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I have chest pains and the ekg, chest xray and blood work came back fine. Can anxiety cause all my chest pain?

Posted by kris

I have had the EKG, chest x-ray and blood work done and everything came back fine. I went back to the doctor and he said that i am having anxiety and panic attacks. During the week I am normally fine with hardly any discomfort in my chest but there are times when I really get scared that something is wrong with my heart even though everything came back fine. 
Answers (19)
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Ian Health Maven
Yes, Kris, anxiety can trigger chest pains. It has been estimated that about 20% of those going to an ER believing they are having a heart attack are actually experiencing an anxiety or panic attack. Many anxiety disorders are diagnosed when an organic cause for symptoms such as chest pains cannot be found.

And it is not necessarily all in your head. A few years ago I saw angiography video taken as the patient had a panic attack during the procedure. Quite noticeable was one of the major arteries constricting in spasms as the panic attack began and then ceasing as it eased. Such contractions may produce chest pain.

In the absence of a cardiovascular cause you should begin treatment for the anxiety as soon as possible. If you've had the anxiety for an length of time then it probably won't simply go away, though you may get periods of remission. Generally, the longer it is allowed to fester the more difficult anxiety becomes to resolve.

Anxiety responds well to both medication and/or psychotherapy. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment options for you.

Best wishes


So since I have been having chest pain for over a month now due to anxiety, it can still hurt even when I am laying in bed or just reading a book? I know it is not my heart but i notice the pain and it is probably all in my head thinking that something must be there. 
Ian Health Maven

Unfortunately, yes it can still hurt after a month. Which isn't to say that it is all in your head. The pain may be the type of common twinges we all get which is then magnified by your mind.

Are you being treated for anxiety? If not, I urge you to discuss this with your physician. Both medication and psychotherapy are effective, especially if treatment commences early.

Best wishes


yes i am taking amitripilyn at night time to help me sleep. I am also taking xanax for whenever I think a panic/anxiety attack will happen. Can I rule out my heart being a problem since i have had tests and doctors tell me several times that it is not my heart. I just get scared easily whenever I have these attacks. They are worse at night time. I am only 20 and have no family history of heart problems. and i do not smoke or drink.
Ian Health Maven

Given your age, the test done, and that you do have anxiety, it is unlikely that the pains are heart related, though your anxiety may be triggering some physical symptoms.

In addition to the two medications, cognitive-behavior therapy might be worth pursuing. It can help you find likely triggers and to cope with your anxiety symptoms in a better way.

Fish oil/omega-3 fatty acid supplements might also help. There is good evidence that they ease anxiety symptoms, plus they are good for the cardiovascular system. Exercise is also great for anxiety.

Best wishes


this may be a dumb question but can doctors tell if your heart is healthy by listening through a stethoscope?
Ian Health Maven

Yes, they can Kris. They can hear any anomalies with the valves, even narrowing of the arteries. Add in the results of the EKG which covers the heart's electrical system, and the chest x-ray which would have shown an enlargement of the heart had there been long term problems, and it is very unlikely that you have heart disease.

One of the reasons I suggested cognitive behavior therapy is that it deals with the catastrophic thinking you seem to be engaged in. Your doctor should be able to recommend a therapist in your area.

Best wishes


I've had anxiety for 13yrs. now, read so many books and watched so many video's about anxiety, depression/panic attacks. I get them all. The more you know about anxiety the better you start to feel, I do think your having anxiety/panic attacks.

You are going to be fine, you are not having heart problems is what you need to keep telling yourself in order to believe it again. because of the anxiety and stress of thinking you have a heart problem is why you keep having the pain. The best thing for you is to learn all about anxiety/panic attacks, and even talking to people who have anxiety/panic attacks will help you feel better. :)


