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Question
Posted by: Carol | 2011/04/01

Heart pain

For the last few days I get a sudden, sharp thumping-type pain in the centre of my chest. It occurs every few minutes for a few hours, and then nothing for a few hours. There is no specific pattern to it - like after meals or early morning.

It feels like that heart-dropping feeling when you get a fright, but no heart palpitations or increased pulse. I have had constant heart burn for the last few months which has now eased since

I have lost quite a significant amount of weight (intentional). I don''t have any shortness of breath and am exercising (spinning) as normal. Can you give me some sort of idea what it might be or do I really, really need to see a doctor?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Carol – you don't mention your age or medical background eg whether you smoke, are diabetic, etc. However, you sound young and is exercising without difficulty. Your chest pain does not sound at all like cardiac pain, which tends to have a clear pattern and is not sharp or sudden or thumping like yours is. Your other chest discomfort, which you call "heartburn", sounds like what is called reflux, due to reflux of stomach acid into the oesophagus. It often gets better - as in your case - when people lose weight, but sometimes requires treatment with drugs called PPI's (proton pump inhibitors) or with laparoscopic ("keyhole") surgery.

From the evidence we have we can be confident your chest pain is not from the heart. However it is less easy to know where it is coming from. The most likely is that it is part of what is called a "chest wall syndrome" - ie it comes from the bones or cartilages or muscles that make up the structures of the chest wall. This is a common condition, which often causes anxiety about the heart, but usually disappears spontaneously with time. If you are generally healthy and well and not at high risk for heart disease my advice would be to give it time - the probability is high that it will just disappear on its own without you having to see a doctor.

Best wishes

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Charlotte | 2011/04/05

I am 38 years old . Last year I had so much headache (dull, tingling,crippy feeling on my head) that I was referred to a Physician for consultation. It was discovered that my BP was high and had migraine I was put on this medication: Trepiline, Co-prito, adalctone, and Isobton.

I now feel pain under my breast especially on the left side, i feel a tingling feeling on my upper right hand and i have also gained weight.

What can this be now?

Reply to Charlotte
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011/04/04

Hi Carol – you don't mention your age or medical background eg whether you smoke, are diabetic, etc. However, you sound young and is exercising without difficulty. Your chest pain does not sound at all like cardiac pain, which tends to have a clear pattern and is not sharp or sudden or thumping like yours is. Your other chest discomfort, which you call "heartburn", sounds like what is called reflux, due to reflux of stomach acid into the oesophagus. It often gets better - as in your case - when people lose weight, but sometimes requires treatment with drugs called PPI's (proton pump inhibitors) or with laparoscopic ("keyhole") surgery.

From the evidence we have we can be confident your chest pain is not from the heart. However it is less easy to know where it is coming from. The most likely is that it is part of what is called a "chest wall syndrome" - ie it comes from the bones or cartilages or muscles that make up the structures of the chest wall. This is a common condition, which often causes anxiety about the heart, but usually disappears spontaneously with time. If you are generally healthy and well and not at high risk for heart disease my advice would be to give it time - the probability is high that it will just disappear on its own without you having to see a doctor.

Best wishes

Reply to Cardiologist

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