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Old 04-25-2005, 10:08 PM   #1
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How likely is it? Opinions please!

Hi all... I have a few questions to ask regarding a possible heart attack.

I've been having little pains in my chest to the left hand side, around 3-4 inches from the center, and in my left arm right around where one would get a shot. They're never constant and they only last for a few seconds, they don't both happen at the same time either. Sometimes one is cramping and the other one isn't it. Here's the deal though. I've been to the emergency room twice within the past month or so and I've had an ECG and Blood Work done both times, plus the doctor listened to me with the stethoscope. The doctor told me that everything was perfect with my blood, but he said he saw a slight abnormality on the ECG, but since it matched my older ones he chalked it up to that being my normal rythm. Is this possible? He said he really doubts it's my heart, but I don't know. These little pains have me scared.

How likely is it that I could still be having a heart attack and the doc just doesn't know what he's doing/saying?

I don't ever have any other symptoms of a heart attack other than what I described. No shortness of breath, no dizziness, no nausea.. etc..

I should also mention that I don't have to be doing anything extremely physical for these pains to happen. They happen sometimes when I'm just sitting here typing as I am now.


Any opinions would be greaty appreciated.. Thanks..

 
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Old 04-26-2005, 02:32 AM   #2
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

Quote:
How likely is it that I could still be having a heart attack and the doc just doesn't know what he's doing/saying?
From what you say, I think your doctor is right. A pain that doesn't radiate to the extremities of your arm or into your neck or jaw is unlikely (but not definitely) to be associated with a heart attack or angina. The key factor is the radiating nature of the pain.

If you are very concerned about this, then you should have an exercise tolerance test (stress test) to see if there is any coronary artery disease, but as your doctor hasn't referred you for this, he must feel that it isn't required.

 
Old 04-26-2005, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

These pains don't radiate, they are very spontaneous and are usually confined to small areas on my arm and chest when they do happen. It's doesn't spread from my chest to my arm, neck, or jaw.

He did suggest that I go see a cardiologists, but with them costing 450.00 for a visit, not including any other testing that has to be done I can't go right away.

Thanks for the reply..

 
Old 04-26-2005, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

What is your age and are you male or female? Do you have a family history of heart disease? Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes? Do you know what your lipid levels are? Do you smoke? Are you overweight? Heart disease doesn't always feel the same for everyone. The tests you had done at the ER are not the best for diagnosing heart blockage but if you are very young that could be part of the reason the doctor decided it wasn't your heart causing the symptoms. Females tend to not get as aggressive tests and treatments when it comes to heart disease. That is why I wondered what your sex is.

 
Old 04-27-2005, 02:05 PM   #5
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

I'm a 28 year old male. I'm a non-smoker, I am overweight, but I have been losing so that's good. Heart disease runs in my mothers side of the family... I don't know my lipid levels and I do have prehypertension. The prehypertension wasn't confirmed, but I've been monitoring my BP when I see a machine and I usually get the same results each time..

 
Old 04-28-2005, 04:42 PM   #6
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

Being only 28 there is a good chance that you don't have blockage although it's not impossible. Since heart disease is in the family I would start by finding out what your lipid levels are. Take your total cholesterol and divide by your HDL(good cholesterol) and it will give you a risk range. You want that to be below 4. If your triglycerides are high and your HDL is low that can cause you to be at higher risk as well. They don't have to be way off to cause a problem. That would at least give you an idea of where you are at right now. Your doctor may then decide that you need medication or that you have nothing to worry about. That is where I would start.

 
Old 04-28-2005, 08:33 PM   #7
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NineLives
Being only 28 there is a good chance that you don't have blockage although it's not impossible. Since heart disease is in the family I would start by finding out what your lipid levels are. Take your total cholesterol and divide by your HDL(good cholesterol) and it will give you a risk range. You want that to be below 4. If your triglycerides are high and your HDL is low that can cause you to be at higher risk as well. They don't have to be way off to cause a problem. That would at least give you an idea of where you are at right now. Your doctor may then decide that you need medication or that you have nothing to worry about. That is where I would start.

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

 
Old 04-29-2005, 07:43 AM   #8
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

You really need to seek the assistance of a cardiologist and make sure someone specialized runs the appropriate tests to ensure everything is OK, despite your age. I had my first heart attack at 35, so the age thing should not stop you. Always better to know for sure. The tests you've had so far would not show anything except possibly evidence of a prior heart attack.

See a specialist, please.

 
Old 05-01-2005, 07:25 AM   #9
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

LCastro,
You said that doctor said "everything was perfect with my blood"...that means he did a complete lipid panel on you so just give him a call and tell him to mail the results to you.

If you showed an abnormal ECG once twice or thrice, it is still abnormal.

If I were you, I would play the waiting game because I assume you are without insurance and you will FOR SURE be looking at a thousand dollar bill with the cardiologist. It's a shame that the U.S. is still a Third World country regarding health coverage for its citizens and thus so many must be terrified of health care and its costs, and often play ROULETTE with health matters.

At age 28 the odds are in your favor. IF you get insurance, have a stress test.

Your chest pain DOE NOT seem cardiac related to me.

Last edited by Lenin; 05-01-2005 at 07:58 AM.

 
Old 05-02-2005, 06:10 AM   #10
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Re: How likely is it? Opinions please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
LCastro,
You said that doctor said "everything was perfect with my blood"...that means he did a complete lipid panel on you so just give him a call and tell him to mail the results to you.

If you showed an abnormal ECG once twice or thrice, it is still abnormal.

If I were you, I would play the waiting game because I assume you are without insurance and you will FOR SURE be looking at a thousand dollar bill with the cardiologist. It's a shame that the U.S. is still a Third World country regarding health coverage for its citizens and thus so many must be terrified of health care and its costs, and often play ROULETTE with health matters.

At age 28 the odds are in your favor. IF you get insurance, have a stress test.

Your chest pain DOE NOT seem cardiac related to me.
Yeah the U.S. is very bad about health coverage and you're right, I don't have insurance. It's something I'm looking into though so I can start getting the tests that I need done.

Thanks for the replies..

 
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