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I am 19 years of age, and for as long as I can remember I have had a very rare occassion where I will have a quick "spasm" feel in my chest, usually in the direct center above my sternum, or towards the bottom of the sternum. This usually occured at night, and has never caused any pain. It feels very similar to when your arm muscle might spasm, lasts a little less than a second, and when it catches me off-guard will usually make me skip a breath due to the "weirdness" factor involved.

Last year, I began college. Exam time proved to be very stressful. Towards the end, I had the "spasm" occur several times, and this made me concerned due to its frequency. I felt very sick for one day, but I believe it was due to the stress of final exams combined with my worry over the effect. I spent about a week afterwards where it would happen maybe twice in a day, and afterwards my blood pressure would be higher than normal. i usually have average or very good blood pressure for my age, so I attribute this increase to the stress of not knowing what the effect is.

After that week passed, I began to feel normal. It perhaps occured once every month or so. I saw a doctor, and told him about the problem. I told him that my father has "inflammation of the sternum", and that his is very painful. I have never had pain accompany my problem, nor shortness of breath or concentration. I also explained I had been coughing a lot lately due to allergies, and he told me that chronic coughing can upset the sternum. I would say 70% of the time when this affects me, I have been coughing recently. The other 30% is during times of extreme stress or physical exertion. I can use an exercise bike for 45 minutes and feel fine, but if I am very stressed, overheated and have not eaten in a while, and not even exerting myself much, it will do the "spasm" once or twice.

He felt that it was ok as long as I did not have pain, and I told him I did not want to test anything quite yet. Another doctor told me he felt that it might be an "asthma" attack triggering, but that I had not actually developed asthma, so it could not occur. He also told me he felt it was fine. I did not completely understand his explaination.

I am going to see a third doctor soon, and possibly have some tests done. However, I was wondering if anyone else knows what I am talking about, or has any advice. I consider myself healthy with a strong immune system, and rarely feel sick rather than allergies or sinus infections. Infact, besides a bout with Mono, I would say I have not had a sickness or virus for 6 years or so. Although my dad has had various heart problems, his actual heart is in excellent condition. His muscles in his sternum seem to be the problem.

Should I be overly concerned? Does anyone know anything that might cause the "spasm" feel?

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Can I just say that I have this exact same problem, I get this 'sternum spasm' on average once a day - it has been happening for the past few months. At first it was very worrying but now I'm kinda used to it... It started happening soon after I was having panic attacks at the beginning of the year so I can only assume it is somehow linked to stress?? Is it anything to worry about? Thank you

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Reading the last two messages makes me feel a little better, although this still worries me. These feelings and sensations are so hard to describe, doctors tell me I am fine, but how do I know. Sometimes, it almost feels as if my heart has moved to my sternum with strong beats/twitches. It takes my breathe away as well, probably because it scares me. I also have noticed at times my heart rate is so fast and strong, I am often aware of it just sitting still. It drives me crazy. One doctor said it was because I was thin - but I don't believe that is the cause whatsoever. If I put my hand on my chest (sternum) when I have the spasms (per se), I can usually feel the pulsations so to speak. Of course it never happens when I am at the doctor! Has anyone experienced this?
Feel free to e-mail me: kristens2007@yahoo.com

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Reading the last two messages makes me feel a little better, although this still worries me. These feelings and sensations are so hard to describe, doctors tell me I am fine, but how do I know. Sometimes, it almost feels as if my heart has moved to my sternum with strong beats/twitches. It takes my breathe away as well, probably because it scares me. I also have noticed at times my heart rate is so fast and strong, I am often aware of it just sitting still. It drives me crazy. One doctor said it was because I was thin - but I don't believe that is the cause whatsoever. If I put my hand on my chest (sternum) when I have the spasms (per se), I can usually feel the pulsations so to speak. Of course it never happens when I am at the doctor! Has anyone experienced this?

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I have this exact same problem! I'm only thirteen, though I do believe I have a good immune system and am in good physical condition, always being rather healthy besides the common sicknesses and such that kids get. Last year this started happening to me, or maybe it was the year before that. It feels like exactly what you described, but it really is hard to describe. There's no pain; it almost feels as though my heart jumps, but it's not really near my heart; it's more in the middle. It used to only happen now and then, but my mom took me to a doctor anyway. They took an x-ray, but they said I was perfectly fine. The sensations stopped, so I dropped the subject for a year or so. But just recently, they've began again, and much more frequently- around five or ten times a day. I've begun to think it has something to do with stress, because when it happened to me the first time, I think I was very stressed as well. Right now I'm extremely stressed due to a number of reasons. Firstly, my aunt passed away in the summer. Yeah, big deal, right? For me it was, since I was incredibly close to her; I haven't gotten over it yet. Secondly, I missed a week of school due to a broken foot, and so now I have an insane amount of homework and tests to catch up on, plus mid-term exams. Plus, my younger brother has been being much more annoying and mean than usual, and has been causing me to nearly pull out my hair various times. It really isn't good that he’s being such a pest because I'm already stressed by everything else, and this weird abnormality is just the cherry on top... For the past day or so (it has only been happening for a day or so) I've been hoping it would go away, but after a little event with my brother again, it's been happening almost every half an hour- or more often than that- and it’s really starting to scare me. So I looked it up, and found this.

