Disease And Illness - Other

Non Cardiac causes of Chest Pain



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When a person experiences chest pain they may immediately think that they are having a heart attack, however this may not be the case. There are many causes of chest pain some of which will be discussed in this article. What is important to say is that if you are at all worried about the pain it is important that you seek medical advice as soon as possible.

One of the most common causes of chest pain is indigestion which many mistake for cardiac (heart) pain. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a term used to describe pain and discomfort in the chest and/or abdomen after a meal. The usual cause for indigestion is eating a large or spicy meal, however it can be caused by drinking alcohol, smoking, stress and anxiety and pregnancy. For many indigestion is a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) which doesn't radiate to the arms or neck. Treatment of indigestion comes in many forms depending on the severity and frequency of the condition. The most common treatment is antacid tablets which can be bought in most shops. However there are other treatments available including ranitidine, lanzoprazole, omeprazole as well as many others.

Another common cause of chest pain is anxiety or stress. When put under stress, say you have just had a shock, the body tends to go into survival mode. The heart beats faster, you breath faster and the body gets ready to release energy reserves in order to keep you alive. These added pressures on the body can cause chest pain which can be mistaken for heart (cardiac) pain. These "panic attacks" may only happen once in your life however for some people these are an every day occurrence which have to be managed by the person. If it happening to you for the first time it is important to seek medical advice to rule out cardiac problems. However if the pain is due to anxiety it can usually be resolved by relaxation and distraction.

Although indigestion and anxiety are the most common non-cardiac causes of chest pain, there are others which you may need to seek medical advice about including muscle strains, broken ribs, and nerve damage.

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