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Shooting pains in side of chest

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I've been having really sharp shooting pains on the left side of my chest, almost like electric shocks, very painful, for some years now. The pains start abruptly and randomly, when they end my heart seams to stop for about a second before starting up again, very slowly and reluctantly. When it picks up the pace it goes overboard and begins to beat madly. My entire chest then tightens and my lungs feel as if they where being crushed making it almost impossible to breath. My body freezes up, though I'm not sure if its from the pain or because i kind of go numb during all of this. These episodes can last anywhere from 3seconds to several agonizing minutes. I have mentioned this to my doc. before but was told, when this started, that it was normal for young people to feel that way. I was 17 then and i will be 22 in august and it has never gotten better its just getting worse. its more frequent, from once in a while to several times a day and more painful. I don't take any medications.

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replied June 5th, 2010
Chest Pain Answer A12894
Hi, and thanks for your medical question on eHealth forum!

Shooting pain, heart stopping like sensation followed by palpitation, feeling of lung being crushed etc can be due to spinal nerve compression, severe acidity, chronic fatigue syndrome, vasovagal attack or panic attack.

Since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please discuss these possibilities with your PCP and rule these out one by one. Hope this helps. Take care!

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