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Heart problems or stress

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I have had difficulty in breathing. It feels like my air is being blocked and I have to cough to clear my airways. I don't have wheezing and it doesn't seem to be in my lungs. It gets worse when I have physical activity, eat a meal, or talk a lot. I also have chest pains that shoot up through my left side like an electrical shock. Am I having stress related ailments or should I see a physician?


Difficult in breathing and chest pain could be the result of pain arising from heart, lungs, upper gastrointestinal system and chest wall. The symptoms of stabbing pain and radiation to the left arm typically points towards that of Angina or a heart attack. However having said this it is important to remember that similar symptoms can occur in conditions not related to the heart as in reflux disease, anxiety or pulmonary infection.
Given your young age I would advice you to see your family physician in order to conduct a complete physical examination and order tests like Complete blood count, lipid profile, electrocardiogram, echo and stress test test if needed.

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