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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Chest and arm pain with shortness of breath

 SeraphisCain - Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:34 pm

Hello. I'm a 23 year old male, have MVP, GERD, small Atrial Septal Defect, and TMJ. No surgeries, no family history of heart problems, and am currently taking 10mg Lexapro, 20mg Prilosec, and 10mg Inderal (to help with anxiety) once a day, as well as currently tapering off of Lamictal.

My problem is as follows. For the last several days I've been experiencing intermittent pain in my left shoulder which has now turned into pain in my left arm. Along with this I've been having pain in my chest (usually on my left side) and really bad fatigue. And also shortness of breath as well. All this occurs at rest, as well as seemingly getting worse with exertion (the shortness of breath moreso than the pain). It is becoming quite worrisome. In addition, lately I've had a few episodes where my pulse is so strong I can feel it throughout my entire body, especially when I lay down. In the past three years I've had numerous EKG's, a stress test, an echo, more bloodwork than I can count, and most recently a spirometry test, all which have come back normal. I know I have anxiety issues, but I'm reluctant to chalk this up to that. The shortness of breath in particular worries me, because the spirometry test came back okay, which makes me think that maybe it's heart related and not lung related. The shoulder pain worries me as well, because it's not affected by movement, which I've read means it's referred pain. I know it seems silly to worry so much about all this, since the only real risk factors I have are being male and smoking. Otherwise I'm thin (132 pounds...lost 8 pounds in the last month actually, for no apparent reason), have good cholesterol (102, I believe), have fairly normal blood pressure (116/67, last time I had it checked), and don't have a family history of heart problems.

I guess what I'd like to know is...Is there any chance at all that any/all this could be heart related? I'm awfully worried about something like heart failure (acute moreso than chronic) or things like that. Any sort of suggestion on what could be causing any of these problems would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Oct 20, 2007 12:23 am

User avatar Hi SeraphisCain,

In general, heart problems are uncommon in a man your age. However, uncommon things do happen. Your description is consistent with heart pain so I would advise you to see your doctor to discuss these symptoms. You may need some repeat testing.

I think it is unlikely to be acute heart failure. Your symptoms are more suggestive of the heart not getting enough oxygen, which causes the pain referred to as angina.

There are certainly other possible causes, including reflux; however, with the heart it is best to be safe and have this evaluated.

Best wishes.

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