Funny chest pains

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Submitted by Dr T on April 12, 2011 – 7:20am

Question: 
Hi, I am a 36 year old male with no real history of any medical problems.  I have a poor family history of heart attacks/bypasses.  My father had a large one at 62.   Lately, I have been having very small sharp pains in my chest/heart area.  These seem to occur randomly.    I have been chalking them up to being stress but of course I worry.   I have had a stress test and an echo as well as a blood test and heart monitor and everything came up good.  My cholesterol levels are excellent.  My regular doctor said it could be something called costochronditis or something to that effect but that it should be all over my chest and not just focused on that one area on the left side.  When I get these pains, I have no other symptoms, no shortness of breath, etc.  I should also mention that I am 6’1 and 165 lb’s and although I am not in an athletes shape I am probably in average shape. Any thoughts/opinions would be appreciated? Thanks.

Whether your doctor made the correct diagnosis, I don’t know. However, you are wrong in thinking costochondritis should be felt everywhere. It is a localized pain that occurs as a result of a local inflammation of the junction rib-cartilage-breast bone, and thus right over the area of your heart.
If correct, taking some NSAID meds should improve your symptoms. Cardiac wise, you are in good shape. With your positive family history, you should always be careful to avoid the typical risk factors for heart disease: weight gain, smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.
You can read more here:
https://www.cardiachealth.org/ca-blog/chest-pain/
https://www.cardiachealth.org/heart-disease-treatment/what-you-can-do
https://www.cardiachealth.org/app/risk-assessment.php
Diet:
https://www.cardiachealth.org/patients/diet
Take a look at the food blogs and recipes/videos. I think you will enjoy them.

Hope this helps,
Dr T
https://www.cardiachealth.org/

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