Saturday, November 17, 2007

Prinzmetal's Variant Angina

Just as a public service, here's a great article on PVA. Unfortunately, much of the material publicly available is out-of-date and thus inaccurate. If you experience chest pain at rest, especially in the night and morning hours, contact your doctor and ask to be checked for PVA. A warning: Since PVA is a rare condition affecting only 4 out of every 100,000 people, many doctors have no idea what PVA is, so you may need to fight the system as it were. Also, multiple examinations may be necessary for proper diagosis. Good luck.

3 Comments:

Anonymous ross k. said...

This is not the same type of thing, but it's also possible that people who have trouble breathing at rest might have some minor scoliosis. I just found out I do. It's so minor that nobody noticed it until I started taking voice lessons from a woman who is on disability for her back and sees a chiropractor all the time. We were talking about migraine and I mentioned that I had all this tension in my neck and shoulders and sometimes when lying in bed I would get short of breath...she mentioned the possibility of scoliosis, I met her chiropractor, and it turns out I have four misaligned vertebrae. After a week of chiropractic my neck felt a lot better, though my lower back is still kin'a funky. If your spine is whacked out, it can put enough pressure on certain organs--or cut off the blood flow and nerve communication to them--to impair their functions. If this sounds like you, at least get an exam. Another public service announcement.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Melinda Barton said...

Thanks, Ross. Breathing problems at night can also be a sign of sleep apnea.

With PVA, it's more feeling like your chest is being ripped apart or squeezed in a vice with pain sometimes travelling down your left arm and up into your jaw. It feels like trouble breathing sometimes, but you actually can breathe. It's just that your heart is being deprived of oxygen, so it feels like you're not breathing.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous ross k. said...

True. My dad has sleep apnea, but I'd forgotten about it because I had a sleep study done and they said I don't have sleep apnea.

11:41 AM  

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