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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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I feel like someone is grabbing my heart and twisting it. Is there something wrong with my heart ?

I think there is something wrong with my heart but I can t get to a doctor . What do I do? About 4 months ago I had this feeling in my chest , like my heart was sinking into me but it only happened every once in awhile.. It s really hard to explain. It didn t hurt but it was weird and a bit uncomfortable.It kinda made me feel like I was losing my breath . My mom took me to the doctor and he said it was probably nothing. About a month later it got a little more intense and was happening more then once a week. It started hurting a little and made me a little sick to my stomach. Now, it is a constant feeling. I feel like someone is grabbing my heart and twisting it. It isn t always real bad but sometimes it gets tearjerking. I am also having alot of headaches recently. I m only 17 and I have no way to get to a doctor. My parents think I m overreacting but I m starting to get really worried. Does anyone have any idea what this could be and what should I do if I can t get my parents to get me to a doctor? Should I even be concerned so much?
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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One of the biggest challenges with these types of symptoms are that they can be from a number of things that range from serious health risks to psychological symptoms of anxiety. The problem with the anxiety attack symptoms is that they make you more anxious, then the symptoms get worse - it's a cycle. Did the family doctor do an EKG where they put the sensors on your chest and measure the electrical impulses from the heart muscle? or did he/she just listen through the stethoscope? Do you have a history of anxiety or depressions? Are you going through (or recently went through) something very difficult or emotional? At 17 do you have a driver's license? The local hospital should have a free clinic if you really feel that concerned. If they tell you that it might be some sort of cardiovascular illness, then ask for a written report to show your parents so they'll take you to a specialist. If they tell you it's anxiety, then ask if they can refer you to a mental health services clinic. Your parents' insurance probably has a mental health policy, but I'm not sure that they'll help you, based on your question, so that's why I suggested the clinic. I was also thinking of suggesting a Family Planning/Planned Parenthood Clinic - and I see someone else already did. It may be a better option as a starting point than a hospital clinic because their rules are a bit different at your age and they are people who care for just young women like yourself and have a lot of resources to recommend. Whatever the cause - worrying and stressing about the problem does make it worse, so try to do some deep breathing, relaxation and meditation exercises - maybe some yoga. This way, when the symptoms act up, you can help your body overcome them by triggering the relaxation response, which is a proven medical phenomenon. Other common sense health and wellness tips also apply - get plenty of sleep; drink plenty of water; minimize or eliminate caffeine; minimize or eliminate sugary/processed foods. Get some low impact exercise, like yoga, pilates, or even walking at an moderate pace. Good luck!
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