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I'm a 29yr old male, measure 5'9, and weigh between 245-250lbs (I consider myself obese).

I have a had a history of uncontrolled (never taken meds for high blood pressure) mild high blood pressure (which was first detected at about age 23) and recently quit smoking pot (I was a heavy consistent pot smoker for the last 2 years or so). I've considered myself very inactive as my job requires sitting in front of a computer for most of the day for the last 4 or 5 years and my eating habbits were careless, as I did not watch what I ate (I actually had the tendency to eat out at fast foods alot, including Pizza, at times 3 to 4 times a week).

It started about 4 to 5 weeks ago when I started having different kind of pains in the left side of my chest approx a half inch to an inch to the left side of the center of my chest. These pains can range from achy, dullness, heavy pressure, shocking, squeezing.... with achy, dull, sharp and shocking being the most common. The pains come and go ranging from 1 second to 1 minute. At times the pain can linger, meaning I will have pain for a few seconds and go away, only to come back 2 or 3 minutes later for another 30 seconds and this can go on unpredictabley. Sometimes they come more intense than other times. The pains seem to come spurraticly throughout the day and night. More often, I have recently noticed that they come at night and can linger during the morning, but seem to be less frequent during the day. At times I can feel the pains with deep breaths and at times I cannot. I don't think anything specific is triggering the pains and I cannot seem to pin down when they often come (there is no certain cycle). To date, I have not felt them get worse with excertion or while exercising. For example, I played 5 games of basketball the other day and had mild pain during the first 2 games, in which I played through, and no pain in the last 3 games. I have not had any shortness of breath or cold sweats. Rarely, it seems I can feel the pains (also shocking sensations) with each heartbeat. I twist and turn to see if the pain is related to possible muscle pain and the pain does not seem to happen with any movemnet or action. At one time, for a period of 3 days in a row I woke up with alot heavyness pressure and pain in my chest and as soon as I would get up it would slowly go away. The pains can become quite frightening, painful and very discomforting.

For the first few days i brushed it off, in hopes that it would go away, possibly by excersising. I decided to start excersing after I quit smoking and also decided to change my diet. But after a week and a half, I woke up with heavyness in my chest for 2 days in a row, not to mention a continuance of "on and off" pain that ha not gone away, I thought I better seek medical attention by making an appointment with my family doctor. They took me in right away as I complained of chest pains.

They checked my blood pressure and, as usual, mildly high (153/93). They did blood tests and 2 (resting) EKGs which both came back normal (including normal cholesterol). The doctor advised that she felt I may be suffering from GERD (acid reflux) and prescribed some Zantac. She stated she did not think this was a heart realted problem, but to be on the safe side, she has scheduled me for a stress test (treadmill EKG), which is pending on 7/7/08.

The day after I saw the doctor, I woke up with the most frightening pain of all, I had woekn up with heavyness in my chest in which this time had lasted by far the longest period of 3 to 4 minutes. I awoke and felt the pain but refused to sit up to see if it would go away and it would not. So I finally got up and it began to slowly go away. This made it 3 days in a row waking up with heavyness pressure and achy pain in my chest. I freaked out and quickly called my doctors office to advise that I beleived my symptoms had worsened as the chest pain lasted longer than ever before. I was quickly transferred to a nurse and she began to ask me all the questions in regards to my symptoms again. I advised I had taken the Zantac the night before as prescribed by my doctor and that was it. She asked if excersise had made the pain worse and I told her not to this date. She stated that the number one rule of thumb was not if the pain did not increase during physical activity then the chances are that it is not heart related and that was a good sign. At the time that I was on the phone with the nurse I was not having chest pains so she advised she would call me back after speaking with the doctor to see if I should go to the emergency room. I got a call back within 30 minutes by the Doctor and was advised not to go to the emergency room, but rather, if I continued to have chest pains consitently with new symptoms to walk in to the clinic. Ever since that scary incident, I continue to have spurratic chest pains that come and go, but I haven't had the consistent pain that lasted for more than a minute since then. (NOTE: I also noted that before I decided to diet, after I ate a heavy meal I would feel my head throbbing, my heart would feel like it was struggling to beat or beating very hard, and I felt very hyperactive).


