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What causes intermittent tightness in chest?

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Posted on Sat, 16 May 2015
Question: For the past two weeks or so, I have had on and off again tightness in my chest. It's not a really tight feeling, but I can notice it for sure. I figured it had something to do with allergies, but i'm not so sure now. It doesn't go on all day, it just comes and goes. What do you think that could be? I'm in moderately good health, I exercise a few times a week and stay active when I don't. I don't have any family history of heart disease, but after so long it's starting to make me wonder what could be wrong. Any suggestions?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (18 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Better to get done ecg and PFT

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on HCM.
I can understand your situation and problem.
Chest tightness can be due to
1. Cardiac disease
2. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
3. Allergic bronchitis.
So better to get done ecg to rule out cardiac cause.
If ecg is normal then no need to worry for cardiac cause.
Get done PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) to rule out bronchitis.
I want to know few more things.
1. What kind of allergy you are having?
2. Do you feel wheezing or shortness of breath along with chest tightness?
3. Do you feel burning pain in center of chest?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (6 minutes later)
Okay, I can get those tests scheduled, no problem. I just want it to go away. I have had just the normal allergies, nothing out of the ordinary for me. I have no wheezing and I kind of feel short of breath sometimes, but nothing that makes me feel like i'm not getting a sufficient supply of Oxygen. I do not have any burning pain in the center of my chest, but all the tightness feels like its in the middle of my chest.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (11 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Does it have any association with food intake?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
Please let me know
1. Does your central chest tightness associated with food intake like with spicy or oily food?
2. Does your chest tightness is associated with exposure to dust, mites, smoke or animal fur?
3. Do you have family history of allergy?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (6 minutes later)
I'm not sure if it's after I eat or not. Some times I guess it does, but I never really paid enough attention to answer that with any kind of certainty. I don't smoke, and normally i'm not around anyone who does smoke, so I know that wouldn't be it. And again, I have no family history. This all kind of started two weeks ago, I had really bad chest congestion, I would wake up and I would feel like I had to cough up a lot of phloem. It went away, and shortly after that is when I started experiencing this chest tightness. Also, which I try not to mention, I do have anxiety issues. I don't have panic attacks or anything like that, and I have a stressful job. But I've had this job for awhile now, so I don't think that's the issue. I try not to mention anxiety much because I feel like everything that i say is kind of written off. Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (56 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Have you ever consulted psychiatrist?

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I can understand your concern.
In my opinion, you are mostly having stress and anxiety related GERD (gastroesophageal reflux).
Because allergy does not cause symptoms since 2 weeks, allergic symptoms are from many years.
Stress and anxiety are the biggest risk factor for GERD.
So better control of stress and anxiety will reduce your symptoms.
Have you ever consulted psychiatrist?
Have you ever tried GERD drugs?
Have you ever tried anxiolytic drugs?
Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better.
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (20 minutes later)
I have never heard of GERD, what kind of medication do I need to look for? I try to control my stress and anxiety the best I can, I feel as though I have a pretty good hold on it.
I have never tried Anxiety medication, I don't want to feel like I'm dependent on them. GERD drugs like I said before I have never tried. And I have often thought about seeing a psychiatrist, but I have never worked up the gumption to go.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (6 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
GERD drugs include proton pump inhibitors.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I can understand your situation and problem.
But better to consult psychiatrist and get done counseling sessions.
Try to identify stressor in your life and start working on its solution.
Not all anxiety patients need anxiolytic drugs. Many patients can only managed through counseling sessions.
So don't hesitate to consult psychiatrist.
GERD drugs include proton pump inhibitors, prokinetic drugs.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (8 minutes later)
Thank you so much for your help and guidance, this is very helpful to me. I was afraid that I might have something going on cardiovascular wise. I will look into managing my anxiety better and going to see a psychiatrist.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (5 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Managing stress is important to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your kind words. I am truely obliged.
Stress is also the biggest cause for cardiovascular disease. So better control of stress and anxiety is needed.
Hence psychiatrist consultation will help you.
Where are you working? And which kind of work you are doing?
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (2 minutes later)
I am a home healthcare recruiter, I help bring in PT's and staff them with nurses from our agency. A lot of stress dealing with RN's and PT's families all the time. But other than that I don't FEEL stressed at all.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (4 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Your job is very stressful and demanding.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
Anything related to patient is always stressful.
And your job is very demanding in terms of stress level.
You might be having more stress then doctor.
Are you having habit of alcohol?
Are you married?
Are you spending enough time with family and friends?
I will be happy to help you further.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (5 minutes later)
Yes, it is very demanding. But I never really thought the stress was getting to me too much, I guess I was wrong. I do not drink, if I do it's with food and I can't remember the last time I actually had alcohol. I'm not married, but getting married in September, and most of my friends live far away, but I keep in good contact with them.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (3 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Consult psychiatrist and discuss your problem.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your follow up question on HCM.
I really appreciate your work and situation.
But stress management is very important in our profession,as stress is the causative factor for almost all lethal diseases.
So better to consult psychiatrist and get done counseling sessions. Try to identify stressor in your life and start working on its solution.
Don't worry, you will be alright.
Hope I have solved your query.
If you are not having further queries, then please close the conversation and rate my answer.
You can ask me directly on bit.ly /askdrkaushalbhavsar.
Wish you good health.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14855 Questions

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What causes intermittent tightness in chest?

Brief Answer: Better to get done ecg and PFT Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on HCM. I can understand your situation and problem. Chest tightness can be due to 1. Cardiac disease 2. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) 3. Allergic bronchitis. So better to get done ecg to rule out cardiac cause. If ecg is normal then no need to worry for cardiac cause. Get done PFT (Pulmonary Function Test) to rule out bronchitis. I want to know few more things. 1. What kind of allergy you are having? 2. Do you feel wheezing or shortness of breath along with chest tightness? 3. Do you feel burning pain in center of chest? Please reply me answers of above asked questions, so that I can guide you better. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.