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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: continuos stitching pain across heart

 female 1 - Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:48 am

I get a stitching and fluttering pain in my heart (like after running when you're unfit) I don't drink or smoke, I am overweight, have low GOOD cholesterol, am very sedentiary at this time, I wake up often during the night and get up early because I cant sleep. I do have some stress as well.
The pain is ongoing, woke up with it this morning and it's fluttering constantly now for the past 3 hours. I don't get it every day - all day but most days and often during the day.

I've had this a few years back - went to cardiologist did an ekg found it normal - but said it could be overtiredness?
It does not increas with deep breaths. It does not increase with twisting upper body. It's just a constant fluttering stitchin pain. No left arm, face or jaw numbness, no nausea.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:33 am

User avatar Hi,
Any type of pain in/around the sternal area naturally evokes suspicion of being cardiac in origin.

'Typical' symptoms of angina pectoris or myocardial infarction (Heart attack) are not easy to miss.

Basically a heart attack may present in two ways:
- with pain, or
- as a painless(silent) episode(common in diabetics, due to autonomic neuropathy).

Symptoms of Heart attacks have been noted to
- vary from person to person, and
- from heart attack to heart attack even in the same individual.

Thus, one may also classify heart attacks as those
- presenting with typical pain &
- those presenting with atypical pain.

These atypical presentations are more common in people >65 years of age, diabetics, and women.
Women tend to experience "atypical' symptoms (such as pain in between the shoulder blades) more often.The danger is that this may result in delays in seeking medical attention.

Of course, there are many conditions to be considered in the differential diagnosis, such as
- Gastrointestinal Disorders(reflux,peptic ulcers etc),
- Pericarditis,
- Benign chest wall pain,
- respiratory pathology(pleurisy,bronchitis,asthma,pneumonia),
- psychiatric conditions (panic disorder).
Around 40% of patients with panic disorders experience chest pain.

In your instance, although your EKG was normal an year ago, ideally, you should consult your cardiologist once again as a cardiac cause for your symptoms must be excluded once again - especially as you have some of the risk factors, a family history & being a female,the risk of atypical episodes is unfortunately higher.
Best wishes!

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