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16 yr old having chest pains and heart attack symtoms

I am 16yrs old and for about 6 months I have had chest pain with other heart attack symtomes including sore left arm, and shortness of breath. I comes and goes and even went away for about a month. I seems to happen more when I am stresses. Im having finals week right now and my symtomes are way worse. I feel short of breath and randomly have shap pain in chest on either side (never in the middle, mostly left side). I also once had a sore jaw that went away in a minnute. Last night I was falling asleep when I felt like somthing was squeeezing my heart. It went away in less then 5 secounds but i was having trouble breathing afterward. I was wondering if im having heart issues or anxiety

20 Replies

  • ally36798

    Hi ally,

    Personally I'd say your pain is anxiety related based on your description.

    That said you could be prone to prinzmental angina as that occurs in the young - it's easily managed so don't worry.

    Go get yourself checked out to be sure but go in the knowledge that your arteries are most probably clean and your hear this healthy!

    • ally36798

      Whoops should have said YOUR heart is Helstht .You'll be fine smile be sure you mention everything to the docs and the circumstances when it occurs (e.g. At rest or physical exercise)

      Keep us posted and good luck with the studies in the meantime!

    • samuels

      Hehe well yes of course... but let's not forget that factors such as age and how people respond are different... for example I'm absolutely fine on the lowest dose of diltizem there is (other than recovering from the NSTEMI/subencardoial infraction that happened 6 weeks ago which led to the diagnosis of PMA). You sir, are a tricky cookie obviously smile

      How are you feeling these days by the way mate? I'm agrophobia has completely disappeared as has my chest pain (other then minor pain when I first wake up at the sound of a rather annoying and loud alarm when my partner goes to work... I'm still signed off until the 2nd of January which will make it 2months).

      At the moment azidem-sr 90mg is what I'm on and the clopidogrel.. which I think is crap by the way..but I guess for the next year it's a case of better safe than sorry. For some obscure reason my cholesterol has gone up from 4.6 to 6.5 since my discharge which is rather odd as my diet is good if not great... probably lack of exercise but I've been prescribed some fluvostatin 20mg to bring it down.

      The reason I mention that is because I can't remember if that's one you're on at the moment? My cardiologist said it had helped other patients in reducing their pain in the case of PMA? Maybe one to add to the list if you're not already on it?

    • nima08421

      So I have been told smile about being a tricky cookie, I am worse when medication is lowered, I am on a reasonably large dose of Cardizem (Diltiazem) the cardiologist and I was only talking about this the other day, I'm on the best medication for the condition , however we both agree that I have become immune to them all so there was "apparently " no reason to adjust meds because of my frequency of prinzmetal angina.

      I have had a bad year this year, I ended up with a replacement doctor from my regular GP as he was obviously offered a better position elsewhere, so he jumped ship, This new GP took me off everything addicitve and that included my Kalma (Alprazolam ) for the panic / anxiety issues when it rears it's ugly head, it actually aids in agoraphobia as well, well to cut a long story short, she called me a drug seeker, a liar and I'm a burdon on the health system, because she took me off the alprazolam I was back to square one of what happened  26 years ago, full blown panic attacks and stuck inside. All sorted now though have new GP and all medications reactivated, can now get out of the house and travel again, although not by myself.

      With regards to statins, I can't tolerate any of them, have tried them all, even on the lowest dosages possible I still get the severe muscle pain and find it hard to walk, another thing we had discussed the other day, my cardiologist and I, he informed me that the new medication that we had been waiting for had finally been made available and he said he really thinks this will stop all my chest pain/ spasms, it's the new injecatable cholesterol medication.....PCS K9 and is on our PBS but there is a criteria and when he went through it all apparently I didnt meet the criteria, he says he is going to try and see if they will allow me to get it on the PBS on compassionate grounds. my other cardiologist that has left  the public health system , he was telling me that I have the weirdest lipids profile he had ever seen, so surely on that basis I'm eligible. All I can say to their criteria is, they must prefer to pay the bigger bill of me getting carted off to emergency in an ambulance, then the emergency departments cost, I would put that cost alone between $800 - $ 1000 a pop and that's once a week sometimes up to 3 times a week, depending on the circumstances, as I'm sure you know cold weather and extreme stress can trigger PMA and all of that has happened this year, now If they allowed me this new medication I am under the impression it would cost me around $7.20 once a fortnight or month, I can't rightly remember now how often this new medication is taken, definately not an every day medication. Cardiologists have been telling me for the last 2 years this new medication should stop my artery spasmin due to my famimalhypercholestrolemia/ lipidememia.

