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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can anxiety cause intermittent chest pain?

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Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3614 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 12 Apr 2017 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: A little background information to start. I had an appendectomy on Feb. 2nd of this year. After the appendectomy I got sick for a few days. The chills and a nasty cough. Since then that has subsided and I noticed I had pain in my left leg. Not on the calf, but on the shin and throughout my thigh. I had a d dimer test which came back negative. A few days later my leg felt fine but I had noticed chest pain. Mainly on the left side of the chest and it comes and goes. I went to the ER,( keep in mind I am a hypochondriac) and thought the worst. They gave me an EKG, an X-Ray, did a lot of blood work mainly looking as kidneys and another D Dimer. They then sent me for a Ct scan of the chest. Everything came back clear. I don't have shortness of breath either. Oxygen was 98-99%. I am 275 and 6 foot tall and smoke a half a pack a day. I'm wondering if I should still be worried about a possible pulmonary embolism, because my doctor at the ER didn't seem concerned at all when the tests came back. Could this all be attributed to my anxiety? I'm still very nervous about this because I know the severity a PE can have. Thank you for your time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Supportive care, lose weight

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking

I read your question and i understand your concern. With all the labs normal, i would not worry about any PE or heart problem. Your labs are all clear and with being hypochondriac one can label these on and off chest pain symptoms to anxiety. However this 275 pound of weight is too much even for 6 feet height and needs to be reduced. Your current BMI is 37 and its morbidly obese and it itself could be the cause for chest pain due to gastric acid reflux etc. Lose weight, modify diet and lifestyle and adapt exercise habits 50 minutes a day and reduce caloric intake. I am sure these symptoms will help.

I hope it helps. Take good care of yourself and dont forget to close the discussion please.

Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 15 minutes later
I appreciate the quick response! :) Ive been up and down with weight my whole life and have been recently getting back into an exercise routine. Another question if you don't mind because well, i worry a lot lol. Are the D Dimer and Ct scans the most reliable test they could have done to rule the PE possibility out? Im 27 and i feel i got a lot of life to live still and this constant worrying i feel is becoming a major distraction and bothersome to those around me. Its affected my job performance and family as well. I also have been experiencing slight back pain i was wondering if that could factor into my size and anxiety as well. Sorry to be bothersome, I'm just a very paranoid person. Once again i appreciate your time and a listening ear.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 25 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Supportive care, no worries, not PE

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for getting back to me

I can assure you D Dimers , CT scans are quite conclusive of PE and its not likely in your case so no worries for that. Losing weight will help with chest pain as well as anxiety. I can understand job and daily life may get compromised. I would suggest consult a psychotherapist and let them help you combat your fears . Only main target for now is losing weight and bringing BMI back to 25 at least. Sign up to an FDA approved weight loss program and let them help.

I hope it helps.
Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 9 minutes later
I actually just started seeing a paychotherapist this past week lol. Thanks again for the kind words. I really appreciate you helping me put my mind at ease. Im gonna continue my goals and try to get down in some weight. They started me on Zoloft which i was on when i was younger and i hope it helps. Ive also put a diet plan together with my primary physician. I guess in my case i just need to yake it one day at a time and let life come to me. Thanks again! Best wishes and have a great evening!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 5 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Best wishes

Detailed Answer:
Its good to see your management is already started. Do as directed and hope for the best. Good days are ahead.

Best of luck.
Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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