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Do I have a bad heart ?

i'm 19 and i get random chest pains every now and then, usually when i try to go to sleep. actually my chest feels tight and alot of pressure and slows down my breathing. i work out 3 days a week, usually cardio wrk. and when i run it gets hard for me to breathe and my left side of my chest, right under my breast, starts to hurt. and top of all this i smoke wich doesnt hlp i noe; im still wrking on quitting. but are my sypmtoms serius affects or just minor? is it related to my heart or my lungs? is a doctor's visit necessary in my case?
Asked On : Sat, 19 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
It would be very unusual for a 19 y.o. to be having coronary problems. You say your chest feels tight when you lie down at night. I wonder if it isn't just chest wall pain from your workouts. You say you get short of breath when you run, and you develop a pain in your lower left chest then. I don't know how bad your shortness of breath is. You can simply be short of breath running, because you are overweight or out of shape. Chest pain of a heart attack or angina usually presents right in the middle of your chest as a pressure type pain, not off on the left side like you describe. I would be more concerned about a valvular heart defect, than coronary disease. Have you ever had a heart murmer? I'd recommend you go and get a good physical. He should listen to your heart carefully for any murmur. He should get a chest xray and a resting EKG. If there is any question of a murmur, I would get an echocardiogram. The chest xray as well as the echo, together with the physical exam would make sure you got a normal size heart and no valve abnormalities. The other thing he might want to get is a treadmill EKG, to see if when you have those symptoms running, there is any change in the EKG to indicate ischemia. You didn't say what your weight was. If you are overweight, I would recommend walking, rather than running, at least until you take off some pounds.
Answered: Sun, 20 Dec 2009
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