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Have chest pains and chest tightening. Prescribed xanax. What can be done?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 439 Questions
Have sharp like chest pains from time to time and having issues at work where I will be laughing and having a good time, and it feels like a chest tightening. Sometimes it will last for 3min sometimes it will last for hours.....have gotten an ekg with the paramedics because the chest pains lasted for hours, but the pain just would not go away this was like a month ago they told me to try xanax...they have gotten a little better but it happens all of a sudden I could be laying still in bed about to go to sleep and they happen or during activity....all tests came out normal but I am still having this reoccuring issue, my regular physician can't figure out what could be causing the pain.....the pain is at where you hold your hand to your chest and say I pledge Allegience to the flag and so on...I really want to get this figured out because it sure is a painful experience whenever I get them I don't know how to get rid of the pain
Posted Thu, 1 Aug 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Pankaj Malhan 46 minutes later

Thanks for asking.

Certain undifferentiated chest pains are not uncommon in the medical practice,when the usual cardiac cause of the chest pain is not established with the ECG other non specific causes of the chest pain comes in picture.

Few other causes of undifferentiated chest pains are:

Mitral valve prolapse- need echo cardiogram to diagnose it.

esophageal spasm- secondary to high acid production by the stomach- needs endoscopy of the upper GIT to diagnose it.

muscular spasm- needs muscle relaxants.

psychological- may need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist, if no other diagnosis is established.

I will advise you to consult your doctor and discuss these possibilities.


Please let me know if you need further information.

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Follow-up: Have chest pains and chest tightening. Prescribed xanax. What can be done? 10 minutes later
Like I said the EKG came out to be normal, he was thinking it was a acid reflex issue, but when I get the chest pains it has been a while since I have eaten

I looked online would there be any indication if this could be chest agina...I just feel trapped, I've consulted 2 of my doctors, endocrinologist said its not from the thyroid, because it has been treated, and regular doctor says it could be anxiety or acid reflex..but this will last for hours or for minutes...some nights I will be laying in bed and it will just happen I was not stressed or thinking about anything or at work mopping the floor i get worried that its a undiagnosed issue....i'm currently under treatment for i wouldn't think that would be the case...I've had this issue since October 2012 off and on one month i will be fine and it will come back again 2 months later....both my doctor and I are stuck, and I hate to be constantly to doctors appointments for reoccuring issues
Answered by Dr. Pankaj Malhan 5 minutes later
A very important condition Mitral valve prolapse which can cause chest pain can not be diagnosed with EKG, as I informed you ECHO CARDIOGRAPHY is the only way to diagnose it.

Secondly reflux can happen even when you have not eaten any thing for a long time, actually most of the times the pain from reflux occurs when the stomach is empty with acid accumulating in the stomach.

I understand it is not frustrating to not to have a diagnosis for the problem , but the only way out is the investigations to rule out uncommon conditions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have chest pains and chest tightening. Prescribed xanax. What can be done? 9 minutes later
So go try and get an ECG and see if there is an issue there

can I ask you the difference between EKG and ECG.....

they did a chest xray also and it came up normal...i'm not sure if that would show up on a ECG
Answered by Dr. Pankaj Malhan 6 minutes later
EKG, OR ECG are the same thing, It stands for electrocardiogram which is a very basic test available at most of the locations.

I am suggesting echo cardiogram , which is quite a advanced test, it is like ultrasound of the heart and it tells us about the chambers, valves and functions of the heart.It is not widely available, you need to consult a cardiologist to schedule it.

X XXXXXXX chest won't be of any help in your case.
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