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Why do I have a strange squeezing pain under the breast bone while I'm diabetic and obese ?

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Practicing since : 2008
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Hi, I am a 45 year old woman with several risk factors for heart disease (obesity, diabetes.) I also suffer from panic attacks, which I am able to mostly control with attivan. Sometime last week I started having a strange chest pain. The pain is a squeezing on the right side, just under breast bone. The squeezing is somewhat painful (scale of 1-10, maybe a 5.) It is certainly not unbearable, but is definitely uncomfortable. The squeezing only lasts for 2-3 seconds then goes away and comes back a few minutes later. The first time it happened I experienced the squeezing, off and on, for about an hour. It happened again last night, but I only experienced 3-5 squeezes. I finally went to sleep, after taking an aspirin and some attivan and was awakened by the squeezing pain about half an hour later. It only happened 2-3 times. (I should mention that I had a very stressful day yesterday and then ate a large meal.) I started to go to the ER and then decided if it were a heart attack that it would have gotten worse, so turned around and went home. I have had one small squeeze this morning. I have and appointment scheduled with my regular doc on Tuesday. Can I wait that long? I think this sort of sounds like angina, but perhaps not exactly. I am exercising (aerobic walking, 2-3 miles, 3-4 times per week) and do not experience any chest pain while I exercise. I can climb stairs, etc and do not experience pain. Is this anxiety or does it sound like angina?
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Puneet Maheshwari 48 minutes later

Thanks for the query,

Well, The symptoms like recurrent chest tightening, pain, suggests the chest pain has a cardiac origin if one or more of these present:
1- on the left half of thorax, on exertion
2- radiating to neck, back.
3- associated with sweating.
may or may not followed by nausea or vomiting.

In your case the pain was on right side of body with no radiations, which was squeezing in nature, all these symptoms are against the cardiac origin.

But as you have mentioned that, you have many risk factors towards cardiac disease, then it is wise to investigate properly keeping in mind the cardiac involvement.

It is better, not to wait, till tuesday, you should atleast get a preliminary ECG done at ER. If it comes out to be normal then chances of Cardiac origin are almost near to zero. THe other reasons could be Reflux Oesophagitis because of large meal. There are other possible reasons like muscular pain, lung conditions which are not typical though.

In the mean time, reduce your anxiety level. Smaller and frequent meals are a better option.

Dont worry, chances of non cardiac origin are more in your case, please follow the above suggestion and you will be all rite.

Hope this will help you, and I am ready for future follow ups( if any).

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