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Heart Attack or Anxiety?
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Heart Attack or Anxiety?

I am 32 yrs old, 6'1", and weigh 345lbs. Obviously I know that my physical condition is an issue that needs to be rectified. And that's something that I am working on.

I have been getting pains that cause me concern for about 2 years now. They are on again / off again type pains. Sometimes this goes on for days. The pain is always on the *left side* of my torso and involves the following:

Chest pain
Arm pain
Back pain in the center/upper left shoulder blade
Pain in the jaw-line
Fullness in the chest (almost like a short period of asthma)

I also notice that sometimes I get very hot, to the point that I am sweating... all while in a very air-conditioned apartment with 2 fans on me. Sometimes I start to get dizzy, as if the room spins for a split second. I have also gotten a "lump in the throat" sort of feeling.

I have had 3 EKG readings done, which have appeared normal. I have been told that I suffer from PVCs. I have been told that I suffer(ed) from Acid Reflux. Friends tell me that it is likely anxiety.

I have had a stress test done several months back months back, which came back normal. As recently as February 9th I have performed a nuclear stress test. The cardiologist said that blood flow was good and my heart was strong.

I left work early today because I started getting a sharp pain midway down the inside (palm-side) of my forearm, associated with chest pain that I have had over the past week or so. I do *not* want to have to undergo a heart catheter (i've read some pretty nasty articles about results). What else can be done to determine if I truly have heart problems or if this is all just "in my head?"

Thanks in advance!
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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159619_tn?1318997813
Sounds like you've been checked out to pretty well. I would take the normal nuclear stress test as a new beginning for you. Now is the time to make your life style changes, it can be done. A couple years ago I was about your size but older, 49 to be exact. I started with an hour per day of moderate exercise and changed my diet and have dropped 70 pounds, you can do it as well. You need to get your doctor's approval and then learn. Read up on South Beach or the Mediterranean diets and start doing an exercise you enjoy. For me it was a treadmill in front of the TV.

You can do it, you just need to start. Based on all the tests you've passed it sounds like your experiencing a little anxiety. I've been there myself, but you should let your doctor know to be safe.

Good Luck!

Jon
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks, Jon! It just freaks me out a bit and really concerns me since I have passed the tests I've been faced with. But I read up on anxiety and panic attacks and it's crazy how similar the symptoms are to heart problems. But for me, it's only on the left side of my body and they last for a pretty long time. I'm still feeling stuff from yesterday. But friends who suffer from panic attacks say that sometimes it will keep going until it's treated.
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803012_tn?1238230168
I read your post so I had to reply back, Im typing and shaking at the same time. My heart is skipping a beat and Im cold all over my body. I have 2 blankets on me right now and I still cant bring down my shaking, so frustrating, been like this for about 3 months. Do you get a feeling of being cold, than 15 minutes later you need your AC turned on because your sweating?
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Avatar_m_tn
I suppose I do, but that's because I pretty much keep my A/C frigid (I love the cold). The only thing I really seem to have a problem with, is when I go to bed... sometimes it seems like I cant get cool enough.
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Avatar_n_tn
I know what you are going through.  I am in no means a doctor but if I had to guess I would say it's anxiety.  Take a look at the anxiety forum and you will see a lot of similar posts.  I am 35 years old and significantly overweight.  I went to the ER last year because of symptoms like yours and was kept overnight.  I went through all the cardiac blood tests, ekg, stress test, echocardiogram and they were all normal.  I think because I am overweight that I am always paranoid there is something wrong and the fact is there will be if I don't do something about it soon.  
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Avatar_m_tn
That's my biggest concern... the fact that I am clinically obese has me more afraid that when I am feeling something it's "the end"... but I guess that feeling of impending doom is also a sign of anxiety. The cardiologist keeps saying it's musculoskeletal pain... but the pain radiates into the left arm and jaw-line. And from reading about musculoskeletal pain, it really shouldnt radiate away from the chest area. I don't know, but I guess I can't argue with 2 stress tests and 3 ekg's. But I know exactly what you're saying... if we do not make a life change... there WILL be problems, and THAT is the biggest concern.
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