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Chest Tighness and Shortness of Breath
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Chest Tighness and Shortness of Breath

I am a 36 year old male in pretty good health.  I could exercise more (currently walk 2 times a week for 30 minutes), but I am not overweight (in fact in the warmer months I would still consider myself an athlete - tennis, running, swimming etc.) and I eat healthy food.  I do consume 1-2 glasses of wine daily.  I do not currently take any prescription meds, although I do take immodium AD and zantac periodically for irritable bowel syndrome and occasional acid reflux. I do have high cholesterol and borderline triglycerides - took Lipitor about a year ago but had to stop because it affected my liver functions. - I have been trying natural alternatives for the past year.  
For the past week or so, I have had a noticeable tightness in the center of my chest (behind the lower part of my sternum) and it is typically accompanied by an inability to catch a full breath.  It is most noticeable at night when I am trying to sleep.  In fact on 3-4 occasions it has awoken me from sleep - like a feeling of not breathing or something going on with my heart - not sure how to describe the feeling.  To compound problem, the more I think about it, the less I can catch my breath - panicky I suppose.  I am worried that it could be something serious, but really prefer not to see a physician if it is simply gas, stress or one of many other probable causes.
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Why don't you want to see a physician?  If nothing else at least it will give you peace of mind.  I would rather go to the doctor and have something be less serious than what I thought it was then not go at all. :-)  If it is gas and it's causing you pain and waking you up then they may put you back on something for acid reflux as well as do some basic cardiac tests.

Jerz
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