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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Chest pain

 cmaldonado01 - Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:17 pm

About 9 months ago I began having a pain in the center of my chest. It felt more like a sore muscle than anything else that I can describe. The pain was not constant and only happened once in a while. At first I thought that maybe I had bruised something internally while playing around with my children, but then after weeks it still continued. Over the last month or so it has worsened. The pain spreads to the right side of my chest and is more of a heavy pressure type feeling and a few times has caused a numbing sensation in my chest. Over the last two days it has gotten more intense. The left side of my chest has been hurting. The pain is sharp at times but more of a heavy feeling. The discomfort does not come with any other symptoms. There is not a specific time that it happens such as exercise or rest. My father died of a heart attack at 40 and my mother had her first heart attack in her 30's. My doctor did an EKG, echocardiogram (think that is what they call it) a year and a half ago and found nothing that he mentioned to me. Although, I am not sure why he did them. Sounds silly, huh? I was not experiencing any discomfort or anything to make him do the test. He could have done them because of my family history. I just find it odd that it could be my heart because I am so young and I have no other symptoms. I have hesitated going to the doctors because I lost my insurance when my husband passed away in August and I am sure that this sort of thing would run up a pretty big bill. Are there any simple inexpensive test (as in a few hundred dollars) that can be done to determine the problem?
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Mon Feb 21, 2005 7:53 pm

User avatar Dear Carol,

Females of the child bearing age are usually protected against coronary disease. You have a major risk factor for coronary disease which is strong positive family history for coronary disease. Your chest pain though sounds atypical as compared to the pain of coronary disease.

It is sometimes difficult to determine the probability of a patient having coronary disease and whether or not the chest pain that he/she has is due to it. In your case, i think because of the strong positive family history and eventhough your chest pain is atypical, i would recommend you having an exercise stress test (preferably with a nuclear scan).

If you don't have medical insurance, if you live in a medium sized town, most probably you will find free clinics around that will be able to help you.

Chest pain can be caused by other diseases besides coronary disease, your chest pain can be caused by neck spine problems, reflux disease (eventhough it sounds odd but reflux can present with chest pain) and others such as inflammation of the cartilages of the ribs and may be problems such as gall bladder disease.

So, you might want to try over the counter medications such as advil and the like and see whether they will help (always take them after you eat) and may be an anti-acid to see if it helps. If any of these medications help, then most probably the chest pain is not due to coronary disease.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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