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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: pain in chest


 catmac - Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:30 pm

i'm a 31yr old female i have no health problems apart from a gall stone that causes no problems . my blood pressure and colestoral is normal i am over weight and not too fit . family history of heart disease and high blood pressure . i am on no medication .

i find i have mild to strong pain when i breath in its sharp but goes as soon as i exhale i also find my heart beats fast at this time and i feel it in the area roughly between my breasts . i am heavy breasted and though i am not fit i can now get to the 3rd floor and am only slightly out of breath and recover quite quickly on reatching it .
am i starting to have angina or is it just a passing thing . i don't know if it matters but my heart sometimes throws in extra breaths or skips a beat
yours cat .
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:21 pm

User avatar There are a few possible causes for your pain. To first ease your mind a little-chest pain that is worse with deep breathing is almost never related to the heart. Heart chest pain tends to be a little "vague" in its location and is often described as pressure. Having said that, not all heart pain reads the medical books and can present differently so if you have a family history of heart problems or other symptoms that might be concerning for heart problems (high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, etc.) I recommend that you have your heart evaluated. An occasional extra beat is very common and not particularly concerning unless it begins to happen a lot.

Now, on to your pain. There are three possibilities that are most likely for your pain.

1) Pleurisy-this is when the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed. Deep breathing causes the inflamed lining to rub against the lung and chest wall causing sometimes quite severe pain. This may be triggered by a recent cold, trauma, or may just appear without a definite cause. This pain typically cannot be reproduced by pushing on the chest. Treatment is with NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.

2) Costochondritis-this is inflammation of the area where the rib bone becomes more cartilaginous. This is commonly caused by trauma to the rib (although it may have been relatively minor trauma and may have been quite a while in the past). Occasionally these inflamed areas flare up causing pain. This pain is generally reproduced by pushing on the area, is located over a rib bone (as opposed to the interspace between ribs), and is more towards the middle center of the rib as opposed to the back or near the arms. This, too, is treated with NSAIDS.

3) Precordial catch syndrome. This pain is typically described as a sudden, sharp, stabbing pain that feels as if the diaphragm is "caught" on something when a breath is taken in. It is sporadic and irregular in its timing. After a few seconds, the "catch" gives and the pain resolves. The exact cause is still unknown. It is not dangerous but can be quite painful. This is most common in adolescents but can be seen in other age groups. There is no specific treatment but it tends to resolve itself over time.

If the pain persists I would recommend that you be evaluated by your doctor in order to have a more specific diagnosis made. This way treatment can be recommended based on your exam.

Hope this helps.
 catmac - Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:13 am

thanks doctor

i think that your right that it could be pleurisy the pain is in the centre of my chest and doesnt feel its caught and it does tend to be when i take an deeper breath . i work as a ventilation support worker so i'm often caught by slight sniffles from the children i work with and i had a slight cold a few weeks ago

thanks again i was abit afraid to go to my doc as nomatter what i go with he says its my weight thats to blame . that usually makes me feel worse and i then comfort eat

yours catriona

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