Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does my chest hurt but the doctors can't find a thing wrong with me?"
I am a 31 year old male, for several years now, I have been randomly having chest pains, tightness and sometimes tingling in my left arm. I have been to the doctor at least 3 or 4 times and have been to the emergency room with this at least 3 times. I am being told it is anxiety attacks but I just can’t buy it.
It can be extremely frustrating when we have a problem for which doctors cannot find a cause. In your case, the symptom of chest pain can be extremely scary and the fact that the cause has not yet been found is not acceptable. The good news is that most likely the cause of your chest pain can be determined, if you get the right tests with the right followup. You need to start by making sure that this chest pain is not coming from the heart. In men your age with fairly normal cholesterol levels and blood pressures, a cardiac cause of your chest pain would be quite rare. An exercise stress test can determine whether or not you heart is involved. Panic attacks are extremely common and can be very detrimental to your quality of life. They can cause many of the symptoms you are describing including chest pains and tingling in the arms. If this is what you have, then you should be tried on treatment for panic attacks. Other causes of chest pains that should be explored include gastro-esophageal reflux, and inflammation in the lining of you lung. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Ask him or her to explain what workup would be necessary to completely rule out a cardiac cause of this chest pain (i.e., cholesterol, blood pressure, stress test?). When you get past this stage, if panic attacks are still suspected, then you should be started on a suppressive medication. Good luck.
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