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Question
Hello. I am emailing you to get your opinion on my medical issue. First I will tell you what has been going on and then list my symptoms. Also, I am a 30 year old male.

Let me start from the beginning. I started having physical symptoms of chest pains and tightness in my chest in early December. Then one night, in mid-December, I awoke with chest pains, shortness of breathe, and numbness in my hands and feet. I was afraid I was having a heart attack and called 911. In the emergency room, they did an EKG, chest x-ray, and blood tests. Everything came back normal. The ER doc thought it was stomach issues and prescribed medicine for that.

A few weeks later the same issues continued. I went to my main doctor and he decided to run a new EKG and blood tests. Again, everything came back as normal. He suggested that my issues may have been stress/anxiety/panic induced. He prescribed 0.5 MG of Ativan to be taken 3 times a day, for 2 weeks and see what affect they had. The Ativan did seem to lower my symptoms but not completely remove them. So he referred me to a local cardiologist to double check my heart.

So I went to the cardiologist in early February. He did not run any new tests. He did listen to my heart, my description of my symptoms, and considered the results of my prior 2 EKGs, blood tests, and the chest x-ray. It was his opinion that my heart is perfectly fine and agreed that stress/anxiety/panic was the likely problem. He prescribed 25 MG of Zoloft to be taken at night, before bed. To be honest, I saw little to no effect on my symptoms by the Zoloft.

So here I am. 3 months after my symptoms started and still dealing with them on a daily basis. I will list my symptoms below. Some of these symptoms happen a few times a week. Others happen throughout the day almost every day.

-Chest pains (sometimes an ache-like pain, other times a stabbing pain, other times a pinch-like pain)
-shortness of breath, feeling of smothering, and tightness in chest
-dizziness and vertigo
-numbness in hands and feet
-weakness and feeling very tired


So that's what I am going through. What are your thoughts?

Answer
Hi Lee,
I don't know what else to offer other than perhaps ask for a stress test. At this point it is very unlikely it is your heart . With a normal heart function your symptoms are consistent with anxiety. Read this to see if you are at risk and for more info:
http://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-risk-factors
http://www.cardiachealth.org/chest-pain
http://www.cardiachealth.org/app/risk-assessment.php
Hope this helps,
Dr T

Heart & Cardiology

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