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Elliot Ruff
Elliot Ruff, GP
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 3885
Experience:  GP at Whitstable Medical Practice
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Have had on/ off left sided chest pains for over a year.

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Hi, have had on/ off left sided chest pains for over a year. Each episode last several days at a time. Always left sided. In last year I have twice ended up in A&E who were lovely and did all the tests but could find nothing wrong and I have also spoken to 2 Gps one of whom was a cardiac specialist. All ECG's have been normal. Normal chest x ray . bloods have been normal. blood pressure and heart rate all normal ( on low side if anything ) , o2 levels usually measured at 100%. Been told unlikely to be heart related. I cycle to work , have active job and have never smoked. I am 50 and female . But every time this happens I am in a state of real fear which I can't seem to control. Especially as no explanation and happens every couple of months . Its been very difficult to see my gp to talk about my fears. Been offered a phone call in 3 weeks time even though symptoms are back. Finding managing my fear very very hard and wonder if this is having an impact on the chest pain.
JA: The Cardiologist can help. To begin, do you know if your family has a history of heart disease? In general, how would you describe your health lately?
Customer: pretty good. My family have a history of strokes when elderly
JA: Thank you so much for your answers. Finally, is there anything else in your medical history the Cardiologist should know?
Customer: no

Good evening, I am Dr Ruff, thank you for contacting us today

I am sorry to hear that you have been experiencing this.

If you can cycle without this coming on, it suggests this is not cardiac at all which is reassuring. If you were to exert yourself and had cardiac disease, then the nature of exertion would cause the pain.

If however this comes and goes, it is possible this could be something called Costochondritis which is an inflammatory condition, but also can be related to your thoracic spine which causes radiation of pain.

This doesn't sound worrying, but if it persists, it may be worth asking physiotherapy to assess you further.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you. The pain comes most often when I am at rest. It feels like a pulled muscle and can be quite severe but lasts days at a time. when it happens I treat with aspirin. (because I have been so afraid it's my heart ) .Occasionally i have heavy sense on chest or an empty feeling in my chest alongside the pain - is this likely anxiety do you think ?

No problem. Regarding aspirin, it is an antiplatelet and used long term for cardiac risk, therefore intermittent use would achieve little other than possible pain relief.

Certainly anxiety would aggravate it, yes. It would be reasonable to try and address your anxieties either with counselling, medication, or both.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you very much for your response. I am already feeling a bit calmer knowing that there may be an explanation . I will try to address the anxiety as you suggested. Thank you again.

That is my pleasure, you sound a healthy individual and the exercise is excellent. All the best.

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