User Profile
I am 24 years old, 5'6'' and weigh 112 lbs. I am on a low fat diet because I have IBS and go running about 3 times a week. I have a very healthy lifestyle, but have been under tremendous stress most of my life. Recently, I've been having sharp pains on the left side of my chest, in my armpit and in my left arm. Occasionally I get some sharp pains on the left side. It has been going on for a little over a week, and I'm also experiencing a rapid heart and sometimes irregular heart beat. It has been waking me up at night, and is very uncomfortable. The painse last almost all day, but sometimes disappear. I think it's anxiety, and have no health insurance, so I'm not sure what to do or if I should be concerned. How long can anxiety/panic attacks last?

Did you find this post helpful?
First Helper User Profile DoctorQuestion

User Profile
replied February 2nd, 2010
Cholesterol Answer A9685
Hi, and thanks for your medical question on eHealth forum!

The symptoms (sharp pains on the left side of chest, in armpit and in left arm along with increased heart rate and waking up at night) could be due to heart problems and a 12 lead EKG should be done. However since the pain lasts for so long and since you also have IBS, there is a huge chance that these symptoms are due to acidity with gastric reflux.

Omeprazole is a good drug to combat this. This should be taken empty stomach in the morning. Along with it you can try over the counter antacids. However I would recommend you see a doctor and take medication under a doctor’s supervision. Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Go to bet at least 2 hours after food.

Maybe these tips will help you. You should see a gastroenterologist (a specialist who looks after the diseases of our digestive system) or a physician for this if these tips reduce your symptoms.

Another possibility is pinched nerve or musculoskeletal pain.

Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please discuss these possibilities with your doctor or go to a walk in clinic. Hope this helps. Take care!

Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans. But what is pain? And how can pain management help relieve different types of pain? Basic facts here....
How does the nervous system work to register pain? And what are the major causes of acute and chronic pain? Plus, who's at risk of pain here....
Acute and chronic pain manifest different symptoms. Learn the difference here and know when to seek medical help for pain....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our Anxiety and Stress , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.