  • ally36798

    I woudl not jump to the anxiety theory so quickly. I Started haveing heart issues at 14 my freshman year in high school. I had many of your symptoms plus lips & hands would turn blue. Diagnosed with heart murmur back then. and then later diagnosed  with Coronary Artery Spams which is heriditory. I would never ever tell anyone to just assume it is a benign condition without medical check. If I had not goen to cardioloist both time I would not be here.

    • cher42845

      Hi cher,

      Whilst what you say is absolutely correct, never ever always assume anything is a panic attack, however, not everyone gets blue lips or hands with heart murmors, my partner has never experienced any of this with her heart murmors, I haven't experienced blue lips or hands with my prinzmetal angina and I do believe it is not a common symptom in PM angina,

      What the person has described fits perfectly with their current situation, it's a normal bodily function / reaction for anyone under pressures from work, school and exams, the blue lips and extremities you mention indeed happen more so in a panic attack unless you have a blood / oxygen flow problem.

      However ally do go see your doctor and get referred to a cardiologist, don't let your GP or any other doctor fob it off as anxiety until you have spoken to a cardiologist, they will run some basic tests and go through each of your symptoms with you. the cardiologist knows more about hearts than your GP so when he / she has finished their investigations they can easily identify the problem and hopefully with you it was only just anxiety , best of luck, let us know how you got on

    • samuels

      Couldn't agree more - no point worrying or jumping to the worse conclusion possible... especially not at the age of 16. Chances are it's all good by better to be safe than sorry..

  • ally36798

    It sounds like you could be having heart problems your age doesn't matter but in your case it's very unusual it could be anxiety I would definitely get it checked a lot of times doctors won't believe you because of your age I try to get someone to believe you

  • So I did go to the doctor and I got my blood tested and everything came back normal so the doctor is convinced it is anxiety. Would a blood test show if I was having heart issues?

    • ally36798

      Hi Ally, good that you went to the doctors - you say you had a blood test... what did they test for and have the had the results yet?

      Whilst certain markers are present in your blood these are related to more serious heart issues and are short lived in your blood.. If you're all clear on those I'd say it's a good start. It means you haven't recently (last 1-2 weeks) had a heart attack. Which is quite frankly SO improbable with your age.

      That said, no. A blood test is in no way a holistic means of checking your heart health. That can involve many other tests (MRI, angiogram. CT scan, Echo scans etc) depending on what your doctor feel feels could be up with you. From what you say, they feel your symptoms are in line with what you thought yourself - anxiety. If you don't get any worse, I'd say see how you feel once your stress is lowered/exams are over....

      Of course, better to be safe than sorry so if you're still back symptoms... go back to the doctors.

      Good luck

  • ally36798

    I'm 16 and I have the exact same symptoms! I have trouble breathing and tightness in my chest,  to add on to it heart issues run in my family, so it's a scary and big concern to me.. I can't even take a 20-30 minute walk up the road without having shortness of breath, tightness in my chest and heart pain. It's seems I get exhausted easily and have a lot of stress. 2 days ago there was a severe pain in my heart and it took a few minutes to go away, I've had that pain a few times but, 2 days ago was the latest it has happened... it kinda freaks me out cuz I just don't feel right at all. This only started happening this year, I keep getting weaker an weaker and I fear it's getting worse. I'm tempted to go to the doctor😩 I know that your post was a few months ago but if you have any update on your symptoms, or if anyone can assist me here, it would be greatly appreciated! 


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