My greatest concern is that my chest pain is heart related. Being that I had unctrolled high blood pressure smoked pot heavily, was inactive both at home and at work, Over-ate (Also due to Pot)....... Could this be heart related? Could I have somehow caused damage to my heart? Could I have stressed out my heart? Also, if the pain hasn't gone away, should I make another appointment to see my doctor?

I'm at a lost. This is causing depression and anxiety in my life (which now seems to alter my symptoms). I cannot concentrate at work (especially when I have spurratic pains in my chest). I am now having trouble sleeping, especially when I wake up to pain in my chest. Any help or input would be appreciated.

I have treid pushing to see a cardiologist but my GP says he is simply going to send me for a stress test as well. She did refer me to a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression. I'm not sure what else to do. I want to completly rule out heart problems (disease, etc.)


Hey Predaphin,

this is first a test to see if i can post here...


Hey Predaphin,

My experience has been very similar... I'm 28, 200 pounds, ex-pot-
smoker, and been dealing with chest pain problems, starting out like you describe. Dull-to-sharp pains around the left side of chest, sometimes feel like pectoral muscle soreness, sometimes squeezing, sometimes sharp with deep breaths.

I saw the doctor and she suggested an anti-depressant, maybe it was stress-related... well the drug, Wellbutrin,was awful, had horrible side effects for me. Without going into it, it started a half-year journey through trying anti-anxiety med, and muscle relaxant, and finally
I'm back to square one, with basically what I had originally, but much better. This is because I found a site online where someone was describing similar symptoms, and a doctor's response that those were common symptoms of anxiety. I checked some med-sites about anxiety, and sure enough they lined up. I had also been told I had an anxiety disorder (maybe from using pot or anti-anxiety meds in the past?), but never embraced it.

After embracing the thought, and really considering the possibility, my physical symptoms almost completely dropped away, and I was finally having days of relief with no symptoms. I suspect I could have some musculo-skeletal issue causing pec-muscle soreness, and a susceptibility to anxiety. I do still have days with some wierd chest pain, and still some uncertainty, but I'm now convinced I have anxiety issues and try to deal with that with diet change, relaxing more, meditation, talking about it, and recognizzing the effects in my head, telling myself, "hello anxiety, welcome back...good to see you but take off for now, ok?" type of response. Has totally helped me...
What has also helped is spiritual devotion, I've deliberately tried to pray more, be more disciplined in avoiding negative vices, making sure I'm right with my spirituality...
OH yeah, one other advice that's helped... don't think about yourself. Try to focus more on your partner, friends, or other family... worry about them, not yourself.

Hope this helps...


Oh yeah... I should clarify, while I was on the 6-month journey through various medications... nothing offered relief, just caused other negative side-effects. For me... what has helped the most is trying to find relief mechanisms for anxiety, and applying them to my life. Cutting out caffeine, drinking less, exercise, etc.

good luck!


Angina is uncommon at your age but not unheard of. It wouldnt show on resting ECG but would show on the stress test.
If the PPI given for reflux (GERD) is helping than stay on them obviously as this does sound more like reflux.
The most important thing for you is not medication however. This may not be a heart problem now, but you dont have long til it is if you dont change your lifestyle.
Lose weight by having a strong will and reducing your meal portions (more important than exercise). Also make sure you are exercising. Both of you should measure your BMIs and set yourself a goal of 25. This is a longterm goal over a couple of years.
Stop smoking. It is a huge risk factor for both heart disease and GERD, not to mention everything else. Id be surprised if both of you arent diabetic. Stop smoking or your lives wont last long. Harsh but a fact.
Alcohol should be drunken in moderation with GERD also.

Obesity and smoking are killers. You'll feel much better and healthier in the long-term.


Hi Predaphin,

While I was searching for more information about pain I am having thesedays, I found this article as I'm experiencing exactly same symptoms you have posted and other conditions almost identically the same. Is there any chance that you could share the progress/result or whatever advise you can give?

Sorry about my english. Kind regards, Chris




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