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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: brief but consistant chest pains

 ltunes - Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:16 am


I'm a 31, non-smoker, healthy female that has been experiencing consistant chest pains for 6 months. Back in Oct, I had a chest x-ray, blood work, ECG and stress test with thallium all which came back normal. While most people would be relieved by that, I'm not 100% convinced. I continue to experience chest pains daily. These pains are accompanied with shortness of breath and lightheadedness. These pains are often dull aches mainly on the left portion of my chest however at times they change to sharp pains. The pain often spreads to my left shoulder. These pains generally last only seconds but reoccur throughout the day.

I have gone to the ER in Jan because the pains got really bad but the Dr took one look at me and told me to "stop reading so many medical books". Needless to say, I took great offence to that. As if I wanted to spend 6 hours waiting to be seen if I didn't think my symptoms could be serious. I feel that I'm often overlooked because I don't look like a typical candidate for heart disease. I'm a young female, not overweight so how could I have heart disease. Desite the fact that my risk factors may be low, that doesn't mean that nothing is wrong. We've all heard stories from friends that this could happend to anyone.

Anyways, my main concern is about what can be causing my symptoms. I don't believe there are any other tests that can be performed so I'm stuck with no answers. Anyone's help would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry for the long history but I feel that it's best to get the whole picture.

 Fatherseyes6 - Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:05 am

Hi, I am no doctor, but I am experiencing the same thing. I have done all the same test on the heart as you, and nothing. Yet I still have these very scary pains in my chest. But don't stop there , I am now seeing an intestinal specialist to do invasive tests there , because chest pain could also be from something wrong intestinally, or stomach wise. If you have any signs of stomach or intestinal issues, all the way down to just frequent simple heart burn or reflux. Any sign at all, i would get some test done. Your gallbladder or colon , or something of that nature can cause pain in the chest, or even joint pain in your rib to sternum area. I would try that route before just giving up. My chest pains are on the middle to left side also. I am not giving up on this. I can't something isn't right. You shouldn't either. Don't listen to the guy who said stop reading medical books! Thats terrible!! You know your own body, he does not!! Good luck! Jen
 ltunes - Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:24 am

Thanks for your reply, Jen.

It's so frustrating to be going through this but it's conforting to have people like you who can relate. Sometimes I feel that no one understands what I'm going through and that they think I'm exaggerating because having heart problems at 32 is very rare. To top it off, it's discouraging when doctors don't take my concerns seriously.

Anyways, I'm going to persist and make another app't next week. By the way, when you go back to your doctor to discuss your symptoms do they offer any other suggestions. I too feel the sharp pains when breathing but I notice mine to be more when I exhale. They are very brief pains only lasting a 5 seconds but they happen throughout the day. Are yours similar?

I too have been told anxiety and inflammation of the rib cage but would that last for 7 months? I will definitely ask my doc about the gallbladder and colon as possible causes and see what he says.

Keep me posted.
 Fatherseyes6 - Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:35 am

Yes mine were like that when they started every now and again for 5 seconds, it would stop me on a dime! But then it esculated into an abrupt dull pain that has the periodic sharp ones. It came on like it was going to be that same 5 second pain out of nowhere, and hasn't stopped yet. This is the first time I have had it along time its been 6 weeks now. Usually its only a few seconds and then stops. This one is sticking around, and scaring me to death. It is very hard to function. The doctors offer anxiety, or costo chondritis, things of that nature. I am persistant , and keep going back until they send me to specailist. This time is different because it won't stop. I am 32. my best friend had this same type of issue, and got no diagnosis, and she died in her sleep from a supposed virus in her heart, at age 31. Don't let that scare you, but doctors have to realize if you under 40 and complaining of chest pain they need to take it seriously, and for some reason they don't. I don't get it. But my intestinal doctor seems to think it could be definately from intestinal issues. I am getting an endoscopy, and colonoscopy, and stomach and chest ultra sound. Then I am going back to the cardiologist, and he is giving me another heart ultrasound, and a strees test. All of these are in the next month. You just have to make them. Its better to do these test than not. Giving you a little more piece of mind. each day sems to be getting worse for me. its starting to wake me out of a dead sleep. I beg you to keep pushing, so u don't get to this point . Jen
 Josh2005 - Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:50 pm

Sue! It sure is scary, and I am in exactly the same situation! I want testing done, and things checked out, want to gte an echo cardiogram done, ECG (24 hours) and perhaps more blood testing done... It just gets to me that I am getting these pains, It could well be nothing! and just me worrying... But... the symptoms seem to match that of a heart problem! I mean I guess once I am dead I am dead... But I would like to live longer than 18 years!! I hope age is sort of on my side, although it doesn't feel like it!

