Is it possible that I am having a heart attack? What else could be wrong?

I am 28 years old and have always have been in good health. Two months ago I started experiencing a flutter in my chest. It doesn't hurt, just makes me stop and notice. Over a period of a week, it happened at least five times a day. This went on for about three weeks. It stopped until last week, when it occured maybe three times. Today was an especially stressful day, and when I got home my right arm started to ache. Not painfully, but it feels tingly. Am I having a heart attack? If not, what else could be going on? I currently don't have health insurance, so I am very skeptical about going to a doctor. I have researched on the internet, and most of the data hasn't been too helpful.

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You need to see a doctor. It sounds like you have some sort of blockage going on and yes - you can drop dead from blockages. health insurance or not - is your life worth taking that kind of chance?

  • 1 decade ago

    Whoever said that "heart attacks send ya to the hospital because u fall on the floor & start shaking you heart attacks dont appear that often" is absolutely incorrect.

    First of all, it is possible to have a heart attack and not even know it right away. Especially becuase your symptoms became noticebly worse today, you should go to the ER immediately.

    Also, know that stress can definitely be a factor in causing heart attacks. 28 is not too young to have a heart attack. There are state and federal programs to help pay for occurances like this. If this takes you away from work for any period of time a vocational rehab program can usually cover lots of costs (medicine, cardiac rehab, hospitilizations...)

    When I was 20 years old I had a heart attack. I was very active and was under a lot of stress at the time. It began by my feeling 'funny' and a little dizzy. Then BOTH of my arms felt tingly (not just the left one). Eventually the tingly feeling turned into pain across both arms and my chest. I didn't go to the ER right away because (like you) I assumed it was not a huge deal. 8 hours later, I went. I was lucky I didn't get there much later and damage was minimal.

    Bottom line, get off the computer and go to the ER immediately.

    Source(s): I am an EMT and a student (medicine)
  • 1 decade ago

    There is a number of things that can be going on so first of all the heart flutters you feel could be part of a thyroid problem and a simple blood test can tell that. If you are having pains in your chest, can't lift your arms, say a simple sentence or you smile with only half your face that could be a stroke, if you have the weight of an elephant sitting on your chest that is a heart attack. You are young so unless there is a history of heart disease then I would keep an eye on it. If you have any doubts what so ever go the nearest emergency room, call 911. It is better to be safe than sorry. God bless and put angels on your pillows. Good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Feeling a flutter in the chest is a common phenomenon, and not a sign of heart attack; not even a sign of anything wrong, really.

    Heart attack can cause pain in the left chest/neck/shoulder, not the right arm. Tingling in the arm is often caused by a pinched nerve in the shoulder, Try rotating and moving your shoulder around to loosen it up, and see if this helps. It could be brought on by tension.

    The symptoms you describe don't sound life-threatening or disabling, and yet you sound very worried. Is there something I'm not getting right, or is it maybe just that you are under a lot of stress?

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  • 1 decade ago

    When trying to decide if you could be experiencing an acute heart event, it is useful to consider your risk factors.

    Smoking, strong family history (Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, heart attacks, open heart surgery, or catheterizations), high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes. For a 28 year old woman to be having a heart attack, I would expect your answer to every one of those risk factors to be "yes." If this IS the case then I endorse the suggestion that you seek immediate care. If it is NOT the case then you can have this evaluated in a more leisurely manner.

    Almost always shortness of breath accompanies the presence of chest pressure, fullness, or heaviness (is typical but there are variations to what people feel). If you are have a problem with your heart, I would expect you to have increased symptoms with activity and improvement of symptoms with rest. With a heart condition, you should be able to provoke the symptoms at will by climbing a flight of stairs or doing some other thing that is vigorous. Rest should improve the symptoms.

    Your discomfort sounds very atypical for coronary problems. You are the wrong gender/age to really think of cardiac problems...even men rarely have cardiac problems at 28. You can evaluate your own risk factors. If you have one or no risk factors as described almost certainly DO NOT have heart disease...and you should try to relax. Apply the information above and use good judgement to decide if your chest discomfort has much likelihood to be a heart attack. It is very difficult to assess a patient in any meaningful way over the internet.

    So if its not your heart, what could it be? There are plenty of things - including anxiety attacks. Find a primary care provider and see him/her to have this evaluated. If it sounds supicious to them, they will refer you to a cardiologist for further evaluation as warranted.

    Good luck. Be well.

    Source(s): Physician assistant - cardiology
  • 1 decade ago

    You need to see doctor or cardiologist. You may be having a rhythm problem or a heart attack. I have seen people as young as 15 that had a heart attack. If you have an urgent care center in your area, go to it next time you have these symptoms. If you should go to a physician as soon as possible. There is a saying in cardiology is "Time is Muscle" The move time you waste, the more heart damage.

    Source(s): American Heart Association, former Cardiac Catheterization Technologist, University of Florida.
  • beebs
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It doesnt sound like a heart attack, but you SHOULD see a doctor-go to a hospital ER, then you can make payments. It is likely something simple-do you drink caffeine or take asprin that has caffiene in it? It could be mitral valve prolapse, which is usually not a problem, or it could be a simple food allergy. Try keeping a food journal to see if it worsens within 36 hours of eating or drinking certain foods.

  • 1 decade ago

    At 28yrs old get of your butt and go to emergency room. Flutters in the heart are not there to entertain it is telling you something. You could be headed for a heart attact or a stroke. Whats more important your life or money. I know this is blunt but been there done it and got the tee shirt. You don't wanna wait.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I got a feeling your not having 3 heart attack a week or whatever. Probably just an arm with a mind of its own!

  • Swamy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you are in USA (as appears from your question), I understand that ER (Emegency Rooms?) are the place to go if you don't have insurance. Go there and get it checked. Your tingling in right arm may be due to cervical spondylitis and your heart flutter may be due to stress or arrythmia. Internet is great but is not the place to get diagnosis and treatment!

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