Is this anxiety chest pain or angina..?

Posted , 11 users are following.

So I've  suffered from pretty bad anxiety for a year or so now. It began where I had a bad panic attack on holiday and was certain I was having a heart attack. Had awful palpitations, extremely tight chest etc. 

This was fine after it happened and i didn't have an issue for about 6 months until I started to get a really tight chest daily due to stress. I went to ER and they gave me blood test, ECG check and everything came back fine. 

The tight chest lasted for a week or so until I kinda forgot about it so it went away. 

Well last month I started to suffer from IBS type symptoms which has shot my anxiety off on one again and suddenly I am back to the tight chestedness daily and now I'm getting slight pain usually on the left side of my chest, but sometimes it goes to the middle/right chest on top of my IBS issues. I've been to the doc numerous times about my IBS and said there was no point to do any more heart checks as he was sure it was anxiety. 

What do you guys think? It's just worrying me a lot now as I've never had these pains before this 'episode' of anxiety. I've been put on citalopram to help with the anxiety but so far I'm not noticing any changes. 

1 like, 11 replies


11 Replies

  • Posted

    I forgot to mention I'm 21 years old and of decent health, not overweight it anything if that should affect your answers. 
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    • Posted

      What meds are you on for ibs? I suffer with this to. My stomach hurts all over and I never have a regular bowel movement.. the Citalopram takes a few weeks to get in your system. The chest issue is anxiety I get that as well.
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    • Posted

      On no meds for the IBS. Doc said there wouldn't really be anything that would benefit me much. Just diet and lifestyle changes really. 

      Do you get the pain and tightness then? How often does it affect you? 

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    • Posted

      I am 48 years old For YEARS (I'm talking 12 years at least) I have been having intermittent chest pain. Exacerbated with stress or strenuous activity. I had all kinds of cardio work up. They found nothing. Then I was told it was costiochondritis. Pain medication didn't help. Then I was told I have fibromyalgia. I probably do, but the chest pains are different than the fibro pain. A couple times I ended up in ER with PVCs, but still echo came back okay. EKG was fine.

      Next they thought it was asthma and gave me a rescue inhaler. That didn't help with the chest pain, although it did help me breath better in hot, humid weather.

      I was sent for physical therapy. I'm still not sure the reason behind that one.

      So they finally decided it must be anxiety and panic attacks. I was put on Xanax by the cardiologist and antidepressants and anxiety meds. The Xanax never really helped with anything, but I think by that point I had been written off as crazy and a hypochondriac. And I sort of gave up even asking for help.

      That's my history to lead up to this past month and the purpose of my taking time to post. I've had several episodes of losing consciousness over the last 4 -5 months. They call it transient loss of awareness. My new doctor (we live in a rural area with quick turn over of doctors) performed a brief neurological evaluation which found some abnormalities and she also heard a heart murmur. She asked if anyone had ever told me I had one. I told her yes, but they never made a big deal about it. Along with a neurological workup she ordered an echocardiogram immediately with some kind of contrast where they can tell how much blood is flowing back through. Well, what they found was a 4.6cm aortic aneurism with 2 leaky valves! The aneurism was not there with the echo I had 3 years ago. I then got immediately in with a new, different cardiologist who is taking this seriously for once. He put me on blood pressure meds (always before they had blamed the high BP on being nervous in a dr office even though I am not at all nervous to go to a dr). He also prescribed nitroglycerin tablets to be taken when the chest pain starts. I can take up to 3 five minutes apart. If the pain isnt gone by the third pill I need to immediately call 911!

      Well last night the pain started again (now called angina thanks to new cardiologist) and I took one nitroglycerin under my tongue. Within ONE MINUTE the pain was GONE. Obviously angina has been the problem all along.

      I am so very angry that it took 12+ years, doctors not listening to me, and now an aneurysm has developed. Who knows if that could have been prevented if my blood pressure and angina had been diagnosed much earlier!

