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Could this pain be cardiac related? Help Please!
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Could this pain be cardiac related? Help Please!

Hello!

I am a 31 year old female.  I am 5'3" and weigh 200 lbs.  I am a smoker of about 1/2 pack per day.

I have been having various pains for some time now and am not sure where they are starting from.

I have mild chest discomfort left side, left arm pain, left shoulder pain, left neck pain/stiffness, upper back pain.  The pain is mostly constant.  I started seeing a chiropractor about 5 months ago, who was not sure what was going on.  We started to think the pain was maybe coming from my shoulder and the other pain was referred pain.  So, I started with Physical Therapy.  I saw an orthopedic surgeon who thought maybe I had bursitis and gave me a steroid injection, which did not help.  So back to PT I went.  He now thinks that i might have a herniated disk in my mid/upper back which is maybe causing all of these symptoms.  I am not so sure.

I have had the chest pain on and off for a few years.  I have had 2 EKG's (last one probably 2 years ago), have had my cardiac enzymes checked (last time probably a year ago).  I was sent to see a cardiologist, who pretty much said it would be a waste of time to do a stress test, because I was too young to have heart problems.

I have a history of daily headaches, for which I have had several MRI's for.  These MRI's showed some "white spots" which were dismissed as nothing after a workup with a neurologist.

I have been told the my cholesterol is fine.  My blood pressure varies...anywhere from 128/90 to 149/95.

Sorry for the long post, but I am just wondering if you think any of this could be cardiac related.  When I search the internet with my symptoms, everything comes up with Heart Attack!  Kind of scary!  Especially when so many doctors have dismissed me over the years!

Any input would be appreciated!  Thank you!  Kelly
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello there,

It is hard to give you an accurate assessment of the situation over the internet without meeting you but I can give you some general pointers which may help.

First of all, I agree with your cardiologist in that you are pretty young to have heart related problems. But, you do have risk factors especially smoking and borderline hypertension.
Your symptoms appear to be atypical in the sense that they have been present for last five years without escalating in severity.
Chest pain is a very non specific symptom which may arise from heart, lungs, chest wall, food pipe or even anxiety.
But if you continue to have symptoms, it might not be unreasonable to pursue a stress test to completely rule out a cardiac etiology of your pain.
But most importantly, I would recommend a modification of your risk factors to mitigate your future risk of cardiovascular disease. Of critical importance, try to quit smoking.

Hope that helps

5 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I should add...I am taking 40 mg of Protonix 1 time per day for reflux.

And i have discomfort in my jaw, but also have been told I have mild TMJ.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your answer.

The arm pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain are new over the last few months.
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Avatar_f_tn
Tonight I am experiencing heaviness in the center of my chest.  And almost a cold feeling running through my chest area.  I am very fatigued.

Should I see a doctor?  Or just continue waiting it out?
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Avatar_f_tn
How do I make the doctors do a stress test?  I live in a VERY small town, and I was referred to a cardiologist for a stress test, but when the cardiologist saw me, he said I was too young to have heart problems.  I have found many stories of 30 year olds who have heart problems.

Are there any other tests that I could request to rule out heart disease?  I had my cholesterol checked about 3 years ago and it was fine.  I had an EKG and Triponin blood test around that same time, and they said it was normal.

I am having chest discomfort left side, left arm discomfort, shoulder and upper back pain, jaw discomfort and left sided headaches.  The jaw discomfort is the most recent symptom.  I also have loss of appetite.

I guess I am just stuck because I don't know where else I can go for care or who will even listen to me.  Any advice would be appreciated.
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