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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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Having panic attacks with shoulder pain. EKG and blood test came normal. Anything wrong?

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 424 Questions
I have had 3 EKG's over the past 6 months and one stress test, cholesterol test, full blood work, all fine, I was told 6 months I had a panic attack due to my dad having a heart attack in March at 60 y/o (Survived, had 2 stents inserted), but still my symptoms persist, most common are -

Age 35 - Occasional drinker, ex social smoker (maybe 10 a week, have been stopped for 1 year)
Left shoulder ache
Left and right arm "zaps" or twinges (Mainly left), when these occur I feel a flutter, something akin to when you receive a fright
Pain just below ears on both sides sometimes earlobe, and occasionally jaw ache
no pain or real tightness in chest just a general feeling of uncomfortableness
Ache in shoulders is again more of a stiff ache, slightly painful when rotating but not a bad pain
Belching constantly, seems to relieve some of the symptoms, no stomach pain, trapped win seems more in chest and throat
Symptoms mainly occur at rest ot when sitting, rarely when doing anything strenuous
Sometimes what feels like a build up of pressure from my neck upwards, mainly on standing up after sitting for some time
BP at rest is normal (Around 12/80 or just above) however during one of numerous "Panic attacks" has risen to 160/96
Some months ago I developed "air hunger" a constant need to take a XXXXXXX fulfillling breath which lasted around 2 months

Apologies for the exhaustive list, official diagnosis from GP and cardiologist I was referred to was anxiety attacks but have a constant feeling of dread that this is heart related
Wed, 23 Jan 2013 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Prabhakar C Koregol 10 hours later

Thanks for expressing your concerns in detail.

When a family member who had been healthy all the while, suddenly develops cardiac problem, his near and dear ones do develop some cardiac neurosis.

But in your case, I would like to agree with your GP and cardio. As you have been tested and found to have normal reports, and your symptoms which are more at rest than with activity, are not suggestive of cardiac symptoms.

However, to help you cope with the situation, you can have one more stress test and as a last reassuring measure, CT scan coronary angiogram.

Also, if everything is normal, consider for psychiatric counselling.

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