Chest pain feels like a sharp, stabbing pain which is often misunderstood as a heart attack. Chest pain can be triggered by heart diseases like heart attack, angina, cardiomyopathy, by gastrointestinal causes like gallbladder stones or acid reflux, by pneumonia or bronchitis and even due to panic attack. Chest pain can be diagnosed by X-ray, CT scan and MRI. Maintaining a healthy diet and good lifestyle habits can reduce the risk of chest pain.
HOW IS CHEST PAIN DIAGNOSED?
While the symptom of chest pain is mostly associated with heart attack, not everyone experiences a heart attack with a crushing chest pain.
One of the main reasons for chest pain is the onset of a cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, various heart conditions lead to a number of problems. Some examples of cardiovascular disease are-
Angina- Angina is a form of pain which occurs when the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, becomes narrow. As a result it restricts the blood supply to the heart, leading to the pain. Coronary arteries can become narrow, because of fat deposits or plaque. Generally, angina pain is a sort of dull ache or discomfort across the chest, which tends to recede when one takes rest.
Heart attack- Also known as myocardial infraction, it occurs because of coronary artery blockage due to a blood clot. Symptoms of heart attack include intense pain in the chest, which may affect the jaw or the left arm. You may also tend to start sweating and feeling faint. Heart attack pain is very similar to angina, but more intense.
Ischemic heart disease- This condition leads to an ischemic stroke, which affects brain cells. In a patient with Ischemic heart disease a blockage may result in restricted flow of blood from the heart to the brain.
Heart failure- Also commonly known as congestive heart failure, it is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood the way it should. The symptoms of this condition may vary from chest pain to discomfort.
Various other causes of chest pain are-
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease- This term is generally used for two conditions- acid reflux and oesophagitis. Both these conditions lead to great discomfort and their onset is generally after a meal. The most common symptom is heartburn. One may also feel slight stomach pain or lower abdominal pain. A burning sensation in the abdominal region is also common. A sense of bloating, bad taste in the mouth and belching are other symptoms that one may experience.
Anxiety- Research has shown that anxiety can prove to be a cause of chest pain too. This is known as Da Costa’s syndrome.
In case of chest pain a doctor should be immediately consulted, to avoid any further complications.
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