Are my chest pain and shortness of breath cause by stress?
January 3, 2007 3:24 AM Subscribe
Could a recurring pain in my chest and recent shortness of breath be caused by stress, or something more serious?
posted by jimdanger to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm 24 years old, stand 75 inches and weigh in at 228lbs. My BMI is about 20% I lead a semi-physical lifestyle and eat pretty well. I'm able to run a mile and a half in about 12 minutes and regularly play racquetball and such.
About 9 months ago I started noticing a slight sharp pain in my chest, around the area of the heart. I didn't think much of it because it was very random and might happen once every two weeks. I didn't really notice a pattern, so I just figured I had some kind of cramp or something. Within the past two months it's been getting more frequent, and seems to happen more commonly after physical exercise. It's always in the same spot and while dull, the pain might increase a little when I take an initial breath. It usually lasts for a few minutes after that as the slightly sharp pain.
On top of that I've been having shortness of breath for the past month. It's as if I'm not able to inhale fully and get a deep satisfying breath. Instead, I'm only able to take shallow breaths until I'm forced to yawn and get the air I'm not able to get on my own. Strangely, it's not as bad when I'm running a mile or so, as it is when I'm just walking up some stairs or to my apartment. I'll find myself trying to take in a deep breath, but not being able to fully expand my lungs. I start to kind of panic, so I'll do these exaggerated breaths, like I'm trying to take weight off my diaphragm, but again I have to wait for the yawn. It's even gotten to the point where I pretty much have to have my mouth open all the time to breath.
I went to the doctor who had me do some chest x-rays, but said he saw nothing. My vitals were good, and the blood test checking my cholesterol and stuff was good. He gave me an inhaler for the shortness of breath, which is doing absolutely nothing. He basically said it was due to my high level of stress at work and gave me some contacts for stress management classes.
What the hell is wrong with me? Am I doomed or just doing it to myself?