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Chest and Jaw Pain
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Chest and Jaw Pain

I have been getting chest and jaw pain for about two weeks now. I also have been sharp pain on the left part of my chest where my heart is. A couple days ago, I had pressure in my chest, sweating and difficulty breathing, and lasted for about 15 minutes, which are signs of a heart attack or other heart conditions.

I had an EKG which came out normal. I got a chest x-ray done and x-ray of the neck and jaw. If the EKG came out normal, could there maybe be a start of something related to the heart? At the time of the EKG, I didn't have that episode I had a couple days ago (sweating, pressure in chest, and trouble breathing)  Is that why the EKG came back normal because at the time I didn't have these symptoms; just chest and jaw pain.

I still have chest and jaw pain now.  I feel lightheaded sometimes also.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,
Cassie
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159619_tn?1318997813
I would request a stress test to be safe. An EKG normally only sees a problem when one is occurring where a stress test will stress your heart and measure your heart's response.

Having said that, sharp pain is usually not cardiac in nature and the other symptoms could be anxiety over the pain.  Also, pain that lasts weeks is normally not cardiac in nature either, but I would still get a follow up as chest pain is nothing to ignore. I am surprised they did not suggest a stress test already.

Good luck,

Jon
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976897_tn?1379171202
I'm assuming they took blood to check your Troponin level? When you suffer ischaemia, this level rises. When I read posts like yours, it brings back bad memories. In Jan 2006 I went to hospital due to pains in my chest, throat and jaw. The pains in my chest were making me sweat and were occuring during rest as well as exertion. To describe the chest pain, it was like someone twisting a knife in my chest and would lasted for what seemed an eternity. On arrival at the hospital, murphys law, the pains had stopped. I had chest xrays and an ECG. All normal of course. I was diagnosed with a stomach disorder and sent home with anti acid medication. A year later the very same thing happened and this time they diagnosed it as MI. If they had correctly diagnosed it a year earlier, my coronary arteries may have been in better shape due to earlier intervention.
When they correctly diagnosed my problem, I was only getting the pains after eating. I put up with the pains for three days believing it was my stomach. Anyone would have assumed it was the stomach right? I mean, getting pains after eating and already having been told by experts that was the problem. On the third day however, the pains got so bad I was on my knees vomitting and sweating.
Maybe you are not having heart related pains, but please, to be sure, insist on something a bit more than an xray and an ekg. A stress test will help diagnosis because the more you exert yourself, the stronger the jaw/chest discomfort will become if it's heart related. I think you would be very wise to have this test.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for replying in my post.  The EKG did turn up notmal, but the doctor didn't do blood tests on me yet.  I am scheduled for blood work on Monday.  I get worried because I have been having chest and jaw pain for over two weeks now with some lightheadedness and sometimes I feel arm pain.

Cassie
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Avatar_n_tn
A stress test, or even better, an angiogram,  is the only way to differentiate where pain above the navel whether it is cardiac or not.

Stress test is 20 times cheaper and is pretty darn good at correlating chest pain whether its coming from the heart.
Chances are, its not, but just looking at someone is no substitute to ruling it out completely.

There is some important information left out.
Has anyone in your family had a heart attack before age 65? And I mean heart attack, not valve surgery, not congestive heart failure, not stroke. A diagnosed heart attack prematurely. Age 80 doesnt count.
Are you a smoker?
Are you diabetic?
Are you a guy?
Do you have high blood pressure?
Do you have a poor lipid profile? Meaning high bad cholesterol and/or low good choelsterol?

