Avatar universal


I am a 21-year-old, overweight male, who has been experiencing chest pain for several months. I first went to the emergency room in October, and after an EKG and chest X-rays, I was sent home because everything was normal and the doctor said it was chest wall pain. Last month I went to my campus health center because the pain was a little more heavy (best way i could describe it) and after a lipid panel, the doctor said it was probably just probably acid reflux. Well now, I have the same heavy, sometimes stinging (when I stretch or sneeze), pain in my chest but also some pain in my shoulders and headaches (and strange stiffnesses in my head and neck that come and go). There are also pains in my throat that are somewhat sharp. None of the pain is continuous but they are persistent. Also, I had an odd occurrence this morning. When I woke up from a nightmare, my body completely froze and it felt as if my heart stopped beating and I lost my breath (I guess it was just a panic attack from the realism of the dream).

My blood pressure has never been extremely high (120-85 the last two times I have been to the doctor). Still I am afraid something could be seriously wrong with my heart. Anybody got any idea what could be going on?
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Avatar universal
Your symptoms may be coming from different sources, which would make it hard to get them to make sense in total for one diagnosis.

One thing (of probably several) that can cause pain in the area around the sternum is a hiatal hernia. Sudden movement can cause pain with it because it stresses an already overstressed area. A hiatal hernia is a tear in the diaphragm that allows part of the upper stomach to slip up into the chest cavity.

Although weight is not always a defining factor, when one is overweight they are in a high risk category for obstructive sleep apnea. Your description of waking up from a bad dream feeling as of you weren't breathing is a red flag. If I were you I'd have a sleep study without delay. In the interim just in case, avoid alcohol or meds that relax you, as they can worsen sleep apnea. Sleeping flat on one's back can also worsen it.

Good luck with finding answers.
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517594 tn?1211683280
My best guess based on you symptoms is...

Tietze syndrome is often referred to as costochondritis, but the two are distinct conditions. You can tell the difference by noting the following:

Tietze syndrome usually comes on abruptly, with chest pain radiating to your arms or shoulder and lasting several weeks. Tietze syndrome is accompanied by a localized swelling at the painful area (the junction of the ribs and breastbone).
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