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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 5267
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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I'm wondering if someone could help reassure me that I 't

Customer Question

I'm wondering if someone could help reassure me that I don't have heart or cardiac related issues
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cardiology
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Hi Matthew. What are your symptoms? How long have you had them?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The following symptoms are on and off but chest pain, arm pain, racing heart, back pain, and neck pain
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I'm mostly concerned about how my heart randomly speeds up at times
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

How long have you had these symptoms?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
About a month
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is it true someone couldn't raise their left arm if having heart issues
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

No, that is not true.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Were you in good health before this started? Are you on any medications?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is it true that usually someone would be sweating, dizzy, throwing up, and feeling very cold
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was and still am in very good health. I'm 140 pounds, 5'10", eat healthy, don't smoke, and occasionally drink
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Those are all classic symptoms of a heart attack, but they need not be present. Some heart attacks are silent.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Any early heart attacks in your family?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Would you worry about a silent heart attack at someone my age?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
but with smokers mainly
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just saw that you said early heart attacks and would like to say that we haven't had early heart attacks
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The only heart attacks are with people that smoked
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

There are many different types of cardiac disease, but heart attacks are rare in otherwise healthy individuals your age...unless there are drugs involved.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Could unexplained weight loss be a symptom of a possible cardiac issue
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Furthermore given that I don't smoke or do drugs would you even worry about cardiac issues
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Unexplained weight loss could be from diabetes, an undiagnosed thyroid condition, a severe anxiety disorder or depression, a GI condition in which there is malabsorption, etc....You need to have basic blood tests done to rule these things out.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

I would also suggest you get an electrocardiogram to look at your heart rhythm.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Okay but a month or two ago I had blood tests done and everything showed up as being perfect
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Why were they done?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I even had two or three doctors tell me they wouldn't even do an EKG
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They were done because I wanted to make sure that everything is fine
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

And that is what they showed.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

An EKG would be easy to do and would add to your level of reassurance if normal, which is likely.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
even though I have pain on the left side of my chest at times and have a racing heart the test would likely be fine
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I mean I'd likely show I don't have heart issues
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was told that heart issues likely wouldn't come and go
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is that true?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

The test would be most helpful if you were having symptoms at the time. A sinus tachycardia or PSVT might indicate anxiety or too much caffeine. Afib, Aflutter or a ventricular rhythm would be cause for concern.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Cardiac symptoms can come and go, even if the underlying condition doesn't.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Would the symptoms come and go for months
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

They could...but usually there are other symptoms or other medical conditions asssociated with the heart disease.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
you wouldn't worry too much given what I've told you
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

While the symptoms may come and go, a person's overall clinical situation usually worsens over time without treatment. A doctor will typically be able to figure out what the cause is as time goes on. If one feels perfectly fine between episodes, and can function normally in all areas of life normal to a 24 year old, there usually is nothing serious going on.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
since this has been going on for a month or more I'd be pretty bad by now if cardiac related
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

So I wouldn't worry too much, but I would stay in close touch with your GP about your symptoms and any changes that might occur or any new symptoms that might arise.

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

I would ask him or her about doing a 24-hour Holter test. This is a test in which your heart rhythm is recorded continuously over a 24 hour period.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I recently had a physical done and the doctor I saw told me that everything seemed normal at the time if that helps at all
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

That helps a lot. It sounds like you are doing the right thing and have been properly evaluated. The holter would be helpful if you could capture one or two of these episodes.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the halter test would likely reassure me I'm fine
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Given I haven't required hospitalization
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Yes, if it was normal, you could rest easy. If it looked consistent with anxiety, for instance, and nothing else, you could focus on getting that under control and not be burdened with unnecessary concerns about your heart.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I've also felt I'm unable to breath at times
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Honestly
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are very common in otherwise healthy young persons your age, and the symptoms are consistent, including chest discomfort, increased heart rate and shortness of breath. Many such anxiety sufferers describe a feeling of desperation and feeling like they might die. This is a very serious condition though not dangerous in most cases. It can be treated, and often remits for long periods (or forever).

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the fact that I've felt like I'm going to suddenly die and that I've had these symptoms show it's likely anxiety
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Yes. That would be at the top of the list of possibilities. This can be a very distressing, even terrifying condition, and just the fear of having an attack can trigger one, or make future attacks more likely. Ask your doctor for a referral to a mental health professional. This conditon can be effectively treated with medication and/or counseling/behvioral therapy. There is no need for you to suffer this way.