      Please don't let them brush this off as anxiety at your young age. You have the opportunity to possibly avoid long term effects of leaving angina untreated. How easy would it be for them to let you try nitroglycerin? If it works, then they know. If it doesn't THEN they can look for other causes like anxiety or panic attacks.

      I'm determined to share my story in hopes of helping others learn. I wish I had known about angina and the easy nitroglycerin fix at the beginning of this ordeal. I wish the doctors would have actually listened to me. I have hope that I can get on a path of some kind of healing, even if it means lifestyle changes. I have 12 children. I want to still be around to enjoy my grandchildren if/when I have some!!!

      If you got this far, thanks for reading! And I hope I have helped someone.

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  • Posted

    hi jack.its all about panic attacks.nothing wrong with your heart.i experienced them before alaways makes u worry oh yea I have some heart problem n sometimes u feel u r gonna a heart attack that moment.but no worries.its ll about managing aniexty.
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  • Posted

    That same question runs in my head this past 4 days... is it heartburn, angina or was just my health anxiety?

    Had my first full blown panic attack 5 months ago, quitted smoking and coffee (cold turkey) the same day, im not taking any medications, since then its hell for me mental and physically, I have all sorts of symptoms that pops up everday, probably the cause of google search.

    Well if all your test was all normal then possibly stress and anxiety makes it worse, unlike me I have all the symptoms of angina...

    discomfort in chest but mine is like crawling numbness from my abdomen up to my lower right or left edges of my breast bone and some tingling pain at the upper left and right of my chest, i was thinking it may also be due to my lungs healing itself from nicotine, maybe.

    discomfort in arm sometimes both.

    tingling or numbness in jaw.

    neck/back pain, but Im already getting this 5 months ago

    stomach discomfort

    all symptoms comes and goes randomly and not all present at the same time.

    so i guess what your having is just anxiety.

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  • Posted

    I too have been through the ringer with what I thought was heart problems. Have had 5 ekg's, treadmill test, echo, one holter monitor (2wks) and an event monitor (1month). All came back okay but my mind still is determined to think it is something other than anxiety. I have come to terms, partially, with this, although I know there's an underlying cause. I too brought up IBS and Gerd with my doctor, but he simply just tried to throw some more drugs at me rather than truly track what may be at the root of my anxiety. After eating I feel bloated through my abdomen and it seems to work upwards into my chest causing some pain. I'm a little hesitant to blame it all on IVE, simply because I don't need to eat a meal to get that daily tightness or pain in chest. Lately I've been feeling a tingling sensation in my back as well, not sure what to make of that. I know Google doesn't help, seeings how any of my symptoms can point right to heart disease of some sort, he'll I even googled my toenails looking pale with a darker edges and it came up with something that can be attributed to cognitive heart failure. I feel for all of you, this has made my life miserable no matter what mask I try to put on for my wife, 3 year old daughter, friends and family. Only relief I've found so far is some breathing and relaxation techniques or to just keep myself insanely busy. Side note.. Am on a low dose of Buspar at the moment and will be starting some cognitive behavioral therapy next week. Has anyone tried acupuncture?
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    • Posted

      Me too. I think ive had every symptom under the sun. This chest stuff is prob the most annoying out of them all. I hate constantly worrying if its my heart or just anxiety. Im trying to do all this without meds but i think ive reached my breaking point.
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  • Posted

    Its amazing to me that this on time, I can agree with everything here. My story might be slightly different. I jad my first anxiety attack after i smoked pot a while back. It was horrible, I mean I knew i was having a heart attack. EKG at the ER saif that my heart looked better than the doctors. His exact words. I was sent home and recommended to see my primary. He presribed me some Busprirone and assured me that is was only anxiety. This was aboit 6 months ago. My glare ups with the chest pains are scary. no matter how much I hear him saying its anxiety, Im thinking this is my chest, to close to my heart. If there is any question, I dont smoke anymore at all but my condition had not changed. Prior to that time I used to smoke all the time and never had that problen so i cant even blame smoking for the onset of the anxiety. The meds make my head heart and I wish i had a more solid answer.

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