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Brain freeze spreading to face, head & chest, air bubble feeling in chest, shortness of breath.What could this be?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 411 Questions
I have this sensation that happens very infrequently and lasts for about 5 minutes XXXXXXX It starts out feeling like a brain freeze except it is in my jaw. It will spread across my face and head and in my chest. My chest feels like maybe air bubbles or something sharp is running through my blood cells. I usually breath very XXXXXXX and long, and it subsides. What could this possibly be? I am 48 yrs old, female, healthy, exercise regularly, eat right and am not at all overweight.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 9 hours later
The symptoms described by you can be represent many possible diagnosis in the amount of information you have provided. Major possibilities are some form of neuralgia second though not very common diagnosis for the symptoms described could be angina. I need some more information such as when do they come, what precipitates it and what relieves it. Please get back to me with information.
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Follow-up: Brain freeze spreading to face, head & chest, air bubble feeling in chest, shortness of breath.What could this be? 9 hours later
I have experienced this during the day, usually in the afternoon. And I'm not sure, but possibly within 1 - 2 hours of eating. There doesn't seem to be any particular incident that causes it to happen. I don't do anything but sit and wait for it to subside. I practice XXXXXXX breathing when this happens because it gives me something to focus on and seems to help to lessen the pain. These episodes have never lasted more than 5 minutes, and has never been more than one at a time. So, I may have one today, and not experience another one again for months. I have never had it happen 2times in a day, or even in a month. I have only had this happen about 5 or 6 different times over the last 2 years.
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 3 hours later
The entire dispription make angina as very low probability diagnosis and I guess dont have to do any thing about it. Just continue good physical excercise and strengthen your muscle and avoid any perticular food that is likely to be producing symptoms if you can identify
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Brain freeze spreading to face, head & chest, air bubble feeling in chest, shortness of breath.What could this be? 20 hours later
To make sure I understand your answer, you said you think it is a low probability that my symptoms are possibly angina? Does that mean a higher probability of something else? Should I do anything about the high cholesterol? Right now I don't take any medicine though my doc wants me to. I have always read that statin drugs really aren't necessary unless you have other factors (which I don't) unless these symptoms I have described to you sound anything like a heart problem. Thank you for your answers. I feel a little less concerned.
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 2 hours later
Not really anything much other than anxiety or acid peptic disease. Its not true that statins need to taken only if there are additional illness. Some situation based on the value of cholesterol especially when LDL is more than 130mg/dL, we would recommend the statins. Only targets at which we would start the statins would be different if someone has heart disease or risk factors and also targets for lipids would be different.
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