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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Cardiology Symptoms

Question: Pain in chest and left arm, from anxiety?

 danlaw80 - Wed Feb 09, 2005 8:48 pm

I'm 24 and I have both generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I have pain in my chest and my left arm, and sometimes a slight tingling in my left arm. I also get short of breath once in a while. Sometimes it's brought on by stressful situations, sometimes unexpectedly. It usually doesn't occur when I'm exercising. I saw an internist who gave me a physical but no EKG or stress test. He told me I have no cardiac problems and that this was all caused by anxiety. Can stress really cause this? The symptoms are more chronic than acute, and have been happening for months now. I'm wondering if I should see a cardiologist. Thanks.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Tue Mar 01, 2005 10:14 pm

User avatar Dear Dan,

You don't have any major risk factors for coronary disease and the pain is not typical of coronary disease. So, the probability that this pain is due to coronary disease is very low.

Chest pain can be caused by panic attacks. Personally, i don't like to pin everything on panic attacks except after making sure that there is not an actual physical cause for it.

At this point, you might want to have an echocardiogram done (if not already) to rule out mitral valve prolapse, a condition that needs to be watched and is notorious for causing atypical chest pain in the otherwise healthy young patients.

Also, i recommend having a neck x-ray to make sure that you are suffering from a neck spine problem.

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

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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