chest pain in 22 year old

i am 22 years old and have had chest pain for nearly 6 months now.

about a year ago, i was diagnosed with pericarditis. it took a long time to get this diagnosis. my doctor kept telling me it was just stress. i began seeing a therapist and taking anti-depressants. i knew something was wrong with my body and was feeling more and more helpless each time i went to the dr, in pain, and was told it was all in my head. only after i demanded a ct scan did they find the pericarditis. at one point, i had a bruise on my lower left ribcage and a throbbing mass underneath. this was where most of my pain was located. the physician's assistant even thought it was abnormal and said it was pulsing. but when the dr came in,he said it was just the aorta and he sees that all the time. when, he finally ordered the ct scan, the dr even told me "don't tell anyone i'm doing this. i'm ordering this test just so you will see things my way and accept that this is a psychiatric problem." i was so angry, but also tired. i was treated with indomethacin and then prednisone. the cause of my pericarditis was never determined.

i thought i had fully recovered. but after beginning birth control for the first time in january, i begin immediately notcing a tightness in my chest. this tightness increased day by day, until i finally woke with a throbbing pain in my left rib cage. i quit the birth control. some of the tightness went away, but since then, the pain has continued.

i had an echocardiogram, which showed mild mitral valve regurgitation, but was otherwise normal. an ekg was normal. my pain continues, and no one is taking me seriously because i am young and female.

sometimes the pain extends to my jaw. at other times, my pinky and ring finger go numb on my left side. i used to work out all the time. i no longer can do so. the pain and shortness of breath is too great.

i am at a loss for what to do. the first time i went through getting ill and not being believed really took a toll on me emotionally. i do not have the strength to go through it again. i am terrified of doctors and terrified something is very wrong with my heart.

i am calling a local cardiologist monday, but i don't expect much to come out of it as i am so young and female and this is small town with not so great medical care.

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Dear Snowflight,

Please get yourself off to the MAYO CLINIC as soon as possible. You are way too young to be suffering from chest pains.

Good luck.

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Dear Snow:

Dear Snow:

I cannot express to you how important it is that you listen to your body and your instincts and keep pushing for answers. Please take a few minutes to read through my discussion - Angina, Coronary Artery Spasms -Is this My Life? Posted Thursday June 1, 2006 at 10:37 PM EDT in My Heart Disease - Diagnosis and Symptoms . Be sure to read my updates throughout the discussion. It will reasure you that you are not alone being young, female and getting blown off by doctors due to those factors. I am 40 and I have had to fight tooth and nail to stay alive.

You are stronger than you realize and you have it within you to be your own advocate. Doctors are there to help and you have to keep going until you find one who will truly listen and work with you to get to the root of your pain. I was told repeatedly that I had stress and to live with the crippling angina that had taken over my life. I refused to accept this. I have had 5 cardiac caths in 13 months. They were not pleasant but I am still alive, so everything I went through was well worth it.

If the doctor you call today can't or won't listen, please call another and another after that and keep going as long as it takes. Your life is at stake and you are worth it. If it is not heart related - great! But if it is, every moment you delay in getting in treated is wasted time.

Take care and keep us posted on how you are doing. This group of ladies really cares about and supports one another.


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I understand your fustration in all of this. I too have been there and found out I had a heart attack. I am 48 yrs old and I have about 45% heart function. Which isn't that bad for having an attack. But I was on my way to having a second heart attack before the doctors finally got their stuff together and found out what happened. Since then I have fired my family doctor of 20yrs and my cardiologist and I am now going to the Cleveland clinic Womens cardiology . They have just started it and I feel like a new person. Sure I still have trouble expecially around the times of the month when the hormones kick in (menopause here) but I take and extra nerve pill and it does help. Please get to a good clinic or hospital as soon as you can don't let up till they listen to you . I wish you all the best I hope you get the help you need. Email me if you would like to talk or need anything. I will be glad to listen or help in anyway I can .

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Carolin, I also did some firing. I had two heart attacks that should never of happened.

MY General Internist has called the house several times to see how I am doing. He feels the guilt and he should. I trusted him and the Cardiologist I was seeing and was let down.

CC has a great Woman's center and I was accepted into the center a few months back but thought I would try one more group before treking there.

My immune system is in the cellar and they are trying to get that up to par and I need to stay close to home till that is accomplished.

Pls. keep us posted and you can also e-mail me too. Good Luck To you at CC and all the ladies on the fourm. Enoy the week-end.


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