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Chest pain is one symptom or problem that everyone generally associates with different diseases and conditions. While some of these conditions may be minor, others can be potentially life-threatening, leaving the sufferer worried about the actual cause of his chest pain. In any case, self-diagnosis can be misleading and extremely risky if the underlying cause is serious. Here are some causes of chest pain you should be aware about:
1. Heart disease: Chest pain due to cardiac origin is medically called angina. A person can suffer from angina for a short while or for a long period of time (15 minutes) depending on the underlying heart disease. Usually, this type of chest pain (especially in heart attack) is associated with pain in the limbs and shoulder region. The pain may initiate or worsen with exertion. Chest pain can occur in several conditions related to heart including heart attack, coronary heart disease, inflammation of the heart tissue and aortic anuerysm. You are likely to get chest pain due to cardiac origin if:
2. Hypertension: Increased blood pressure in the arteries that carry blood to the lungs can also cause chest pain. This condition is called pulmonary hypertension.
3. Heart burn and acidity: Studies mention that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common cause for visits to heart care units due to chest pain. Unlike cardiac chest pain, chest pain due to GERD is not related to exertion or physical activity.
4. Lung disorders: Pulmonary embolism is a common lung disorder where a blood clot develops in a lung artery blocking the flow of blood to the lung tissue. Other disorders like inflammation of the lung tissue, collapsed lungs can also cause chest pain. This kind of chest pain is likely to be associated with breathlessness and respiratory problems.
5. Panic attacks: If your chest pain is associated with phases of intense fear, heaviness in the chest, increased heartbeat, profuse sweating and breathlessness, it's likely that you're suffering from panic disorder.
6. Stress: Increased stress in life can have a huge impact on your health. During a stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing fastens and blood pressure also rises rapidly. This affects circulatory system affecting the flow of blood to the heart, causing chest pain.
7. Depression: Chronic stress can lead to depression and make you prone to several aliments. Depression can also increase your risk of hypertension and heart disease, which can cause chest pain.
8. Musculoskeletal injury: Injury to the chest wall, rib cage or muscles can give rise to a sharp pain in the chest region. This type of pain has a sudden onset and remains constant. It may worsen with physical activity or may even make breathing difficult.
9. Over exertion: Usually, exercise-induced chest pain is originated from cardiac diseases but sometimes overexertion can cause chest pain which may not be of cardiac origin. When this happens, it's a signal that your body is not getting sufficient oxygen to carry out metabolic processes.
10. Herpes: Commonly called Shingles, Herpes zoster is a viral infection caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus that leads to painful skin rashes and lesion. But before the lesions start appearing, initial symptoms of the disease include acute chest pain which is felt more like a burning sensation.
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