hi, i am 28 year old female smoker. no heart problems so far in my life, no immediate family history of heart problems,no high blood pressure. in the past 5 months i have had 3 negative ekgs, two sets of normal blood work, a clear chest and back x-rays, and a normal ultrasound. my doctor thinks it's anxiety. i still do get dull chest and upper back aches that seem to always be there. i don't have to gasp for breath but sometimes i feel like i can't get a deep breath and sometimes my chest feels like there is a little pressure, but no crushing pressure or severe pain. should i still be concerned? someone please help.
When you say a normal ultrasound, do you mean an echocardiogram? Because if you've had an echocardiogram plus all of those other tests, then I think the overwhelming probability is that something besides heart disease is causing your symptoms. Your doctor thinks it's anxiety. In any case, it definitely sounds like he has nothing else to offer, in terms of further investigation of your heart.
Just a thought, but maybe you should try doing something to address anxiety? And if that helps, then perhaps your doctor was on to something. If you tend to be anxious about other things in addition to this heart scare, it increases the probability that you have clinical anxiety and that you could benefit from interventions to help you become calmer.
For anxiety, cognitive-behavioral therapy is very effective. Non-clinical interventions such as regular aerobic exercise, meditation, and yoga are all extremely helpful, also. I will mention psychotropic medication last, because I myself prefer natural methods, but I'm pretty sure your doctor will be willing to prescribe something for anxiety, if you wish. Many people do well on SSRI's such as Paxil, Celexa, and the like. Those medications do have side effects, but if you prefer medication to other methods of controlling anxiety, then prescription medication may be for you.
One of two things is going to happen with your heart. Either it's normal, and when you figure out what is really causing your symptoms, your heart is not going to require any further attention. Or, if there really is something wrong with your heart that nobody has figured out yet, then the problem remains, and it inevitably will have to manifest itself, at some point. But for right now, it sounds like you and your doctor have done everything you can to rule out heart disease, and maybe it's time to consider other explanations and solutions. Good luck.
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