I am a 30 year old female, non-smoker, drink seldom. I went to the ER about 5 months ago with shortness of breath, some tightness in chest, warmth and tingling at the back of my head and confusion/dizziness. I underwent an EKG which was normal, bp and pulse were normal for the duration and I was discharged with diagnosis of anxiety, but I think that it was partly a reaction to constant high levels of caffeine. I also had a general physical last winter and all blood work, etc. was normal. I've had a few other episodes like this one since.
2 weeks ago I had another episode and I cut out all caffeine and alcohol, but now it seems that this chest tightness will not go away. It comes suddenly and lasts for less than a minute, sometimes so suddenly that it causes me to gasp for breath. It is a tightness that can turn into a more crushing tightness, but it doesn't really radiate into my jaw or into my left arm (though there have been a couple of times I wasn't sure). It's always left of center on the upper part of my chest. That area is not sensitive to touch. I have taken my pulse during many of these and I have never detected any sort of arrhythmia. I am wondering if it is digestive because I have experienced some stomach spasms (new for me) in the last 2 weeks as well, and often this tight chest is accompanied by gas or some sort of upper or lower digestive movement. Can the esophagus lie to the left of center? I thought it might be a vagus nerve issue in the beginning because it seemed to accompany bowel movements. I never get the tightness when I exercise, but sometimes it comes afterwards when I haven't cooled down properly. I usually don't get it right after eating but it seems to happen most often 3-5 hours after eating, and it doesn't seem to happen when lying down or sleeping, or between waking and breakfast. There have been some days when I didn't have any significant attacks at all.
I don't have the money to throw around in performing all the different kinds of heart tests out there. I'm hoping that someone can tell me that these symptoms are more likely to be digestive or anxiety related rather than heart related, given my age and the relatively recent tests I have had, and maybe I can work on my diet etc. to see if I can resolve this on my own. Thanks.
Do you get short of breath with the Chest pain / tightness? Also, do you wheeze at all during breathing? If so, maybe you need to talk to your doctor about the possibility of adult onset Asthma. Chest pain / tightness is not uncommon in Asthma.
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