been adding it to yogurt and smoothies because I read it has anti-inflammatory properties)
    -Garlic

    Exercise:

    I probably lift more often than Mark would recommend. I enjoy it and it makes me feel good. I've also done a bit more "chronic cardio" than normal because I've been going to the gym with a friend who likes to do it. At least its non high impact C.C. (stair machine).

    Alcohol:

    I did get overly drunk on New Year's Eve, but this is NOT typical for me. I rarely drink. Just this last fall was the first time I had ever gotten drunk. So while this was obviously not a healthy night, I don't think I can reasonably blame my chest pains on it. =P

    Okay, so this is pretty lengthy, but I hope it gives you a good overview. I'm just concerned and trying to figure out why I'm having this issue. Because, otherwise, I feel great.

  • #2
    If you are having chest pains get to the doctor or go to an ER. If you are having chest pains and posting on internet forums then you don't take them that seriously. Grok didn't have a doctor but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. I had chest pains when I was 25, but it was a muscle pain form a twisting motion I was doing as part of my job at the time. The doctor confirmed by EKG. I had chest pains in my mid 30s from twisting my shoulder taking off a heavy backpack. (which probably aggravated the muscles twisted when I was 25). I had chest pains in my mid 40s when I was following the McDougal diet. It was GERD. McDougal will tell you his diet (ultra-low fat vegan) is the best cure for GERD. In fact the day I started to question McDougal theories was when I had been diagnosed as having GERD. I was giving a prescription for Prilosec and an information sheet (created by the maker of Prilosec) that recommended a low fat diet. I felt like screaming: "What the hell have I been doing for the past 10 years." This was just after recovering from my second cataract surgery in a year at age 49.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would be AMAZED if a 21 year old could drop dead of a diet-triggered heart attack...even if you were eating butter-frosted, oil-soaked donuts for the past 5 years.

      Chest pain isn't a sign of arteries that are beginning to get clogged. It's a sign of imminent heart attack (amongst many, many other things, as Paleo Bill mentioned).
      Liz.

      Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
      Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

      Comment


      • #4
        That is what is so great about the Primal diet, it will give you better heart health in the long run, not "catch up with you" as you age.

        At your age and fitness level, the chest pains are likely from something else, but if you are concerned, then you should have it checked out. I developed chest pains at 22 and found out that it was just a pleuritic catch, which can sometimes be very intense pain in the chest and even shoulder (nerves are wacky that way), although not in anyway related to the heart.
        For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          I read Paleo Bill's post and immediately regretted posting this, or at least in the way I did. First and foremost, I do not want to create the impression that I am in any form of immediate danger whatsoever. I am 100% sure of this and if I wasn't I would be in an ER. I tried to make this clear in the opening post, but I understand that chest pains are a serious issue.

          I am an anxious person and thus someone who is perhaps overly attuned to my body's physiology. So I'm taking this seriously not in the sense that I'm afraid of heart attack today, tomorrow, or even in ten years, but as sort of a "marker." I'm aware there are many possible causes. It's something I'm taking note of and will monitor over time.

          I just wanted to talk about it a little bit, because it is the one and only aspect of paleo that concerns me (the potential for heart problems). It's a bit like that thread the one guy started "that little voice." As I said, I feel great otherwise and really believe in this. However, I try to be as open-minded as possible and do regularly read and consider alternative viewpoints (not saying others don't). I do this not just for diet, but all things in life. In a way, it definitely makes life more stressful, but I still think it is always import to examine all ideas. Anyway, given the pervasive dogma that fat + cholesterol = heart problems, it was all too easy for me to make that link in my mind.

          If it is a chronic thing, I will obviously and certainly have it checked out by a doctor. I apologize if I was overly alarmist--that wasn't my intention. It was meant to be a discussion, see if anybody else ever experienced it, etc.

          Chest pain isn't a sign of arteries that are beginning to get clogged. It's a sign of imminent heart attack (amongst many, many other things, as Paleo Bill mentioned).
          Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they have some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
          Last edited by Bill_89; 01-03-2011, 10:25 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Read this great article written by PrimalPilgrim. It will help set you straight about cholesterol.
            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bill_89 View Post
              Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they maybe some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
              Really. Note I said "beginning to get clogged". If chest pain was a symptom of that, heart disease would be detectable decades before it was deadly. Most people only get physical symptoms when their arteries are substantially clogged and reducing supply to the heart by a lot. Just think how prevalent heart disease is. How often do people in your age bracket complain of chest pain? At your age, your body can buffer all kinds of bad lifestyle stuff. It's in your 40s and 50s and beyond that things will catch up with you (and the thing most likely to catch up with you specifically? I would guess stress, more so than diet.)
              Liz.

              Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
              Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

              Comment


              • #8
                1) What is your Blood Pressure?

                2) Are you taking 5,000 IU or more daily Vitamin D3?
                See important detail in my Vitamin D Report, below.

                3) See this website by Cardiologist Dr. Wm Davis, more details below my message
                http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/
                Spend some quality time at his website, he is my personal Bible on most health subject.

                4) Saturated fats are good for you.

                "I probably lift more often than Mark would recommend. "
                Why abuse yourself? Your pains are likely from lifting too much weight. What do you think of this?
                I think you are too young for heart disease & heart attacks, especially if you have normal blood pressure.
                I suggest cooling it on lifting weights.

                @ Dragonfly, your link didn't work, Here is a correction:
                http://fitafter40vancouver.blogspot....e-and-why.html
                You are Right On, that is one great article. You are terrific again as usual!

