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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Sharp Chest Pain, Followed by Sharp Headache

 brain2020 - Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:32 pm

I'm a 29 year old male. I have had (for about 5 years) periodic episodes of very sharp chest pains (typically lasting several minutes) always immediately followed by very sharp headaches on the frontal lobe. Typically, when the episodes happen they will come several times within one day. They may then repeat within a several day period and then cease. These episodes may appear every several months. During the episodes I have not been able to take any action that will relieve either the chest pain or headaches (this includes laying down, standing-up, deep-slow breathing, hands over my head, avoiding lit areas). These episodes always occur while sitting down on the couch or at the desk, and never follow or are during physical activity of any intensity.

I have no known chronic illnesses though have had asthmatic conditions as a child. My family, particularly males have a history of heart disease with only one male family member surviving past 50 and the remainder (12) all passing from either a single cardiac arrest or after chronic cardiac diseases.

I am concerned that while I am healthy that these episodic happenings might have some physiological bearing.
 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:11 pm

User avatar Hello -

While I would normally consider your symptoms probably of no particular concern, given your remarkable family history of heart disease and sudden cardiac death (SCD) I am a little bit concerned that your chest and head pains may, while probably not directly related to your heart, be suggestive of some cranial nerve disorder which may be related to the family history, and recommend that you have a thorough cardiac workup ASAP. While your symptoms are more suggestive of something that would more likely affect one of your eyes than your heart, the fact that it happens at all, given the glaring family history, makes it worthwhile to have this looked into to rule out any possible problems which might affect your heart eventually.

I would make this suggestion to anyone with a similar family history, but especially since you are having this unusual symptom. Please keep us updated. Best of luck to you.
 Shaso - Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:50 pm

I'm 36 yrs old female and I been having for the last 48 hours a chest pain numbnes in my left arm and hand and shortnes of breath, I would like to know if it would be heart related or what other cause would give me this syntoms
 John Kenyon, CNA - Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:06 pm

User avatar Hello Shaso -

While it is unlikely you're experiencing heart problems, it is not impossible, even at your pretty young age. I don't know what your family history is like in this regard, but even so, you are describing enough classic symptoms which could be heart-related that the very best strategy is to be seen urgently to have that ruled out. I wouldn't wait any longer and, in fact, symptoms such as you describe, in general, should be investigated much sooner. However, now is as good a time as any.

As I said before, heart-related illness is unlikely, statistically at least, but going by symptoms alone, what you describe warrants a prompt look by either your doctor (if that's feasible) or, preferably, at an ER or urgent care facility.

Please follow up with us here and keep us updated. Hopefully it is something innocent that will go away on its own, but without further information, that's not a risk I'd be willing to take. Best of luck to you.

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