Chest pain and headache, healthy 21 year old

Posted , 26 users are following.

Hi, I am a 21 year old who is relatively healthy. I don't smoke and drink only occasionally and not to excess. I eat reasonably healthy, but in the last couple of months haven't been to the gym much.

About 6 weeks ago, I started to get some sharp pain in my chest. I was really struggling to breathe and my left arm went numb and tingly. I immediately went to my local doctor who did an ECG then rushed me off to A & E in an ambulance just in case it was a blood clot in my lung. At the hospital they did lots of ECG's on me, blood tests and a chest X-ray. However the doctors said these all came back how they should have and they didn't know what it was. Told me to get some rest and take pain killers. I did but the pain took a few days to go away. I must admit I was rather nervous of it mainly because of not knowing. After a few days it was gone and I have been fine for the last 6 weeks.

On Friday, I started to get the pain in my Cheat again and a really sore neck. Its not a sharp pain, more of a dull ache. Its usually on my left handside however it does move around to my right and my chest feels tight. It is not constant either, it will come and go sometimes worse than others. Bending over sometimes makes it hurt more. I also feel like I constantly need to burp, but burping only offers a few seconds of relief. I sometimes get aches in my arms if moving / lifting them up (ie on the phone). I get an on and off pain in my right temple, more of a pressure than pain but I don't know if thats at all related.

On Saturday it got really bad and I was struggling to breathe. My heart was racing and my blood pressure was high. I phoned 111 and spoke to a few people there, but they said it didn't sound serious enough to go to A & E but to arrange a appointment with my GP ASAP.

Today I have been to my GP who said she wants to rule out asthma. She has also booked me in for another ECG and blood test later this week. I have on and off pain in my chest, and a really achey righty arm.

My first question is, is this likely to be something wrong with my heart like angina etc? If it was would the previous ECG / Blood test / Chest X-ray have picked this up or would A & E only have been looking out for a blood clot which I was sent there for?

Secondly, could this be something like a Virus, as I said the dull ache, more muscular than stabbing. Or could it be something related to Gastroesophageal reflux? I do occasionally get heart burn but nothing that bad.

Finally, I'm not usually an anxious person and really quite laid back about most things to be honest. However this has got my anxious as it could be my heart. I don't have a family history of heart disease either. Could this been anxiety disorder, and if so how would I know / confront this.

I know this probably sounds stupid but it's just rather worrying me and it's not a nice feeling to have. sad I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, thankyou

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24 Replies

  • Posted

    I started with exactly the same symptoms about 2 weeks ago but to add to that I also had headaches and at times my left arm felt numb. I went to see a GP and was told its a chest infection. Completed the treatment but last week Saturday (6 days later) pain in the check started again with a terrible headache so I went back to the GP who then transfered me to a genenal hospital for ECG / Blood test / Chest-Xray and when the results came back they couldn't find anything wrong with me and also suggested I take pain killers.

    I was find for about 2 days but yesterday I woke up with a terrible headache and the chest pain is back so I am going to another GP today because this is not normal and as much as they said last week there was nothing to worry about, it is still scary and the pain is starting to spread to the back side

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    • Posted

      Hi stacey, i am a 20 year old female also feeling these symptoms. I also was told i had a chest infection after an xray and was given treatment.

      The symtoms still persist after the treatment which was given 6/7 weeks ago and i feel as if my doctor is not taking me seriously, my pressure is also now being felt in my upper left back.

      Im not sure how this forum works as google led me to this post.

      Hope you are getting answers as i do understand how you feel.


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  • Posted

    I have the same symptoms about three times a year since I was five, now I am 32. I have had every test, treatment and hypothesis thrown at me until I found the answer at the age of 25. Some clinic doctor gave me a shot of antibiotics in the gluteus/butt cheek, then gave me a prescription for antibiotic pills for a week. A couple hours after the office visit I felt better than ever, ready for full contact sports when that morning I couldn't bend over because the pressure in my chest made it almost impossible to breathe. Oh yeah, take advil to reduce the inflamation caused by the infection. If you have had ekg/ecg/xrays and they found nothing, take antibiotics immediately. 
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  • Posted

    Hi there, 

    I know this is an older thread but I felt the need to reply. 

    I'm  29 now but when I was 19, I started getting really sharp chest pains just as you described. I was having trouble breathing even just going for a walk [and I was a fit girl]. I went to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic, they told me to simply take some tylenol and come back if it gets worse. 

    It did go away for a couple of weeks, but then it started coming and going. Still sharp pains. Then one morning, I fainted. Went to the ER, they said I was probably just dehydrated - and this was even after I explained all the chest pains I had been having. They sent me home. 

    The next morning, the chest pain was so crushing, I couldn't even walk. Went to a different walk-in clinic [because we didn't like the care I had at the ER]. The doctor was just looking at me, asking all the same questions every other doctor had asked me. But then there was one question he asked that made him send me to the ER right away. And this is my question to you - are you taking birth control pills? 

    I ask because, like you, I also was dismissed. I also was given multiple rounds of bloodwork AND chest xrays. They all turned up nothing. It took a CAT Scan to diagnose me. It took a CAT Scan for them to find out that I had exactly what you mentioned - a pulmonary embolism. Or massive, multiple blood clots in both of my lungs. They said had they not discovered the clots when they did, I would have suffered a heart attack or stroke within 2 weeks, if that. 

    And all of this was apparently caused by taking birth control. I stayed in the hospital for a week and was on blood thinning medication for a year. I still have to keep an eye out for symptoms as it could happen again. But I was extremely lucky and I will forever be grateful to that one doctor. 

    This may not be the case for you at all, I'm not trying to scare you. I just felt I could relate and share my story. 

    I hope you are feeling better now and have a diagnosis... but if not, please please if you are able to - request a CAT Scan. Chest xrays don't always show everything. 

    All the best, take care xo.

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  • Posted

    hey, im only 15 years old and ihave had the same experience. last thursday i had two panic attacks in PE and started getting chest pain so they got a first aider and phoned my parents from school. this isnt the first time that this has happened, it was about 7-8 weeks ago i was visiting a member o fmy family at hospital and i just went, everything in my body stopped going to my heart for about 30 seconds then restarted ny itself, when they checked me out and sent me on my way i started getting the same chest pains as i did last thursday, they were very painful as i was crying and normally i dont cry over things. i went to A&E and they done ECG on me and found nothing so sent me home. this time when i was in hospital it was worse, i had to stay in over night and was connected up to a heart monitor. they took my blood (i passed out haha) and doen regular ECG's on me over the two days i was in, the nect morning i went for a chest xray which was clear. when they discharged me because  they didnt no what was wrong with me they have refured me to freemans hospital in newcastle to go see a more profisional doctor than them. i also suffer from migraines an dhave since i was 7 years old. somehow i think that these two things are related, not sure why just a gut insticked. i will let you know how my newcastle appointment goes. 
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    • Posted

      I would very much appreciate if U would let us know what U r told my son has the exact same symptoms and he is 20 yrs old and every time they say they cant find anything wrong, and I'm so worried, thank you. Thelma
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  • Posted

    Hi I feel the same.but I'm afraid to have ecg, blood test and X ray..can you please update me what happened in your case as of the moment? Thankyousmile
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  • Posted

    I'm a 15 year old male, experiencing these same symptoms, what is it?
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