Health | Did You Know

5 Common Causes Of Chest Pain That Mimic Heart Attack Symptoms

First and foremost, chest pain is one of those things that always should be taken very seriously. If you are experiencing any type of chest pain, first seek medical assistance.

Doctors, nurses, cardiologists, and everyone else agrees that you need to make sure you call 911 or get yourself to a hospital if you are experiencing chest pain.

There are so many different things it could be, and while some of them are not fatal, it's still important to get it looked at. If you know someone who is complaining of chest pain, you should let them know that it's never a good idea to ignore it because it could be one of these things.

1. Heartburn


As I said, not all of the potential issues are going to be life threatening, but it can still cause a lot of pain. Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid travels back up the esophagus.

There is usually a burning sensation that accompanies it, which according to studies actually has a pH value of 2, which means it's somewhere between vinegar and battery acid. I don't know about you but I don't really love having burning holes through my esophagus!

If it happens very rarely, then you can usually treat it with antacids (after checking with your doctor) but if it's a frequent occurrence then it may actually be an ulcer or other conditions that can slowly get worse and worse until the heartburn actually becomes dangerous.

2. Muscle Strain

Sometimes it's actually just the sudden use of muscles that causes a pain that you aren't used to feeling. The strained muscles can end up feeling almost as painful as a heart attack but it's obviously going to go away. Still check with a doctor though, I am going to keep repeating that, but there is a a little trick if it happens a lot.

Apparently if you press on the wall of your chest and it hurts more than before, then it's a muscular injury and not your heart.

3. Pericaditis

chest pain

If you wake up with a sudden sharp pain in your chest, it may be pericarditis.

If you've had a respiratory problem in the last few days, it may have caused inflammation in the tissue that surrounds your heart. It can also be caused by an autoimmune disorder.

Your doctor will have to order tests to confirm, but it should clear up if that's all it is.

4. Pancreatitis

Chest pain doesn't always involve your heart. Sometimes it's something in your abdomen, but the pain is radiating up into your chest.

Dr. Salman Arain from the University of Texas, revealed "Intense abdominal pain can radiate up to the chest and the pain from pancreatitis is usually a deep-seated, intense pain."

5. Coronary Artery Disease

This one is absolutely serious and needs to be taken seriously. It happens when plaque builds up in your arteries and starts to prevent blood flow from getting to and from your heart.

As it blocks off your arteries, the pain is going to increase, and if it gets bad enough it can lead to a heart attack. It also can lead to a more gradual heart failure and arrhythmia which can be very dangerous.

Any chest pain is something you should consider. Dr. Sharonne Hayes from the Mayo Clinic says that avoiding medical attention is the worst thing you can do.

"And we still have people who ignore their pain, who feel chest pain but who don't think heart attack...

"I understand being worried about, what if the ambulance shows up in my driveway and I come back and it was just indigestion? And that's why I specifically say, 'There have been enough people who have died at home thinking it was indigestion and it was really a heart attack.'

"If it's a new symptom and you've never had it before, or the pain is coming or going or getting worse, call 911 -- don't call your girlfriend or your husband or drive yourself. Just call."

So keep this in mind for the future, but like the doctors say: If you're in pain, get help first.

Heart health is obviously very important, so make sure you know the signs to watch out for for heart attacks that aren't necessarily just chest pain.

There are other risks for heart attacks as well, including body shape and high cholesterol.

Source - CNN