I'm actually really glad to hear that other people have felt this before, so I'm not alone with some kind of unknown disease or something. o__o;; I haven't checked my blood pressure or anything after the spasms before, but I check my pulse; usually it's a bit faster than normal for a few seconds, but I'm pretty sure that's just because it really scares me. I try to stay calm, but it's just such a weird feeling... I'm wondering if I should tell my mom again and maybe even go see my doctor again; chances are, he'd send me to a specialist, though I don't really want to make a big deal if it's nothing. Like you said, it usually happens when I’m trying to sleep, or when I’m kind of off doing nothing. If I keep my mind on something else, usually it doesn’t happen, but maybe I just don’t notice it. Gah, it’s so hard to describe and so confusing. =(

Thanks,
-Tracy

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Yeah, This has been driving me nuts for about 2 years. The doctors have said it is "diaphram spasms" but cant seem to tell me whats causing it. It feels like a little breath that gets trapped under the sternum area and then releases very quickly. Its not shortness of breath or anything. I had a chest xray. The usual stress andsir is given by doctors. but I have to belive something else is the cause. Anyone else get any andsirs on this????

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That guest who just posted about angina, dont be so cruel. Angina is a terrible condition, that is nothing like what these people are talking about and would not effect any of these teeneager. That was a very unfair thing to do, and would only add to the stress and consern of the posters.

Im 19 and early last year I started getting spasms that took my breath away and left a discomfort...not an unpleasent or painful feeling...just a feeling that didnt feel right. I originally thought it was my diaphram or a strange muscle, but the 'feeling' and short light headedness after the spasm worried me.

After a few of these spasms my heart was left racing for a minuete or 2, and about 3 weeks later I had my first SVT and ended up in hospital I was so freaked out. Luckily the condition that was picked up was SVT and is extremely common, often surfacing in the teens because are bodys are so sensitive at this age and is totally treatable. It just means every now and then the heart speeds up, sometimes for seconds, sometimes for minuetes and sometimes for hours and sometimes VERY fast.

Im now on minor medication that stops it kicking off too much and will be having a simple procedure this year that has over a 90% prevention rate of the condition ever appearing again!

Hope this calms your fears and I'll keep an eye on this forum if anyone has any questions.

Jimbo

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Yeah, I have that problem too. And it can happen when I'm doing nothing and sometimes when I exert myself. I had it when I was a teenager too and now im 33. I think what we all have is a MVP (Mitral Value Prolapse) which is a heart condition but it is almost NEVER deadly and doesn't require surgery. I was told that taking certain vitamins can make the symptoms go away (like magnesium and CoEnzyme 10.) Sometimes beta blockers are needed to treat it though. I just started taking magnesium cause my spasms were becoming a little more frequent but it hasn't been long enough for me to tell you if it works.

The last poster is right, it is NOT angina!! I had it when I was only 13, just like that little girl that posted. That person who posted about angina is just trying to scare us.

You guys have nothing to worry about... there are ways to stop these symptoms from happening and you're not gonna die.

By the way, do any of you get panic attacks too?? I get them once in a big while and I found out it can be caused by an MVP too.

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Same thing here, this is very hard to discribe, It goes something like this... quick, split second spasm right about around the center of diaphragm area, or a little higher. A very short split second disruption of breath, (but not shortness of breath) then sometimes its like a hart jump all split second, no pain in any of it. Happens 2 times a day or so. Been going on for about 2 years. Had an ekg, chest x ray both fine. Doctors dont know what to say about it. It kind of sounds like the above posting. Any one with the same symptoms or more insight on this please email me at ********* I hope we can put our heads together and figure it out


**edited by moderator ** e-mails not allowed **

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Same, Same...It goes like this split second spasm (around diaphraghm/sternum area) split second small breath stops and split second hart jump after (almost all at the same time) No pain, happening for about 2 years, ekg, chest x ray is fine. Some days does not happen at all, some days 2-3 times. 4 diff doctors with 4 diff opinions. Stress, Diaphraphm spasms, Upper gi, , but I know something is causing this anyone with any suggestions or insight please email me, _[removed]_, Those that have the same symptoms , maybee we can put out heads together and figure it out

thanks

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I have the same spasms everyone has been describing. Lately, I have been having them NUMEROUS times pr day. Like every 2-3 minutes. I have a slight case of scoliosis where my spine leans toward my heart. I think this may cause my problem because it's crowding my heart, esophagus, etc. Anyone else have this condition also?

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I also experience these so called spasms. I am 36 years old and have been experiencing skipped beats, spasms, fast heavy beats and panic attacks since I was 20. Several medical tests were run, and I was diagonosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) back in '91. I starting taking a beta blocker when I was 27 to help calm the skipped beats, which helped some but has not eliminated them. I recently had a bout of these skipped beats again, so I visited a cardiologist. They ran EKG's, a stress test where the injected me with some form of dye and viewed my heart prior to and after the stress test, and I wore a holter monitor for 24 hrs. Everything turned out OK and I even discovered I didn't have MVP after all. Evidently MVP had been misdiagnosed back years ago. Now I'm more confused than ever. I continue to have these skipped beats frequently(especially about 1-2 weeks before my period and PMS time), I also notice them when I eat a heavy meal or if my stomach feels bloated. I also notice a correlation when my acid reflux starts acting up. I still continue to take my beta blocker, but I'm at my wits end in trying to figure out what it causing these sensations I feel. It just doesn't feel normal. I'm frightened to exercise for fear I'll fall over dead from a heart attack. I would give anything to get to the bottom of this and understand what is going on.

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Same feeling... just started on Lamictal. Anyone else?

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yea its weird what causes it... Why does it happen in the teenage years...

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i too have experienced this sensation...
i have asthma, and panic disorder..i never really wondered if it may be linked to my panic...i was starting to really worry it was asthma related and perhaps should be a big concern.. but i have not yet told my dr of these spasms..

it feels like a quick twitch or spasm,from the middle or bottom of the sternum area it seems sometimes.. its not a shortness of breath feeling..it almost like it takes my breath away though..if that makes sense? like it just does it for that split second and then my breathing is fine again..but has left me extremely concerned.
these posts has eased my mind a little bit, but i'm curious to know more of this matter.

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