Possible causes of chest pain...

by 2282 · February 06, 2014 at 08:09 PM

I'm a 26 yo female. Up until this august I was extremely active (probably over doing it) and now I can't seem to do any type of extended activity without feeling wiped out. I took off a few months (just took it easy) and tried to focus on myself. The problem is now I seem to have become very anxious (it's disrupting my life) and I can't tell if I've become anxious due to the symptoms of something medically related OR if the anxiety itself from stress causing the symptoms.

I've been having chest pain (top left of my torso) for a couple months now. It feels like a stabbing type of pain, and it's usually accompanied by having difficulty breathing like someone is sitting on my chest. I seem to get lightheaded and dizzy at the same time each day (morning) and then have difficulty breathing (cant seem to get a deep breath in) before bed once I've laid down flat on my back. I already have an apt with a cardiologist to check everything out and I've started seeing a new naturopath to help deal with the anxiety. I've had standard blood tests that come back normal and I've had an ECG done that didn't show anything. I've also had a halter monitor for 48hours and my doctor seemed to think the results were fine.

One week (when I'm not active) I will feel awesome and then suddenly the next week I can barely function. I used to enjoy working out but now when I have a hard session I seem to flat line for a week and get extremely anxious. Is this my body telling me to not work out? It feels like the second I do any type of cardio or heavy exercise, the next day my anxiety is back. I've really cut back and I've started to get some chub around my stomach and I feel like I'm losing the lean muscle I've worked so hard for.

So far I've not seen any changes. I'm taking vitamin d3, omega 3 (DEA and DHA), magnesium citrate, FCLO and an adrenal support vitamin. My diet has been low carb since August when this all started.

I'm waiting for test results but in the mean time I would like to know if anyone has any similar experiences or thoughts. I'm really feeling like I'm stuck here. What the heck could be causing this? Could low carb cause this type of reaction?

UPDATE: Doctor says its Costochondritis

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7 Replies

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2282 · February 06, 2014 at 08:07 PM
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15 · February 06, 2014 at 12:27 AM

Reflux is usually associated post-eating and positional such as laying after eating. It's not usually associated with shortness of breath, dizziness, and anxiety. The anxiety could be a related issue or an issue of itself. As far as your symptoms are concerned and in relation to your answers to my first response - I'm still curious if your MD drew a d-dimer or not. Your symptoms are pretty consistent with that of a pulmonary embolism that's why I asked about the d-dimer (It's a pretty good indicator of a P.E.).

4333 · February 06, 2014 at 08:07 PM

this one is a bit left field (possibly), but something to be aware of, as your search continues. plus i guess there could be multiple things going on, some may be connected, some may not.

anyway, it may be worth you checking out laryngopharyngeal reflux (lpr, silent reflux). lpr is similar to gerd but not so obvious that you have it, ie. fluids from your stomach may only be travelling back up your throat & sinuses when you sleep (hence sometimes also know as night time reflux, i think).

some signs to look for (there are many), sore throat, 'lump in throat' sensation, feel the need to clear your throat, hoarseness, heartburn (pain in chest).

breathing can also become affected/restricted & i seem to remember reading there may be a link to asthma (or asthma type symptoms). i guess this makes sense, if stomach fluids are travelling up the esophagus (possibly into mouth & sinuses) & then down your airway effecting your larynx (voice box) & lungs.

here are few links to get you started,

1. wiki-Laryngopharyngeal_reflux

2. webmd-laryngopharyngeal-reflux-silent-reflux

3. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease: Not just heartburn

Medium avatar
0 · February 05, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Considering your age and other data, Coronary Vasospasm should be ruled out (troponin would/could be elev. during acute episode; EKG can be normal). It can evolve into Prinzmetal angina and then there will be EKG changes.



If chest pain is worse with a deep breath, pleural (lung) issue should be at least considered.

180 · February 06, 2014 at 12:56 AM

100-125 grams isn't really low-carb (< 50g is low carb), more like moderate-carb really. Still, it sounds like you have to relax a little. Don't assume more exercise = more health. Performance and health are two different things. If your labs are fine, your ECG is fine and you're 26 years old, female, and 108 lbs, I seriously doubt that you have any real health issues. Anxiety is very common however, and I would definitely be more inclined to go with that possibility. Have you experienced any big changes in your life lately that might have brought on a lot of stress? New job, lost a job, married, bought a house, had a child, lost a family member? Big changes can cause anxiety.

655 · February 05, 2014 at 06:44 PM

Not really an answer but a series of questions to help answer the OP. Plus this wouldn't post as a comment. :(

How about a some additional data?

Ht, wt, waist, est BF %

What you actually eat; foods & amounts

Exercise; intensity & duration.

We need some numbers.... Exactly how low carb are you? 100g? 50g?

Relative to your physical condition & level of exercise maybe you're too low carb

Updated Wed 8:30 PST.... I think you need to eat more, just my SWAG and get all your hormones checked. Perhaps the severe weight loss, low carb & heavy exercise has some of them out of wack.

@raydawg or @Matt 11 might say, "eat a ribeye and call me in the morning".

Medium avatar
15 · February 05, 2014 at 05:44 PM

LINDS - there can be many causes for chest pain. Glad your ECG didn't show anything. Do you know if your doctor ever drew a blood test called a d-dimer? I'm assuming he did - it's pretty standard these days for the symptoms you're having. You didn't mention what you're doing when the pain comes around. Are you just sitting on the couch and the pain starts or are you starting activity and the pain starts? Is there a certain position that makes the pain worse or better? Have you ever asked your doctor for a CT scan to look at the soft tissue to see if it's tissue related?

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