Thats the risks and if you are 20 years old and dont do cocaine or meth, then you dont need a stress test whatsoever
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Avatar_f_tn
I am a 25 year old female with no other health issues that I can think of.  I don't think any of my relatives had heart issues, although I was young at the time when my grandfather past away and I don't remember if he had any heart conditions.  I am a nonsmoker and I am not diabetic nor have high blood pressure.  The only reason why I am concerned is because I have both chest and jaw pain and those are heart attack symptoms.  I also have pain in both my arms.  A couple days agobefore I went to the doctors I had sweating, pressure in chest, and trouble breathing  Is that why the EKG came back normal because those symptoms were gone at the time?
Cassie
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976897_tn?1379171202
Usually when people first experience the symptoms of coronary heart disease (angina), they occur when exerting yourself. This can mean anything apart from sitting down relaxed or laying in bed. In the first stages the discomforts don't appear when you are resting. If you was having acute MI (heart attacks) then the pain wouldn't be going away because the blockage would be so severe that heart tissue would be killed off. You have intermittent discomforts which mean your tissue is not dying. So do you get the symptoms when sitting relaxed? If so, then I doubt if it' s heart related.
You are correct about the ECG. Everytime I went to hospital, I was layed comfortably on a bed and of course I became relaxed, removing all my angina symptoms. My ECG was always normal. During a stress test, as Carfiobill mentioned, you are wired up to an ECG machine and a blood pressure monitor. You then walk on a treadmill which increases in speed and incline over several minutes. They monitor your ECG and your blood pressure the whole time. HOWEVER, during my stress test, I felt like sh** with a lot of discomfort yet the technician kept saying "nothing showing up here, keep going".
It was known at that time from an angiogram that my LAD was in really bad shape so they already knew the answers and I still don't understand why I had to even do the test.
Not all angina seems to change the waveforms on an ECG. I'm not certain but I have the incling that not everyones ECG looks the same, even when their hearts are normal. Since my first one which they said was normal, they have always matched new ones against it to see if there are any changes.
Now here's something else very odd. From Feb 07 I must have had over 30 ECG readings taken and every single time I was told they were normal. When they opened my LAD in Sept 09, my ECG changed immediately. The Cardiologist said it looks much better, it looks normal now. What the heck? you figure it out, because I can't lol.
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Avatar_n_tn
Yeah, not your heart. Having tested thousands of patients for heart disease. I have never seen a patient does not do drugs and not diabetic have a heart attack.
I met a young lady who had a heart attack at age 19 from meth use, another kid in Seattle who was on tv saying " dont be a dummy like and use drugs" I think he was 20,
The youngest person of TRUE heart disease was 24 years old, I was present for his open heart surgery. Adult onset diabetes that now shows up in juveniles from soda and obesity, plus he had congenitally small arteries. That was one case out of thousands and that included diabetes which is the leading risk factor for heart blockages.

You my dear, have some skeletal-muscular issue going on, nerve issues. Its not your heart and thats based on statistics and risk factors. For you to have it and no family history. Well, that would be like winning a lottery, and not just any lottery, you'd have to match the powerball with it to win it.
I am being a bit lighthearted about it. If it bothers you so much, it may behoove you to get a stress echocardiogram done to give you the very important piece of mind. But statistically and my experience, you are at an extremely low risk.
Hope that helps
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for replying. I have been dizzy for most of the day and it started today. I still have the chest and jaw pain that stayed the same. Are these signs of something serious?

Cassie
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976897_tn?1379171202
How is your blood pressure? heart rate?
It is a bit worrying with your symptoms, but I think you need to be just a little bit more specific. I'm trying to establish what you are doing when the discomforts appear. Do they appear when you are relaxed, such as sitting in a chair? if so, is this after eating/drinking? OR do they only appear if you are walking around the house/outside?
If they appear when you are walking around the house/outside, and you relax, how long is it until the symptoms go away?
What order do the symptoms appear? jaw first followed by chest pains if you don't relax? Do you get any kind of throat discomfort? have to breath faster when the chest pains start? Do you feel more tired/lethargic than usual? When you wake up in the morning, does it feel worse when you first get out of bed and start to move around?
Does breathing cool/cold air make you feel worse?
Sorry there are so many questions but without a better picture it would be impossible to give a personal opinion.
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166039_tn?1256426467
I am right there with you!