Thanks so much. Reading that does help. I have been feelings better for the most part this past week. I went to a counselor and she said that talking to people who understand what it feels like will help to so i know i am not alone with the pain. I am just so tired of having to take medicine for it. 
WHen you get anxiety does your chest feel like something is there. I don't have a sharp pain or anything. I just feel uncomfortable and that something is there. 
you know what .a chest xray is really an out dated form of technology, they do not show what a ct scan or mri could.i would like to share if i may, im 31 male healthy just quit smoking , same thing thought i was having a heart attack, went to one e.r. twice two ekgs same results , they were fine , had a chest xray, dr. said i had pluerisy,problem kept on ,went to different e.r. ekg was normal, blood work was fine,but then the new dr. reccommended a ct scan and they did that and they found a growth in the center of my chest the size of a grapefruit,which i guess the xray didnt catthanksch either now 6 weeks later i have a four inch scar in the center of my chest ,they broke the sternum , removed it ,tested it , no cancer or anything,so far no problems,no repeat episodes, they said it looked like my thymus had just grew large and they removed it,so i dont want to scare anyone ,but would like to spread the word ,if you go to the e.r. , dont settle for an xray of your chest,im 31 im to young for this, get a ct scan they have them on site , if your dr. at a e.r. wont do it find one who will, it saved my life,because if the growth had moved south it could have wrapped on arteries orwho knows they thanks if you read this,be educated, be aware that e.r. drs. are emergency medicine trained,they are not cardiovascular or internal medicine drs. who specialize in the heart or chest.and im sure that an e.r. dr. is highly educated,but there is a huge difference..
Please never believe your chest pain is anxiety related until you have exausted physical causes. I have anxiety chest pain however I have not been treated promptly for real physical emergencies because anxiety is always blamed and Dr's have treated me like everything is always in my head. I have had serious Gallbladder attacks go unrecognised after 8 DR and ER visits, A Hiatal Hernia and Gastritis as went untreated a long time because every time I had a GERD attack it was labeled as anxiety. Sure those little valume pills help because no matter what your problem is they will relax you and calm you down but in the end they dont do the trick if your problem is really a physical one.
Hi my name is Michael. I got a question.. Well this Summer I starded drinking monster energy drinks for the first time and I was fine but then one day I smoke marijuana for the first time and I don't know if I panick or I don't know what happen that my heart starded beating so fast non stop and I felt like I was gonna fair but I resist and made it to the hospital and they calm it down and they told me I was okey that it was just a panick attack and well I felt okey till one day in school the same thing happen out of know where I ended in the hospital in 4 occasions they did x-rays EKGs and they always came normal and okey. Well ever since the last time I was in the hospital there was this one time in school when I was in my chemistry class doing work then out of know where I felt like I got stab In my heart I want it to scream but I took it like a man. After that ever since then I been having chest pains they never go away I been like this for 4 Months already they really bothered alot can't do much and like 2 weeks ago I ended in the hospital for the same occasion I was in my Spanish class I felt bad since the morning and I try to sleep in class and out of know where again my heart starded to beat fast and I ran out of class to the main office to call my mom because i thought it was the end of me . But then the school call the ambulance and they did EKG and X-ray and again everything came out normal and they told me it was a panick attack again. I'm 19 years old I'm very young also I went to my doctor And did some blood test and I had high cholesterol and high blood pressure I'm taking lisinopril for my high blood pressure but I still get this chest pains . Well if you guys could take the time and read what I'm going throu and give me any advice or suggestions what I should do because I'm I'm tired of feeling like this ill appreciate if I get a response as soon as possible . 
Ian Health Maven
Are you being treated for panic disorder, Michael? If not, I think you need to discuss this with your doctor who can explain the treatment choices available to you. I urge you to get treatments asap as the longer it goes untreated the harder it becomes to resolve. I also suggest you get dietary and exercise advice. 19 is a very young age to have high BP and cholesterol. Ian
No I haven't been treated for panick dissorder but they gave me some pills for 30 days for blood pressure which I stop taking because my left arm was hurting all the time today my highest blood pressure was 170 and I got scared but if I go again to the hospital they tell me the same thing. 
Ian Health Maven
You need to tell the doctor that prescribed the lisinopril about the pain in your left arm. Do not take it again until you have done this. And also discuss treatment for panic disorder.
Okey thanks ill make an appointment as soon as possible and see what happens. 
The Same problems happens to me.can someone  suggest me what to do?I am in big trouble since ! year I have having problem.
Ian Health Maven
rohan00 what is your problem, anxiety or heart disease? Have you seen a doctor? If yes, what treatment was prescribed?
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