I hope all goes well for you, the current doctor I am under is a complete waste of time, Doesn't seem to think that I have anything wrong other than anxiety, and that! They just don't want to know about my problems it seems, only when I am actually well they don't mind treating you it seems. I have concidered deatha lot recently which is pretty depressing.. I really don't want that to happen! But people just don't seem to want to listen to me, and people don't want to test me either... So not sure what I can do... Other than keep on at him and seeing what he does... My parents are trying to get another familly doctor who seems very efficient and knows her stuff. That is what I want. A doctor that actually knows his / her stuff and actually wants to make you feel better, rather than putting it down to something in your head, test to see if it isn't something else FIRST! It makes sence to check for things that are physically wrong rather than mentally wrong, although saves resources to say "it is all in you're head" Still I just hope it is nothing serious, really I do, for you and anyone else, and mytself also! I would really like to get to the bottom of things, I know something isn't right, otherwise I would not be worrying what so ever... Tomorrow (if I am still about) I will make an opiontment to see the doctor locally and tell him what I have been getting, the pains and sensations, See if he can arrange me a 24 hour ECG atleast and then perhaps an echo cardiogram, and perhaps some other tests and refer me to a specialist at some point just to get things checked out further, would be nice to be told by people who know what they are actually doing that things seem to be ok... which is what ECGs before not 24 hour ones, and blood tests show, think my Cholestoral was something like 4.1 and blood sugar about 4.7 I think So not too high or low... on either.. Still doesn't mean that I am imune at all... could be a number of things going on! which is what worries me. I know worry is not the answer... But the entire thing does scare me really, and sometimes I just feel like I want to dissapear painlessley sometimes just to avoid anything else... But at the same time I want to keep at things and see what happens, but what could appen just does my head in.
 ltunes - Thu Feb 17, 2005 2:55 pm


Well I'm glad to hear that you are persisting and getting some tests done for peace of mind. Hopefully, you'll find the answers you're looking for but mostly I hope your pains disappear. Ultimately, that's what we all want.

I too will make another app't with my doctor to insist on further testing. It's stories like your best friend that scare the heck out of me and that's why I can't rest until I get some answers. By the way, was your friend experiencing the same symptoms and did she every get any testing? I'm curious if she was told that she had anxiet and no heart related problems and now look.

Keep me posted as I'd like to know how you're making out.
 ltunes - Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:02 pm


I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing chest pains but I do agree that you should get some tests done. If not for anything, it might help you relax. I know firsthand what it's like for people to think you're imagining these pains but don't let them get to you. I do believe that they are real because I live with them everyday. So with that in mind, put some pressure on your doctor to run some tests or find a doctor who will listen to you. It's your body and you need to do what you feel is right for your body. Good luck.
 Fatherseyes6 - Fri Feb 18, 2005 7:33 am

ITunes this is Jen again ...Listen if you want to talk at all, or you find anyhting out. Don't hesitate to email me . Keep me posted on how you are doing, and if you have a hard day or axious day don't hesitate then either ...heres my email address... I'll be here if you need to talk. Its nice to know someone who gets it and understands. Until then take care. Jen
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Fri Feb 18, 2005 11:59 am

User avatar Dear Laura,

Please, review the reply to your other post for further details.

Chest pain has so many causes and it is sometimes difficult to find out a reason.

From your description (shortness of breath and lightheadedness), these episodes can be related to anxiety or panic attacks. Personally, i don't like to say that any symptom is caused by panic or such psychiatric reasons before making sure that there is no organic cause behind the symptoms.

i have a bias (especially that you mentioned left shoudler pain), if a patient complains of chest pain that turns out to be not due to coronary disease, i always suspect neck problems. So, i would recommend having a neck x-ray/ct scan of the neck to rule out neck spine problems.

Mitral valve prolapse is another reason, but your echocardiogram was negative as well.

If when you have this chest pain press on your chest where the pain is and you find that you have tenderness, this is most probably a chest wall problem, muscle problem, rib problem, cartilage problem and the like.

The chest pain that you are describing is not consistent with the pain typical of reflux disease but it can still be a possibility. Sometimes, treatment can be a diagnostic tool, if a patient has a symptom and the doctor has a suspicion but not 100% sure, the doctor can give the patient the treatment of this condition and if the symptoms go away then the doctor was right about the suspicion and the treatment was used to diagnose the disease, so i would suggest that your try over the counter anti-acids if you have not tried them yet and see whether or not they make a difference.

Jen is correct about her suggestion, i would recommend that you talk to your doctor about such possibilities.

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

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 Bob98008 - Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:25 pm

I'm 58, in good health generally, take no prescription drugs, and am fairly active. Lately, I'm experiencing a burning sensation in the left side of my chest, near the armpit. It's not painful, and lasts only a second or two, but it's happening several times a day. Pressing on the affected are doesn't reveal any tenderness or soreness. I don't notice any other symptoms. Is this something I should worry about? Should I be on the lookout for any other symptoms? It doen't matter whether I'm active or not.
 julirael - Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:55 pm

:( Since this morning am having :o short duration pain under my right Breast,I am a 51 Yrs old Male.I am taking care of my 79yrs OLD father here in my apt.Thou his temper is strong and Unstable character,Is this a Pulmonary Clot syptoms?I have been having Heart "Kicks" due to my stress in taking care of my Wheelchair ridden father.Please I need your medical advice ad recommendations,

Pain feels like coming fom the right lung,but I Breath ok?I am asthma sufferer only in certain conditions of the ambient and apt carpet,dust etc.

Many thanks Doc!


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