Don’t ignore chest pain

How does one know when chest pain is a high-priority? When dull or stabbing pain in the chest won’t go away, people may think they’re having a heart attack. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of men and women. Any chest pain should be examined by a medical professional. Partial blocks in the coronary arteries can cause angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow described as pressure, pain, or tightness in the chest.

Heart Attack, or Simply Chest Pain? What You Need to Know

What are other causes of chest pain?

Many other conditions including pancreatitis, panic attacks, and digestive issues can cause chest pain. More serious issues like pulmonary embolisms can also be at fault. Everyone experiences heart attacks differently. Mild symptoms can be easy to dismiss.

Chest pain can result from acid reflux, heartburn, or gallstones. Inflamed tissues in the chest cavity can also be mistaken for a heart attack. Lung-related conditions can cause shortness of breath or sharp pains. Finally, psychological distress can cause palpitations, dizziness, and chest pain.

Slow and steady symptoms

Most people aren’t aware of all the major symptoms and warning signs of an impending heart attack. Symptoms begin slowly with mild chest pain. These symptoms can be easy to ignore. Although chest pain is a sign of heart attack, there are other symptoms of a heart attack people should watch out for:

  • Pressure, squeezing, or tightness in the center of the chest
  • Discomfort in the back, stomach, arms, neck, or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Cold sweats or flushing

Describe the symptoms

Individuals who experience any of these symptoms should not delay getting checked out by a licensed physician. Doctors will require patients to describe symptoms and may use an electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood tests to determine the cause of discomfort. A diagnosis depends on the source of the pain, the onset, progression of symptoms, and history of heart attacks.

When is it a heart attack?

Heart attacks, generally, cause an uncomfortable pressure or burning, not sharp or stabbing pain after breathing or coughing. Short-lasting pain or pain in one side of the body does not necessarily mean the symptoms are heart-attack-related. Heart attack pain will spread from the center out, not remain localized in one place.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

Whether heart attack-related or not, chest pain is a serious issue that should be attended to immediately. Even young people in excellent shape have experienced heart attacks due to heart disease. Getting checked out is a responsible thing to stay on top of impending health issues. If the symptoms are not heart-attack-related, doctors will work to figure out the true cause.