Chest pain is one symptom that you certainly don’t want to ignore. After all, when people think about chest pain they often think about serious and potentially life-threatening problems like a heart attack. While not all chest pain is considered serious or life-threatening it’s important to know when you should visit our West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA cardiologist Dr. Virginia Gonzalez for further evaluation.
What can cause chest pain?
There are many reasons why someone may experience chest pain and some of these problems aren’t even related to the heart. Chest pain may be the result of cardiac, respiratory, bone and muscle, or gastrointestinal problems.
The most common cardiac-related causes of chest pain include,
Heart attack: a reduction in blood flow to the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to cell death
Coronary artery disease (CAD): a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart that can cause chest pain known as angina
Myocarditis: inflammation of the heart muscle
Pericarditis: Inflammation or an infection of the sac that surrounds the heart
Mitral valve prolapse: a common condition that causes one or more valves of the heart to function improperly
Sometimes it isn’t the heart at all that is causing your chest pain. Common lung and gastrointestinal problems can also lead to chest pain:
Pneumonia: an infection of the lungs that can cause a deep aching pain in the chest
Asthma: along with difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and wheezing you may also experience chest tightness and pain
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): also known as acid reflux, this condition can cause the contents in the stomach to move back up to the throat, which can cause heartburn and even chest pain
Hiatal hernia: this condition happens when part of the stomach pushes into the chest, which can lead to acid reflux, chest pain and pain that gets worse when lying down
Gallbladder problems and pancreatitis can also lead to chest pain. While not as common, muscle strains and rib problems may also be responsible for chest pain.
When should I see a cardiologist?
It’s best to play it safe when it comes to handling chest pain and to call our West Monroe, LA, heart doctor if you are experiencing chest pain. If chest pain appears suddenly and isn’t alleviated with over-the-counter anti-inflammatories then you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Call 911 or head to your local hospital if you are experiencing pressure or tightness under your breastbone, if the pain spreads to your back or arms, if you also experience a rapid heart rate or if your blood pressure drops.
Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, is here to provide you with the comprehensive cardiac care you are looking for. Whether you are dealing with chest pain or other heart-related symptoms it’s important to turn to the experts who can provide you with the answers you need.