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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Tight/Heavy feeling inn chest and left arm,lightheadedness..

 hippiewitch - Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:28 am


I'm a 28 year old female. I'm not overweight and I don't smoke. However,I don't exercise as I know I should. Tonight,I felt a tight and/or heavy like feeling in my chest and left arm and lightheadedness. Especially when I was walking into another room. I am sleep deprived right now,so the lightheadedness could possibly be from that. I don't know,but it felt different. I have felt lightheaded a lot before. I have also had uncomfortable feelings in my chest and left arm before. Also,tonite I will add that after this I started feeling like I had to use the bathroom. Not like I had to pee. I have wondered before if I have acid reflux. My stomache issues have gotten better,though. I haven't been examined for reflux but my doctor thought my symptoms sounded like reflux. Some symptoms I have had in the past that is. I have anxiety,too. And I was upset tonite. I also had an ekg last year and it was ok. Any thoughts on what my symptoms tonite could possibly be? Thanks.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:03 pm

User avatar Hi Michelle,

Your symptoms are vague enough that they warrant a more in-depth workup, though not necessarily urgently. I suspect you are feeling these sensations because of a combination of benign physical problems and perhaps some chronic anxiety. The fact that you've been anxious and also sleep deprived could very well account for all of it, but since you describe chest tightness specifically, and also lightheadedness. it would probably be appropriate (and put your mind at ease) to have at least a resting 12-lead EKG and perhaps an exercise stress test as well. It sounds as though you are in generally healthy condition, but the frequent lightheadedness and other symptoms are difficult to quantify without first ruling out some structural heart disease first. That done, it should be a lot easier for you to relax, since anything else would probably be very insignificant by comparison.

I don't really suspect you have heart disease, but a cardiological workup is a handy thing to have anyway, and the symptoms may warrant it. Your doctor could feel this is overdoing it, and if so, then trust your doctor. However, many would be willing to go this route just to be sure, and in the course of such a workup the actual culprit may show itself, which most likely would be either GERD, a hiatal hernia, or just plain anxiety (the most difficult of the three to treat, but at least a load off the mind).

Hope this finds you feeling better. Please do stay in touch.
 Jtrichie - Tue Sep 02, 2008 8:27 pm

Ok my husband is having the same problem only it feels like someone is punching him in the chest and everytime he moves his left arm the pain gets worse. He has also been coughing up blood for the past month. and he does smoke and drink alot of regular coffee and he just informed me that he has shortness of breath. what do I do I am scared?
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:19 am

User avatar Hello -

With the information about your husband the picture may have changed somewhat. Coughing up blood is never a good thing, and makes his problem more urgent. Aside from being a smoker (which could bear some relationship to his symptoms, it is hard to tell), you both seem to share some of the same symptoms, which could suggest a local environmental problem (mold? exposure to the same microorganism elsewhere?). At any rate, your husband does need to be seen urgently for evaluation of his symptoms, and perhaps the doctor he sees can find a link between the two of you and what's happening. Neither sounds much like heart problems, but again, it is only a guess at a distance. There can be no question there is something going on, and in your husband's case it is either different or advanced beyond the point you're experiencing it. He should be seen by a doctor ASAP, and you should be with him and included in any discussion when this happens.

Please keep us advised of what you learn.

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