Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Age 17 intense heart pain
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Age 17 intense heart pain

Hello. I have been having severe heart pain everyday for the past three weeks. I am only 17 so I really don't understand what's happening. I did go to the hospital but they basically looked at me like I was crazy and said I was fine. I even asked them to X-ray my lungs too make sure they were good, and they looked perfect. I don't smoke or drink or anything. I would say I'm pretty healthy but I get very little exercise and my diet isn't great. It comes and goes throughout the day but is much worse at night. I will be sitting at the computer or something and then suddenly get a sever stabbing pain until I'm forced to get up and walk around a bit. Sometimes it makes me neck cramp up and my stomach tightens, and my heart speeds up a lot. There is a history of high blood pressure in my family but I'm certain I'm too young. I've wondered if it's some sort of cardiomyopathy or disease. This could be from stress but even so, I don't think this is normal at all. Please tell me anything this could be and what you think I should do. (Already been to hospital) Please help. Thank you.
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Dear xtmitchellx:  Chest pain is very common in children and adolescents, and most of the time it is not cardiac in origin.  This is especially the case when the pain occurs at rest, like when you are sitting at your computer.  If the pain worried you, it was a good idea to go to your local hospital.  A normal chest x-ray would show that your heart is not enlarged.  Often they will do an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) when people have chest pain.  That is usually normal when the pain is not coming from the heart.  I am not sure if that was done as part of your evaluation.  As far as your blood pressure is concerned, that would have been checked at the hospital;  they should have told you if it was unusually high. If you have continued concerns, you should seek the advice of your primary care doctor.  They can check you for abnormalities of blood pressure or cholesterol.  They can also decide if you should be seen by a cardiologist (heart specialist).
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