                Grizz
                Last edited by Grizz; 01-03-2011, 10:44 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Im 21, 130# 6'
                  i started getting chest pain about 8 months ago
                  went to the ER they had no clue (7months later ) switched to primal started feeling better, still get chest pains not as bad or as frequent. In my personal opinion i wasn't getting enough low intensity exercise. Now Im going to a physician after finally getting approved for health insurance, hopefully he will shed some light.
                  my photo stream
                  The Enlightened Warrior

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bill_89 View Post

                    Really? I know it is possible to have a heart attack with no prior symptoms, but does it not occur for some people that they have some transient chest pain over time leading up to that event? I'm certainly no expert, but it seems likely to me.
                    Ischemic chest pain (angina) is present only when a major heart artery has a >70% stenosis. I have never seen this in a person as young as you, and I have seen thousands of coronary arteries.

                    That being said, chest pain can represent a panopoly of disorders, and I encourage you to see a doctor.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Chest pains can be a symptom of many things. Being overly anxious and having tension in the chest is pretty common. Also as someone already mentioned GERD can also mimic some of the chest pain issues seen in a heart attack. My family member who is an ER doctor told me a long time ago that if you are feeling chest pains and your left arm is hurting it means that a heart attack could be there in a matter or minutes not hours or days. The chest pain isn't the same as a muscle strain in your chest, but it is more of a "crushing" feeling. He told me most people who come into the ER complaining of chest pains are overly anxious people who have a lot of tension in the chest, people who do a lot of chest exercise, or people with indigestion.

                      But if you really think it is something serious go get it checked out. The ER docs will probably do a C-reactive protein test on you to see your inflammation levels to determine whether it really is something to be concerned about.
                      "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                      People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No self respecting ER doctor would order a CRP for acute chest pain.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would go to the dr anyways. You probably aren't having heart issues (as explained in many posts above) but indigestion can cause heart strain like chest pains. This and panic attacks were the most common I saw when I was working as an EMT. We carted hundreds of people to the hospital who were sure they were dying of a heart attack, and it turned out to be anxiety or indigestion. This is not to say one shouldn't go to the ER if the have chest pains. They should. For all of the hundreds of happy non heart attacks, there were plenty of real heart attacks too.
                          The more I see the less I know for sure.
                          -John Lennon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would say at your age, if it's an ongoing problem then it's probably either precordial catch syndrome or a congenital defect, but likely unrelated to diet. It could also be acid reflux (GERD) due to the drinking—if you're gluten sensitive then the barley in beer (or wheat in wheat beer) can cause issues, or you may have just been drinking a lot of acidic drinks (screwdrivers?). In any case, if it continues you should see a doctor to be on the safe side.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks for the responses guys. I'm completely fine now. Some of the things people said stood out to me so I'll comment on those:

                              and the thing most likely to catch up with you specifically? I would guess stress, more so than diet
                              I absolutely agree, which is why I've tried to reduce my stress. I just have a naturally overactive stress response and I know how dangerous that is. I've done yoga, which is enjoyable, though it is hard to discern if I've reaped any tangible benefits.


                              2) Are you taking 5,000 IU or more daily Vitamin D3?
                              See important detail in my Vitamin D Report, below.
                              I don't supplement with D3, though I have considered it since I live at a northerly lattitude.

                              3) See this website by Cardiologist Dr. Wm Davis, more details below my message
                              http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/
                              Spend some quality time at his website, he is my personal Bible on most health subject.
                              Thanks, I've checked that out before. It's refreshing to see a cardiologist make a compelling case for an alternative viewpoint.


                              "I probably lift more often than Mark would recommend. "
                              Why abuse yourself? Your pains are likely from lifting too much weight. What do you think of this?
                              I think you are too young for heart disease & heart attacks, especially if you have normal blood pressure.
                              I suggest cooling it on lifting weights.
                              Being naturally short and thin, it's partially a compensatory thing. I also usually enjoy it. And I saw, at least initially, good results--to the point where I've received compliments. I have hit a bit of a plateau recently, however.

                              But I understand what you're saying; there have been times where there's no doubt I've overdone it and suffered some pain for it. I'm definitely more careful about overuse injuries these days.

                              In my personal opinion i wasn't getting enough low intensity exercise.
                              Interesting point. I will admit that aside from my more or less daily, intense sessions at the gym, I have been fairly sedentary lately. My excuse is that, living in Wisconsin, it is pretty bleak outside this time of year. When I'm at school, I get plenty of low level exercise simply walking/biking to class. During the summer, I have an awesome job with the rec department where I play games with kids. Right now, I'm sort of holing up an relying on gym time for physical activity.

                              Also not getting an ideal amount of sleep due to late nights with friends.

                              ANYWAY . . .

                              I think the larger point here is that I want to make sure I make good choices. For a while now, I've accepted that there are issues with the SAD, and my personal observation prior to ever hearing about PB was that, despite never actually gaining weight, sugars and high carb foods made me feel sluggish. When I experimented with cutting those, I didn't lose weight but I did seem to cut a little flab around my stomach. In that time, however, I didn't consciously add fat to my diet. I added a little more protein, if anything. Reading GCBC and coming across PB was the first time I had ever heard that it could be beneficial to add fat, even saturated fat, to your diet. I'm definitely someone open to experimentation and I'm generally pleased with the effects of this diet. I just don't want to hurt myself in the long run.
                              Last edited by Bill_89; 01-03-2011, 12:23 PM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X