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Jaw Pain During Exercise
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Jaw Pain During Exercise

Greetings.  I'm a 34 year old male without strong history of heart disease in my family.  I am overweight, smoked in the past but not anymore, and have drank too much alcohol in the past.

I exercise very regularly, and was in great shape about 4 years ago but have slowly let the weight creep on to the point where I'm now probably 20-30 pounds out of shape.

The exercise I typically do is the elliptical machine, and I guess I don't exert myself hard enough while on it (more on this in a moment).  But I use the elliptical or walk 5-7 times per week.

Recently, I decided to get back into jogging.  A few minutes after starting up, I'd notice pain in my jaw.  If I kept going, sometimes the pain would subside eventually (perhaps after I found my pace?).

I went to a cardiologist who was at first unconcerned.  He did an EKG and my blood pressure was fine.

I then went for a stress test and an echocardiogram.  I think the echo was fine but the stress test was "positive."  He then recommended a nuclear stress test, which also came up positive.  In both cases, I was also able to reproduce the jaw pain.

Forgot to note - I also have slightly high cholesterol, and high triglycerides.

I briefly spoke with the doc, and I'm now scheduled to come in for a consultation at which point he'll recommend an angiogram and get consent for stents and such.

Through all of this, I have had ZERO chest pain.

Does anyone have thoughts on this?  Doc says only about 1 percent of folks get jaw pain without chest pain when it's cardio-related.  I definitely need to talk with him more, and would like to see how "positive" my tests were.  I'm worried about the angiogram procedure and the associated risks (also, procedure sounds mighty unpleasant...but I'll get over that).  But I also don't want to drop dead of heart attack.

Doc also has me on a beta blocker and aspirin and I'm getting blood work this week at which point he may put me on a statin (I already take tricor).

Help!  Any advice?
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Thought I'd add - I read somewhere that I think the ACC recommends that if symptoms can be removed via lifestyle and meds, then angiogram shouldn't be done due to risks.  In my case, my only symptoms are jaw pain, and it only comes on at a certain exertion level (like 4-5 minutes into stress test).

Do noted that some docs might agree with that approach, but that it's too conservative for me in his opinion since I'm only 34.

Thoughts?  I'm an anxious person in general, and am obsessing over this.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!
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