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Question
Posted by: Patricia | 2010/02/08

Recurrent chest pain

I' ve had 6 occurrences of chest pain in the past 7 days, 3 of which happened in the past 24 hours. I used to have this about once or twice a year, but now I' m starting to worry. The pain feels like a needle moving across my heart. It' s extremely painful but it lasts for a few seconds only. 4 of the 6 occurrences happened when I was lying on my stomach (that' s always been the position that seems to trigger it more often). But once I was just sitting and talking and it happened. And the last time I was walking around in the street and laughing and it happened. It was very cold outside, around -10. So I wonder if that was the reason. Anyway, should I be concerned? A doctor told me once that I might have heart murmur but I haven' t had it checked by a specialist yet because I read that it' s nothing serious.

I' m 24, slender and I have an overall good health, except that my cholesterol is above the healthy limit. I don' t smoke and I never have. I do take a lot of coffee (about 6-8 teaspoons of instant coffee a day) and I have a tendency to be depressed at times, so I often eat cookies and other sweets with fillings that usually are full of bad fat and sugar. I have a heathy diet otherwise, but with all the sweets it doesn' t really help much.

Both my dad and grandmother have had bad circulation and palpitations all their lives. She was always healthy and agile till the age of 93, and only died then because she commited suicide. My dad just turned 85 and is still healthy too. Only mild liver problems, but he doesn' t need any regular medicine.

Could it be I am like them and these symtoms are nothing serious?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Hallo Patricia
It would not do any harm to have a heart examination and ECG but the most likely cause is inflammation of the chest wall ( called Tietze syndrome) or inflammation or infection of the pleura ( covering of the lung) These conditions tend to cause sharp stabbing pains. Let your doctor have a look at your lungs, and if no infection is present, taking an anti-inflammatory like Voltaren may help.
Dr Bets

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Our users say:
Posted by: cyberdoc | 2010/02/08

Hallo Patricia
It would not do any harm to have a heart examination and ECG but the most likely cause is inflammation of the chest wall ( called Tietze syndrome) or inflammation or infection of the pleura ( covering of the lung) These conditions tend to cause sharp stabbing pains. Let your doctor have a look at your lungs, and if no infection is present, taking an anti-inflammatory like Voltaren may help.
Dr Bets

Reply to cyberdoc

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