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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: young adult with chest pain


 clash187 - Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:35 pm

Gender: male
Age: 20
Weight: 245
Height: 5'11
Condition: sharp chest pains on left side
Smokes: no
Drinks: no
Drugs: marijuana

General symptoms:
-Sharp stabbing pain in left side of chest but closer to the center of my chest
-sometimes pain in arms and shoulder
-occasional neck pain
-nervousness/anxeity


This all started about 5 months ago, I was sitting with friends at my home and suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my chest, I had just had a big meal and I thought that was it but the pains continued, I had everyone leave except my girlfriend, the pains increased over that night, I went to the ER around 1am. They ran blood test and ekgs and everything came back normal. I wasn’t having a heart attack, but they kept me there for 2 days and the pain continued. They did a sonogram of my heart and chest x-rays, everything came back fine, they released me but never told me what was causing the sharp pains in my chest, the pain continues for the next 4 months, I went to my family doctor who is a specialist in heart disease o and has me do a stress test and ekgs, everything comes back normal, but I'm still having chest pains. He suggested it might be GERD or an ulcer, but since I have no health insurance I have no way of finding that out. I started buying every over the counter acid reflux medicine I could find, (Tums, Zantacs prlsact OTC, I even bought a blood pressure monitor to record my BP but its never gone higher then 120/80) but it seemed nothing was helping, the pain was still there. I began to develop anxiety and convincing myself I'm going to die. One night I was woken up by my chest pounding and a cold sweat, I thought I was having a full fledge heart attack so I had my mom rush me to the ER again, they ran the same tests but still no signs of anything heart related, and the doctor told me I had a anxiety attack. At that point I had told myself that all these pains where in my head, and I was fine, the pain was there but I just kept saying its all in my head, until a couple of days ago when the pain suddenly came back. It was late at night and my heart started to race, I took my blood pressure it was fine but my pulse was around 110, I got freaked out and went to bed, I couldn’t really sleep and kept waking up checking my blood pressure, still it was fine… I got up and went to work (I'm a short order cook at a busy golf resort) , I remember reaching for something and getting the sharp pain again. It feels like someone is stabbing me in my chest, its quick, and the sharpness goes away, but the pain is back, for the next couple of days I continued to have the pain, until the past Friday. I was working I had a bunch of orders in front of me and I go to reach for my knife and I get the pain again, but this time it makes me keel over, I cant take it, it's so intense, I rush out of the restaurant and find a place outside I can sit down and breath, the pain is so intense I pause and don’t take a breath till it goes away, the pain lessens and I can feel the sharpness go away, my boss (who is also my aunt) sees this happens to me and throws me in her car and go to the ER (again!) We are there for 3 hours waiting for the doctor to see us, I calm down and the pain practically goes away, he tells me that it doesn’t seem to do with my heart or anything and doesn’t give me any tests, just tells me to take ibuprofen 3 times a day for 3 days, but that was 3 days ago and the pain is still here… PLEASE somebody tell me what's wrong with me!!! Could this be angina or heart disease (which I would hope would come up on EKG and stress test), could it be acid reflux or Gerd? Could this all be related to stress?

Email: J_Trelli@hotmail.com
 Dr. L. Chu Go - Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:04 am

From what you have mentioned and all laboratory exams turned out ok, it would seem that the condition you are suffering from is costochondritis (an inflammation which has various causes). Drug therapy for this is usually Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatatory drugs (i.e. mefenamic acid, ibuprofen, aspirin) on a full stomach or you can ask your physician to prescribe you a cox-ihibitor (i.e. celecoxib, etoricoxib) for 5 daysduration of therapy.

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