Medical Specialty >> Cardiology

Doctors Lounge - Cardiology Answers

Back to Cardiology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: 21 yr old, abnormal EKG, chest pressure

 berwoods - Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:38 pm

I read the forums and did not find anything like mine...
Im a 21 year old female and have been having some very strange chest pressure lately. A few days after me 21st birthday, I started to notice a tightness in my chest. Its not really painful, just an extremely scary feeling and an inability to catch my breath. I thought this was very unusual so I went to my doctor who said it was probably just my hypoglycemia, but did an EKG and bloodwork anyway.
Bloodwork was fine but my EKG came back abnormal, so I went for a stress test. The day of the stress test I felt fine and my stress test came back normal. Later that night, however, I had the same chest tightness. I have been having these onset of symptoms very heavily in the morning and sometimes before bed, but I feel them lightly all day. In the morning I wake up feeling nauseous and within an hour I feel like I am struggling for air. I get dizzy and lightheaded. The symptoms get worst as time goes on and last for about 30min to an hour and then begin to fade, although they never really go completely away. They have been getting has progressively getting worst, despite the fact that I have been on a hypoglycemic diet and eating 5 times a day.
I am just desperate for answers. I cant get into my dr. office for another week and I am struggling just to make it day by day. Ive done my own research and I don't feel like its a panic attack (even though my mother gets them) because it doesnt feel like a "world is ending" situation, just an onset of chest pressure. Im half tempted to head to the ER during the next "episode" just to see if they can catch it in the moment. Are there other tests that can be run? Is there a drug that fixes this sort of thing? I just cant function in my daily life like this.
 Dr. A. Madia - Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:03 am

User avatar Hi,

First of all one must know that there are several reasons to get 'tightness in the chest'.

One is of course heart disease and the classic symptom called angina is described as tightness beneth the breast bone. This generally comes on after some exertion and subsides on rest. However it CAN come on without any activity too if it is an unstable Angina. Angina is the result of narrowings in the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle. These narrowings result from deposition of fat and calcium on the inner lining of the vessel wall, a process called Atherosclerosis. However it is a fact that young females upto their menopause are generally spared from Atherosclerosis as their Estrogen hormone seems to give them some protection. Thus Angina in a young female like you is possible but not very probable.

Another cause of tightness in chest is Bronchitis or Bronchial Asthma. Here the Bronchi or wind pipes of the lungs go into a spasm either because of some allergy or some infection. This could also be associated with a wheeze.

Acidity, dyspepsia or Acid reflux from the stomach is also a reason for tightness in chest. Here the valve between the food pipe and the stomach is somewhat lax and acid which is normally there in the stomach regurgitates up in the food pipe, leading to a spasm of it and a feeling of tightness.

Your abnormal EKG I cannot comment upon without seeing but many of EKG changes in young females are known to be 'non specific' or inconsequential.

In my opinion you must see your doctor and get thoroughly checked for these different causes of your problem.

Take care,

 kiraheward - Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:38 pm

This case sounds a bit like my situation. I have had chest pressure and at times some aching and pinching feelings. It all came on last Wed at my volleyball game. By the end of the game my chest was hurting, i was overheating, and i could not breathe. I felt like i couldn't take a deep enough breath. My heartrate was around 175 it took me hours to calm down and ever since then my chest has been very uncomfortable. Would you suggest looking into the same things as 21 yr old?

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us