Ask Your Health Question and Get an Answer ASAP
Hi, I have some unexplained upper chest pain. It has been with me for about 5 weeks now, off and on, but more frequent in the last 3 weeks. I am a female, age 47. I have been in stellar health for most of my life with no sick days from work in the last 9 years. I hardly ever get even a cold. The pain can be described as a tightness or heaviness, that worsens when I hold my breath and expand the chest cavity. It also hurts in my arms, upper back, occasionally in my jaw and ears. I had a chest Xray, a Chest CT with contrast, and an echo stress test, EKG and tons of bloodwork. All of this came back fine, and doctors don't think it's cardiac. I do not have shortness of breath or nausea or fever. But...it hurts and I am not anxious, under stress, or otherwise concerned about anything except of course this, because nobody likes to have chest pain. I know two women who had heart attacks in their 40s, and hate it when doctors say "you are too young for heart issues." Nobody is too young. While I am relieved at the good test results (forgot to mention my FSH was 126 so they tell me I am beginning menopause) I take really good care of myself and don't understand why this pain persists. I am a vegetarian, I take magnesium, Vit D, Vit C, Folic Acid, and B-complex vitamins. I am very frustrated because I just want to fix this and get on with my life. I am following up with my GP next week but has anyone heard of this sort of chest pain? It seems to be in the lung area yet my chest X ray and listening to my lungs shows they are clear. I do have a massage scheduled tomorrow and plan to see a chiropractor too in case it could be pinched nerves or out of alignment vertebrae, though I would be surprised. The holding my breath and feeling pain tells me that MAYBE it could be chest wall related, but I had no injury and this has gone on very long. I am baffled, but want to be sure nothing serious is missed.
Edit: I should add that my blood pressure is normal, usually around 117/72 give or take a few points at different times during the day. When the pain is there, it doesn't matter if I am at rest or moving. It doesn't change the severity of it. At times, I think that it gets worse in a sitting position (like driving) and possibly decreases a bit when I lean back or lie back, but I have had it during those times as well. It is not constant, but is there for several hours each day. Sometimes it seems a hot shower makes me feel better, but not always. Adding this info so you have more to work with, thanks!
Any thoughts? Thanks for your time.
Hi, thank you for your reply. You did mention cardiac causes...As noted in my initial question, this was my primary concern so I have already had Chest X-ray, many hours of bloodwork, EKG, Chest CT scan with contrast to rule out aortic dissection and cardiac stress test, all negative. I have had no palpitations. BP has been normal. EKG was normal. Chest CT showed normal aorta.
The chest Xray and Chest CT scan ruled out pulmonary embolism according to the doctors. They did not find any lung issues except for one granuloma in the lung which they said is not significant. You did mention some other causes which I have not heard before so thank you, XXXXX XXXXX check those out. As noted, I am not having any panic attack. I have a very low stress job and am very happy in my personal life. I am usually a very calm person.
I have confidence in my doctors but am looking for as many medical opinions as I can get because of the strange nature of the pain. In your opinion, how confident would you be that cardiac causes are ruled out with all of the negative testing I have had? Do you feel any of this pain could be related to my entering menopause? Thanks!!