31 yr old with chest pain

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
31 yr old with chest pain
Wed, 10-13-2004 - 9:10pm
I am 31 yrs old and overweight. About 10 weeks ago I went to bed very upset and woke up with a pounding in my chest (under my right breast) and felt sick to my stomach, dizzy and proceeded to pass out on my husband. My doctor at that time said it was just a panic attack. After getting nowhere with him, and continuing to have chest pain, dizziness, and left arm pain/numbness, I switched doctors and he referred me to a cardiologist. I have had the following tests done: numerous EKG's, 24 hr holter monitoring, an echocardiogram, a stress echo (used 10 prongs and went to 95% of my maximum heart rate), and an ultrafast CT scan which showed 0 calcium buildup. All of my tests showed that my heart was perfectly fine, but I am still worried that there is something wrong and panic when I get wierd pains in my chest or if I get pain down my left arm. Could the tests have missed something? Should I be asking for them to do further testing and if so what tests would those be?

Thanks for any advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Thu, 10-14-2004 - 9:44am

It certainly sounds as though the cardiologist has been very thorough in their tests, and I think you should take a lot of reassurance from the fact that nothing has shown up - they've done pretty much every test in the book and if they've all come back normal and the cardiologist has reassured you that your heart is in good shape, then that's a really good sign. If you're still unconvinced then I would suggest firstly talking again with your cardiologist and getting them to explain all the tests that they have done and their significance - what they're looking for, and why they think your heart is ok. If that doesn't satisfy you, then you could always ask for a second opinion - though I would suspect that there's little more that they could do. You're certainly in the 'young' bracket to start having heart trouble, and although it's not impossible to have problems at this age, it is certainly more unlikely - particularly if a barrage of tests have showed nothing to worry about.

Perhaps you could keep a chest pain diary - noting down exactly where the pain is, scoring it out of ten, and noting any other symptoms, including how anxious you feel at the time, and if appropriate the circumstances - ie. whether you're particularly upset, what you were doing when the pain came on and what helped it to go away.

Anxiety certainly can play a role in causing chest pain, and panic attacks can well mimic heart related chest pain. It's not a case of "just" a panic attack - they can be very stressful in their own right. Perhaps you could go back to your GP with your chest pain diary and discuss further ways of managing this pain and other symptoms in light of the all clear from the cardiologist?

Hope that helps a bit, keep us informed of how you get on

Take care

Silver x

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003
Thu, 10-14-2004 - 3:15pm

First of all welcome to this fine board.