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Avatar universal

Resting + Adrenaline = Chest pain?

Hello,I'm a 30 year old male who is in relatively good shape.

About 5 months ago I was dealing with a lot of stress suddenly after an argument with a friend, I had this feeling where I suddenly got REALLY tired and I couldn't continue arguing. My heart started pounding and my HR went through the roof. Almost like a panic attack. I went to the ER. EKG's were normal. That made me calm and my symptoms went away.. still tired for some reason though.

I went back home and noticed somethings that was very odd.

1- My fitness level got shot down almost completely. I could not do the easiest tasks without getting tired. I went to the gym the next day and every time I tried lifting weights I'd get so dizzy to the point that I feel like I'm going to faint but I don't. I couldn't work out for months.

2- Eating made me extremely anxious and put me into constant panic attack. As a result eating scared me and I lost weight, with time this went away and the effects got less and less. But still, till today every time I eat my HR jumps to the 90's for no reason.

3- Systolic pressure is normal 110-130, my diastolic pressure on the other hand was always high. 90-100 constantly even at rest. and my HR was between 90-100 at rest All the time. My heart was pounding and I could feel it almost moving my body and it only happened at rest.

When I first experienced these symptoms, I did not go to the doctor (I know this was my mistake) and I ruled everything out as a just a panic attack.
After a while I noticed this heart pounding was just not normal and I couldn't sleep almost because of how my heart would shake my entire body. I did, blood work, 48 hour holter, Echocardiogram and 24 hr urine. All my results showed that I was very healthy.

The doctor decided to rule everything out at that point seeing as I had no risk factors for heart disease. She said it was stress and let me go home with a follow up appointment in 2 months.

So 2 months passed, I feel like I was better but my symptoms have changed. Its no longer about the tiredness and heart pounding. I started to develop chest pain. I first noticed it happen when I had an exam and I was under extreme stress. I become lightheaded, heart pounding fast etc.. I went back home and just laid down in my bed.. the next day I had this weird numbness between the area of my heart and clavicle. It wore off after a few days, but I thought it was very odd.

So I see my doctor for my follow up, she's still convinced I'm fine and tell her how I started to develop chest pain. She finally prescribed Inderal 10mg. I took it and I noticed that my chest pain almost disappeared entirely.. almost.

To summarize:
Extreme stress and going into an argument with a friend 5 months ago had made me have weird symptoms with my heart rhythm and I started to later on develop chest pain. Heart rhythm abnormalities seemed to have been triggered by- eating a big meal, stress, anxiety, adrenaline.

Today I can exercise and I get no tiredness or chest pain when I do so. However I stopped lifting weights.
I get chest pain when playing video games. ( i play them competitively and its generally a big adrenaline rush). I always wondered why...

It seems that adrenaline causes my chest pain when I'm not moving. However if I'm at the gym on the treadmill running, I get no chest pain at all. This kind of explains it for me.. but I need some expert advice..

Thank you for reading.

I want to note that my chest pain is local. Its the area between my heart and clavicle. It does not spread to any other spot and I feel like I can push with my finger and feel a bruise inside my chest.
5 Responses
612551 tn?1450025775
Very complex story, but seeing no "answers" offered I'll give my simple input.

You post read to me like you are a "high strung" person and maybe a very competitive (argumentative) person subject to high internal stress and even anxiety/panic when pushed too far.  The medication you mention, is that an anxiety med?  If yes, that confirms the diagnosis in my mind.

Try to force yourself into a calm and open mind state when you engage in competition..that my make you loose some games, but it may bring better balance to your life.

Avatar universal
Jerry, thank you for your reply. I also feel that I'm a very competitive person and it might have taken its toll on my body. If my case is truly stems from psychology then I must admit, I have no knowledge on what to do. Can a psychologist help with this?
Avatar universal
Going into my 6th month now of the same symptoms. Doctor increased my Inderal to 20mg. Feels like it's wearing out much faster now. Sleeping is more difficult, Nytol pills seem to help though.
Avatar universal
I find your story has similarities to mine: I had to leave a high-stress job 5 years ago when I started getting sharp pains in the upper-left section of my chest, that came to a head one day when I had to go to the hospital, they were so bad.

When I got checked out: no cardiac problems, but the doctors couldn't tell me WHAT it was. All I knew was that if I jammed my fingers into the part of my chest next to my sternum bone, the pain was reduced a lot - but I couldn't go around all day with my fingers poked into my chest. I wasn't exactly the healthiest guy back then( mid-30's, good weight, cycled but didn't lift weights )eating so-so foods.

So, I did some research at the time, and came up with the possibility that the severe stress / adrenaline load might have damaged the muscles of my inner chest wall - just a theory.

After I left the job, the stress level dropped for a while, but in the last year it's been cranking up again... and the chest pains have returned. I've had my heart checked out and it's A-OK, I can exercise( and I have, cycling around 400km a month for years )and generally do just fine.

I've started taking 560mg of natural Hawthorn root( be sure to check the side effects / interactions for your own health! )and the pains have mostly gone away... except when I have a particularly bad day. Even so, they're more like twinges, not pains... but they scare me, even so.

Hopefully you're doing better since your last post in 2015, and might still get this message posting!
Avatar universal
"All I knew was that if I jammed my fingers into the part of my chest next to my sternum bone, the pain was reduced a lot..."

Here's a helpful tip about chest pain from someone who has studied anatomy:  Because of the way human embryos develop, pain from the internal organs (called 'visceral pain,' which you can google) uses a different pathway than does pain from anywhere outside of the chest and abdominal cavities.  This more exterior type of pain is called 'somatic pain,' which you can also google.

This is the word:  If you can put your finger right on your chest pain or cause it to change in any way by pressing on it or moving or changing your body position, it is *not* heart pain.  It is coming from something on the outside, like a pinched nerve, or chest muscles, or bones, or connective structures like tendons and ligaments.

Your problem sounds a bit like costochondritis, which you can read about here:


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