Okay I have posted several times on here before, 5'4", 110 lbs, 34 y.o. female, non smoker. I have been having issues every since I had my kid 2 years ago. Started 2 months after birth. Chest pains, left arm pains, jaw pains, shortness of breath some palpitations. I have had every cardiac test done. EKG's, blood work, nuclear treadmill stress test, echocardiogram, tilt table test, ct heart scan, ct scans of chest, abdomen, endoscope, holter monitor and most recently a heart cath. Everything is normal. I am wondering if something is going on with my hormones which is causing this. I will have a few good weeks then bam back to getting all the above mentioned problems. I can't go back to the ER as I don't feel they will do anything since I have gone through the ringer. I was on a low dose of beta blocker and low dose calcium channel blocker. After all my tests have came back normal they took me off of everything. they gave me ativan, buspar and valium. Buspar doesnt phase me, ativan helps some and I have yet to take the valium. I have an appointment with my gyno in a few weeks to see if it isn't something hormonal that is causing this. People have also suggested maybe microvascular disease. I do have a poor diet which I am working on. I am just so frustrated and scared and not sure what to do. I am with the best cardio group where I live. Does anyone have any suggestions or know anything related to women's cycles and this happening? thanks I need some help bad!!!
They are sending me to Cleveland Clinic for an evaluation, but I really hate waiting. I am in so much pain, not sure what to do.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am diagnosed with Costochondritis and I get very bad chest pains, with pains in my upper ribs and up to my jaw. Everything came out normal EKG, bloodwork, chest x-ray, etc. I am on pain medications that are not working. I will be getting a cortisone injection in my chest eventually. I have Costochondritis for almost 2 months now.

I also had 5 episodes of trouble breathing and pressure in my chest. In fact, I woke up at 2 in the morning on Thursday and I had trouble breathing. My question is even though that it is Costochondritis, how do I know the episodes I am having are not from a heart attack?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Cassie
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Avatar_f_tn
I have new symptoms with my chest pain.  I have pain in my left arm and shoulder with numbness, and pain in my right arm.  The chest pain is still the same.  I have pain in my jaw, back, neck, and upper ribs.  I also get tingling in my fingers on my right hand.  I don't know if these are signs of a heart attack or the symptoms of what my doctor still thinks is Costochondritis?

Cassie
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1200240_tn?1289343287
At one point i really thought i had a heart condition, but when i had an ECG and an angigram i was then told i was ok and it was not my heart and needed investigating further, it turned out i had a Hiatus Hernia that was causing all my problems. The symptoms can be mistaken for Heart, so its best to get yourself checked out more...Astra!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for replying.  I just found out that I have a heart murmur and Costochondritis. Is a heart murmur dangerous?

Also, why am I feeling the pain on the left side of my face? I also still have pain in my left and right arm and shoulder, also in my jaw. The pain can get worse at times.

Cassie

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Avatar_m_tn
Not to hijack this thread, but I wanted to post up my experiences as well and see if anyone had any insights for me.

I am a 30 year old male. I am 5'11" and weigh about 220-225 lbs. I was much heavier in the past, but lost a lot of weight a few years ago. I should mention that I have been a regular smoker for about 6 years now, ranging anywhere from 2-3 cigarettes to a pack a day. (I smoked more heavily early on but these days I seem to average 5-6 cigarettes a day.) I have also smoked marijuana regularly for the past several years, although I cannot tolerate it as well as I used to, and it seems like most of the time when I smoke it, I don't enjoy it like I used to. Instead it makes me really anxious, almost to the point of being twitchy. From about 22-27 I drank regularly, and pretty heavily. I still drink now but I only drink perhaps 5-6 beers at the most, and most of the time it's only a couple. The main thing is that I do have a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I am back in college full time, don't work, and basically I spend a lot of time on the computer either for school or just to goof off. I rarely exercise and when I do, it's just some weight lifting, never cardio.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism this past fall after dealing with horrible symptoms for the past few years. I never got checked out before then because I didn't have insurance or the money for a doctor visit. Now that I am in school I get some basic insurance, so I finally got diagnosed. I also should point out that I have a history of anxiety (since I was 19 or so) which was pretty severe at times, as well as heartburn or GERD, which was also really severe in the past. (Both my anxiety and heartburn have lessened in recent years, but still pop up.. just not as frequently and intensely as they used to.)

I can feel that I am pretty out of shape. Whenever I walk up a flight of stairs at a decent pace I feel almost winded when I reach the top, and sometimes my heart feels like it's beating pretty hard for a minute or so afterwards. I've always sort of felt this way after doing any sort of cardio, which is why I've basically avoided cardio my whole life, aside from riding bicycles, which I find really fun. I guess my question is this... given my information, how likely is it that I could have serious heart-related problems? I know that hypothyroidism can contribute to heart problems, but I am unsure as to what that really means. I am still a hypothyroidism newbie and I don't understand much about it. I don't even have my dosage set yet for my medication. I'm still on the lowest dose and need to have another blood test this week.

