Chest Pain? Anxiety?

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Hi all, 

I'm a 21 year old female and I'm as healthy as a stressed out university student can be. I did struggle with Anorexia in the past but sometimes I am guilty of under-eating when my stress and anxiety gets out of control. I am underweight by about 10 pounds (due to stress of school which is recent). For the most part, I would consider myself healthy!

Approximately 5 weeks ago, I began to feel slight pressure on the left hand side of my chest but not pain in anyway! My "pressure" will last sometimes a full day to a couple hours and then I'll be fine for a few days to a week with no symptoms. It has been an off and on. I definitely notice it more when I'm more anxious and i'm always thinking about it. Once it turned into a throbbing sensation and sometimes the pain does move to the right side. I do have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) so the chances are likely that this could all be in my head. I went to a walk in GP, my blood pressure was a little high, my blood work was normal besides the fact that I had an infection in my blood stream (which made sense to the doc because I got the flu 3 days later) and my ECG was normal because I haven't heard otherwise. This is really the only symptom i'm getting! 

The doctor did express concern with my heart rate beating too quickly, but I do get super stressed out before doctors appointments. This was something I also told the doc, that my ECG is probably inaccurate because of my "doctor phobia", so they suggested going back and redoing my ECG and said I do not need a follow up appointment, but will call if seeing a specialist is necessary. They did not further investigate with another round of blood work, chest x ray, etc. I don't know if the doctor is concerned, or if she's just being pro-cautious! I'm hoping this is just my anxiety getting the best of me, but by how willing she was to give me a referral to a specialist has freaked me out. I feel like i'm too young to have a heart issue...

Any advice/opinions would be beyond appreciated! 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    I've been going through pretty much the same thing, roughly the same life situation the same as you (i.e. age, student etc.). Mine tend to last a little longer, sometimes even up to a week. I've had multiple ekg, stress ekg, xray, blood test, all came back negative. Doc doesnt know what it is but does not think it is serious. It seems to me as though quite a few of us are going through this sad

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    • Posted

      thanks for reaching out! You're right about a lot of people going through this. I'm struggling to know what exactly is causing it and the longer it persists the more I worry. How long has this been happening to you? Does it ever mock heart attack symptoms for you? Keep me updated! smile 

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    • Posted

      I've been having it for a month and a half, on and off. Similar to yours, its on the left, but I have occasionally felt it on the right (but its rare). When it happens it feels like a pressure, with sometimes kinda sharp pain for like a second or two. Id say its on the far left of the chest, i.e. not near the sternum of the chest. And it goes on for daaayyyyys. During which I feel like im going to have a heart attack constantly. I usually get to the point where im just sick of it and i go to doc or emergency, and they do a test and find nothing and it goes away like a day or two later. I dont even know what causes it. I do a lot of cardio, usually 6 times a week. And it never shows up during cardio, in fact sometimes its better (perhaps because im not thinking about it?). More often than not its just showed up out of no where (one time iwas just making a sandwich rolleyes ). Does this sound anything like your situation?

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    • Posted

      hearing your struggle is relieving because it sounds almost like it's the same thing. I've contemplated going to emerge a couple times, but I really don't have the time to waste a day there. I noticed this whole thing started happening (for me) near the end of August. Sometimes I feel like i'm short of breath but I'm confident that's my anxiety playing with my mind. I try not to be too active (just due to recent weight loss) but I did go on a run the other day, and it was completely fine. I found that comforting because excretion is one of the main signs of a potential heart issue. I noticed sometimes a stabbing sensation in my ribs too that lasts 3 seconds (this just started the other day). Completely weird how I'll be fine during doc's appointments but the second I go home it happens again. The doc did tell me to go back if it persists right away, but i don't feel like i should rush back to the clinic yet when I'm supposed to do my second ECG. I feel like it makes more sense to wait and see if I get a phone call? 

      If I do keep losing weight from anxiety I probably will go back though, just because this doesn't seem healthy. Because your so active, It sounds like you (hopefully) just have a muscular issue, I know chest muscles are very hard to heal and take a long time. It is concerning that it is out of the blue especially when you're relaxing. I'm thinking I would like to go back and ask for an x ray, just to be sure! Probably doesn't help that we consistently think about it too. :$  

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    • Posted

      How you described it is essentially 100% whats happening for me. Its always comforting knowing you're not the only one hahah. Thinking about it is definitely making things worse. I'd say do whatever you need to to make yourself certain it is not something bad, I think that's what helped me relax. For me it was just like getting re-assured from the doctor that made it go away. Let us know if anything changes smile

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  • Posted

    Welcome to my world lol it started off the same for me had chronic chest pain on the left side of sternum couldn't breathe without feeling I was being stabbed lol this then to me thinking I had internal problems or heart issues, and that then Led to anxiety and panic attacks, so I had the same as you ECGs blood tests and numerous A and E trips but they all came back fine, and believe me if the doctor doesn't get back to you regarding someone there is a very very very high chance that your results are fine so I wouldn't overthink that, any questions don't hesitate to ask

    Cheers

    Ranger

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