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Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Tight left arm, slight chest tightness, fluttering in throat


 ljf - Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:57 am

I am a 29 year old female and over the last few weeks I have felt fluttering in my throat accompanied by a cough on a number of occasions. I have also felt the need to cough without the fluttering. There doesn't seem to be a pattern or reason for it. Last night I felt a slight heaviness in my chest and my left arm feels tighter than normal. None of the symptoms are painful or stop me from breathing so I'm not too worried but obviously am slightly concerned about it. Thanks.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Oct 04, 2008 10:53 pm

User avatar Hi there -

While the fluttering sensation is common and can be due to premature contractions of the heart, either atrial or ventricular (PACs or PVCs), they are harmless. They also frequently are accompanied by a feeling of the need to cough. As for the coughing between the episodes, well, that may just be due to needing to cough.

The arm sensation is something heard of on occasion from people who have premature heartbeats, especially, for no known reason, among those who are eventually diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse (MVP), which also is almost never of any real consequence, although some who have this also are prone to a clear-cut but somewhat non-sensical set of symptoms (syndrome) that includes not only palpitations but also unexplained anxiety, fatigue, and even migraine headaches. Again, it's nothing truly serious, but these collectively can be crazy-making.

Then again, you're mainly just complaining of palpitations and chest and arm tightness. These are as I've already said, fairly common and not generally serious, but it's always best to know what's going on, and a resting EKG and possibly an echocardiogram should make it possible to rule MVP or any other heart-related issue out -- or, though unlikely, in. Either way works, because if you know what's causing your symptoms and it's manageable or not significant, then you can really relax about it, and if there's something that does need attention (once again, very unlikey) then it can be treated and, again, you can relax.

This was probably more of an answer than you were looking for, but while the symptoms you describe are extremely common and almost always insignificant, I would be remiss in just telling you to forget about it. Besides, understanding what's going on is usually far more than half the battle.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please follow up with us as needed.

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