I do plan to quit smoking -- ive quit before, for periods of time -- but sometimes I just freak myself out by thinking these crazy paranoid thoughts about my health. Before I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I thought I could have had HIV or Diabetes. My brain is just crazy like that, especially when I read a bunch of crap on the internet. It just feeds the paranoia.

I have heartburn pretty frequently, but what weirds me out is the fact that sometimes I can have these seemingly heartburn-related symptoms even when I haven't eaten anything that would normally trigger heartburn in me. (The biggest triggers are greasy food and smoke, for me. I rarely eat greasy food though, which is a good thing, I guess.) I guess what I want to know is how can I tell if what I am experiencing is merely GERD related vs. actual heart problems? I don't get what I'd consider "crushing" pain in my chest, but it does feel tight or pressurized sometimes, not exactly a typical burning sensation that one would experience from heartburn. Also, recently I have felt mild achy pain between my shoulder blades that seems to be directly behind where I feel the chest discomfort.

I've also had all kinds of other symptoms at various times, such as:

shoulder pain (left)
tingliness in fingers
pain on the bottom of my left forearm
pain on the bottom side of my left upper arm
jaw pain (this I think may have been due to anxiety mixed with my thyroid, I was clenching my jaw quite a bit)
weakness in hands
feeling my heart beating in my neck
literally seeing the blood vessel in my eyeballs pulsing after getting my heart pumping (like going up a flight of stairs)
feeling my heart beating below my sternum, above my belly button

I've never had any tests done aside from blood pressure, which has always been fine. Would it be advisable for me to get certain tests done? Is it a safe idea to get into cardio exercise? I really want to build up some stamina because I've been leading a very sedentary lifestyle the past few years, and with the hypothyroidism, I feel like I never have energy at all.

I should note that I have never:

felt dizziness (aside from standing up quickly sometimes)
sweated in conjunction with these symptoms
never felt nausea
never vomited


I know that I obviously need to improve my lifestyle, but I just worry myself to death. I've had more anxiety attacks than I can count over the years, and although I don't know what a heart attack feels like, I can only imagine that anxiety attacks rank right up there. I am sorry that this is long-winded and rambling, but I'm writing for some sense of catharsis. I don't feel any symptoms right now aside from the ever-present heartburn. (which does sometimes trigger pain/discomfort in my armpits, strangely enough)

How much does a stress test usually cost?
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Avatar_m_tn
i went to the doctor with similiar complaints, i have severe chest pain that radiate to my jaw almost locks on me, across back and down arms been ongoing for 10 yrs on and off, they diagnoised me with angina, was even hospital  a few times. you need to see a cardioligist, a stress tess a test to make sure none of yhour arteries in heart are blocked. ask dr about taking baby aspirin everyday for pain they told me that and also gave me nitro.   the dr told me the ekg is just 15 mins of your life  it can show up normal , but you can wlk out of the office an have a heart attack that day.   please also check for animea.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a long history of migraines from age 13 I'm female 56yrs about 25lbs over weight.  I  started having really back sterum pain with teeth and jaw and head all at the same time. It started in 09 waking me out of my sleep, they did a stress test ekg and all was normal. For the past 2 months it has gotten more often even through the day hours. My husband is a Physician and he does not know either then he read something about sterum migraines has anyone heard of this? I hate to go spend money on more testing if it's nothing! Put the pain sure feels serious.....
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Avatar_n_tn
I to was rushed to emergency room and was kept overnight with the same severe chest pain and jaws trying to lock up, problems breathing but whne I took a nitro when it happen it slow the pain down then it hit me again half way to hospital.they did the same routine  ekg blood work etc. released me yesterday said I was fine to contact my heart dr.today the same thing happen but i didnt go to the hospital for them to tell me the same thing . I just want to know whats going on since they tell me i"m normal. This is scary to me. I'm 55 going on 56 next wk. My mom died of massive heart attack. I'm scared
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