Hello everyone. I've been a lurker on these forums for a long time but never posted.
wall of text incoming
My main issue is that I'm convinced there is something wrong with my heart and I'm not sure whether to just try to stop worrying, or continue to try to "find out" what is wrong.
My background - 24 y/o m, great cholesterol, did smoke occasionally for a few years but its been over a year since I quit. Grew up playing sports and exercising, though I haven't done much cardio since college, where I mostly did weight-training. Healthy weight. Drinker on the weekends, sometimes heavily (think college binge-drinking). No family history of heart disease or high blood pressure / high cholesterol, etc. My cholesterol is something like 80 HDL, 40 LDL, normal triglycerides. My blood pressure has been high ever since I started worrying when checked by nurses, my heart will just start pounding like crazy when I get BP taken, but It is normal when not having it taken (I've taken it myself alone).
I've had 3 EKGs, 1 Echocardiogram, blood tests, and a 24 hour holter monitor, which all came back "perfect". These tests have been done over the span of a year (and 2 ER trips). I have also had an endoscopy which determined that I may have GERD, and I have been on PPIs for almost a year now. Both my mother and father have GERD, father had to have surgery to correct it.
My main issues are that I always get aches and pains in my chest / back / shoulders / stomach etc, and I don't know whether to attribute them to anxiety, reflux, muscle aches, or my heart? I also get palpitations, but these have been greatly reduced by the reflux medicine. If I go off the reflux medicine for a few days they come back horribly, and they also come back horribly regardless, when I am hung over. (Everything is magnified ten-fold when hungover, and all my symptoms pretty much go away completely when drinking).
Sometimes it seems to get worse with exertion, like walking up the stairs, but other times I can sprint on the exercise bike and get my heart rate up to 200bpm and feel no pain (other than the constant worry that I MIGHT feel pain).
So I guess my question is, should I just accept that it really is GERD, or muscle aches, or anxiety? Or should I try to have more tests done, like a stress test? My cardiologist said a stress-test wouldn't be necessary because all the other tests were fine and I have great cholesterol so "there couldn't be a blockage already at your age".
I am a graduate student and it has plagued me for over a year now, interfering with school and my personal and social life. I have had stretches of time where I was reassured and didn't notice any symptoms, but then something always brings it back, like seeing something about a young person having a heart attack, stroke, etc. I just want to feel normal again and be able to go about my day without worrying that I am about to have a heart attack or something.
Anyone else have similar situations?
Thanks so much for any responses!