Hi, I am posting on behalf of my girlfriend. She is 18 and will be 19 coming up in August.
She has heart palpitations, sometimes a rapid heart beat, and "it just feels like my heart is working extra hard just to pump" as she explains. Also, lately she has told me that she has been feeling a jabbing pain on the right side of her chest, behind her boob whenever she inhales deep. She spoke to a nurse (or doctor?) at the local hospital over the phone and she said it could be costochondritis. She wanted to make an appointment but the lady told her that she doesn't need to unless she starts coughing up blood or develops a shortness of breath and recommended that she takes Aleve. Does anyone have any suggestions for her? I just want to make sure she will be okay. Thank you for your time and help.
From your description, the right-sided chest pain may very well be some type of inflammation (costochondritis, pericarditis, pleuritis, etc). However, costrochondritis is usually reserved as a diagnosis of exclusion (i.e. first making sure that no other, more serious, issues are occurring).
She deserves an appointment with a health care provider to undergo a full history and physical exam. Her provider may also want to check some basic blood tests at that time (blood cell count, thyroid function, etc) to make sure that there are no other issues behind her rapid heart beat.
Given her young age, this is likely a benign process (such as costochondritis), but your quote of "my heart is working extra hard just to pump" is concerning and does warrant a more thorough evaluation.
Ohh, how could I forget! I must add that she never had any issues with her heart until after she got in an accident about a year or two ago. She was hit by a drunk driver and fortunately only obtained some scrapes and bruises. She said that right after the accident her heart started to be rapidly. Which makes sense because she was basically traumatized by the accident?
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