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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: How far should I pursue diagnosis for my chest pains?

 jennifertakala - Mon Nov 12, 2007 2:14 pm

I am a 26 year old female, 5'6", 250 lbs. My blood pressure is normal (120/80,) but cholesterol is high (genetic.) After having several blood tests (CBC, Comprehensive Metabolic Panel, Thyroid,) everything looks normal. There is no heart disease or any other health problems in my family. I have never had any health problems in my life until this point.

At the beginning of September, I began having chest pains on the left side of my chest, right above my left breast and a bit towards the middle. They weren't horrible pains, but since it was a pain in my chest, it worried me. They seem to occur randomly, not after eating or when working out. I went to the doctor who ran an EKG, ordered bloodwork, and said it didn't appear to be my heart. Two days later, I felt like my left arm was going numb, which triggered a panic attack, and I went to the ER. They did more bloodwork, urine sample, chest X-rays, and another EKG. They also said my heart looked just fine.

The chest pains went away for about a month or so, but came back later. Around the same time, I began worrying alot about my husband's safety (for no apparent reason,) and the chest pains began to come back. They told me I had anxiety, put me on cymbalta, and sent me on my way.

The cymbalta side effects were horrible, so I got off after a week. The anxiety went away for the week I was on the meds and the week after I got off. During this time, I was still having intermittent chest pains, but they didn't seem to have any rhyme or reason.

After a week off of the cymbalta, the anxiety came back with a vengeance, this time worrying about my own health. (Due in large part to the chest pains.) Around this time, the doctor ordered a 24 hour holter monitor for my peace of mind, and those results all came back normal as well. She said if the pain kept happening to go see a cardiologist. I also had an Upper GI/Barium swallow, which showed mild reflux, but nothing else.

My doctor put me on Buspar, which I have been on for two weeks now. It has definitely helped with the anxiety. Occasionally I still have a chest pain, but not as often as I was. I am still worried, though, that there could be something with my heart that they aren't catching. Do I need to see a cardiologist or are the tests that have already been administered enough to reassure me that my heart is okay?
I still have occasional numbness/tingling in my left arm and hand (very mild,) and on a couple of occasions I have felt very mild tingling/numbness on the left side of my face, as well. Could this all be related?

In addition to the BuSpar, I take Loestrin Fe as well as vitamins, fish oil, folic acid, and iron.

Thank you so much for your help.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:12 pm

User avatar Hello,
I'm sorry you are having these symptoms. Don't underestimate the strength and reality of psychological problems that cause physical complaints. This is real and hopefully the medication and therapy will help you to resolve the issue if it is of this nature. But, the reason I'm sure the doctor suggested a cardiologist is because you are having symptoms and nothing has shown up in the usual battery of tests. She wants to be sure if there is something there that you are in good hands for that diagnosis.

I believe it sounds very likely that your heart is fine, but only you can determine if you need this type of specialist. If you are still feeling uncomfortable and ill-at-ease, the consultation might be worth it for you to get peace of mind. But if that doctor agrees your heart is fine, you will need to pursue other avenues for dealing with it so stay with your psychiatrist on this.

Good luck.

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