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Re: Is it my heart?

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - MTR on June 12, 1998 at 23:29:02:

In Reply to: Is it my heart? posted by Kim on June 12, 1998 at 18:31:11:

I am 26 years old, have good blood pressure, my cholesteral is at 215,
and I'm not over weight. For two years I have been having chest pain. I have
been to the emergency room twice where they found no sign of heart problems.
I've had a sonogram of my heart and an ekg done.  Sometimes I have shortness
of breath, feel sick, and have strange feelings in my neck and left arm,
but I don't know if its anxiety from worring that I'm having a heart attack.
Every doctor I've been to says its not my heart but I am continuosly worried
not knowing for sure what the pain is from. Its like a sharp shooting pain
in the middle of my chest more towards the left, and sometimes under my left
arm. I've been to a total of 5 doctors, do you have any idea what else could
be causing this?

Dear Kim, thank you for your question.  Given your age, it is very unlikely
that your chest pain is from your heart.  There are many causes of chest
pain that are non-cardiac like acid reflux, arthritis, neurologic disorders,
and even anxiety.  A stress test is the only other test to consider.  During
a stress test, the heart is monitored continuously and pictures are often
taken of blood flow to the heart to look for a narrowed coronary artery by
showing an area of decreased blood flow.  A stress test certainly may help
to alleviate some of your concerns about whether your pain is from your heart.
If that is negative, then a non-cardiac cause of the pain could be further
investigated.  I could speculate about the many causes of non-cardiac chest
pain but I can't determine the cause of your pain via this forum.  I suggest
that you talk with your physician again and ask him/her about a stress test.
Otherwise, treatment for anxiety might also be considered, if you believe
that is a significant component of your pain.  I'd like to reemphasize that
it is very likely you have non-cardiac chest pain and the five doctors
you went to seem to agree on that.  However, other causes can still be
investigated to help with your treatment.  I hope you find this information
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.
Specific diagnoses and therapies can only be provided by your physician.
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