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Chest pain can be a sign of these 9 diseases

Any kind of pain is troubling, but chest pains can be particularly worrying because it could indicate a problem with your heart. Chest pain may not always be caused by a serious illness, but it is important to be aware of the pain as soon as possible.

Here are the most common causes of chest pain.

Heart attack symptom

One of the most serious causes of chest pain is a heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction. A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. During a heart attack, a persistent, uncomfortable pressure or tightness may be felt in the center of the chest. However, not everyone has a heart attack in the same way. Although chest pain is common during a heart attack, women are more likely to experience pain in one or both arms, sweating, unusual tiredness, back or jaw pain, or shortness of breath.

Panic attack symptom

Panic attacks are extreme anxiety events, usually accompanied by physical symptoms. During panic attacks, some people experience chest pains that can feel like a heart problem. Like a heart attack, panic attacks can cause sharp chest pains, shortness of breath, and palpitations. Most panic attacks last from a few minutes to half an hour. Although they may feel like emergencies, panic attacks usually go away on their own and are not dangerous.

Deep, slow breathing can help relieve symptoms during an attack, but if you’ve never had a panic attack before or if you have it regularly, contact a healthcare professional.

Aortic dissection

Aortic dissection is a rare but life-threatening cause of chest pain. Although this condition is rare, it is more common in men in their 60s and 70s. You may experience a tearing sensation during aortic dissection, plus different blood pressure levels are measured in each arm. Aortic dissection is potentially fatal if not diagnosed and treated early. Other symptoms of this condition include leg pain or numbness, severe abdominal pain, difficulty speaking, or weakness on one side of the body.

May be rib related

One of the most common causes of chest pain is actually rib related. Costochondritis is a common type of chest pain caused by inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. Although uncomfortable, costochondritis is not typically dangerous and is usually associated with excessive exercise, prolonged or severe coughing, or viral infections that cause a person’s body aches. Costochondritis usually clears up on its own after a few weeks, but it can sometimes last several months or more.

Chest pain can be caused by an irritated nerve

Chest pain sometimes originates from your neck (cervical spine) or mid-back (thoracic spine) It can occur when one of the emerging nerves becomes irritated or inflamed. These nerves provide sensation to all parts of the body, including your chest. When a nerve is compressed or irritated in the spinal cord, it can cause pain to radiate to the chest area. This pain is often severe and difficult to detect. While an irritated nerve is not always dangerous, it is important to prevent more serious conditions by consulting a doctor.

GERD is another common cause

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid moves backwards from the esophagus, causing pain and a burning sensation. It is often linked to weakening of the muscle above the stomach and can cause sharp chest pain. Risk factors for GERD are being overweight, being pregnant, and having high stress levels.

May be a sign of pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot blocks a vessel. Patients often experience chest pain with the onset of shortness of breath. This can lead to sudden shortness of breath, heart failure, and sudden heart attacks. This condition can be life-threatening and seek immediate medical attention if you think you have a pulmonary embolism.

Can be caused by a gallbladder problem

Biliary colic is a constant or intermittent pain in the upper abdomen, usually on the right side of the rib cage. It happens when something blocks the normal flow of bile from the gallbladder. It can feel similar to heart attack symptoms. This blockage is typically caused by a gallstone, which is a small mass of cholesterol or hardened bilirubin. Biliary colic usually occurs with the sudden onset of a sharp pain in the upper stomach or upper right part of the trunk.

Esophageal spasms

The esophagus is the tube that carries food to your stomach. Problems with the esophagus (esophagus) can cause pain in the chest area near your heart. Esophageal spasms can be painful and alarming, especially if you’ve never experienced them before. It most commonly affects people between the ages of 60 and 80 and is associated with high blood pressure and depression. Symptoms of esophageal spasms are difficulty swallowing and feeling like you have food stuck in the middle of your chest.

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