The Real Reason You're Having Chest Pains

There can be numerous reasons you are experiencing chest pains. Maybe you are stressed and having a panic attack? Or perhaps it could be something more serious like an episode with your heart. Depending on if you are a man or woman, the symptoms and reasons behind chest pains can differ. However, chest pains are never to be ignored (via Memorial Heights). In many cases, the pains could be related to your heart, lungs, esophagus, muscles, or ribs. While you may find it easier to Google your symptoms, it is always best to have a professional evaluate you.

It's important to note that chest pain can be felt anywhere from your neck to the upper abdomen, which could mimic a stabbing or sharp pain (via Healthline). One of the main concerns when it comes to chest pains is, are you experiencing a heart attack? If you feel a tightness in your chest, aches in your jaw or arms, or shortness of breath, these could all be signs you need to go to the hospital. The American Heart Association also points out that while these signs are common for both men and women, many women will also experience shortness of breath and back pain.

More common causes for chest pains

While chest pains should never be taken lightly, there are more common causes for the discomfort that are distinguishable from something more severe. The Cleveland Clinic shared three forms of common chest pains, which are usually not a sign of a heart attack, such as fleeting pain, pinpoint discomfort, and pain that gets better with exercise.

Believe it or not, indigestion is a big cause of chest pain. No one wants to admit that they may not be able to eat five-alarm chili anymore, but it happens, and heartburn can often feel like a heart attack. According to Better Health, indigestion is when stomach acid is coming up the esophagus, which is more commonly known as acid reflux. All that is usually needed to stop the reflux is changing your diet and staying away from acidic foods. Another common cause could be a bad chest infection like bronchitis or pneumonia. You may need an X-ray to be diagnosed, but doctors would be able to treat the infection and help you feel better.

It is important to know your heart

Being your own health advocate is a necessity when it comes to making sure you are getting the right care and staying healthy. It is also vital to remember that all cardiac pain isn't a heart attack. Angina just refers to discomfort within your chest (via Mayo Clinic). Your doctor will be sure to check for, Pericarditis, split aortas, or Cardiomyopathy when you go in for your appointment.

On the flip side, it is also just as important to know the signs of a heart attack and how to prevent one. The American Heart Association first advises patients to know if they are at higher risk due to family history. It is always important to eat a well-balanced diet, avoid smoking, and stay active. The work you put into your health today will give you a healthier tomorrow. And remember, if you feel like your body is telling you something is wrong, don't ignore it. Call your doctor or go to the hospital. It's always better to err on the side of caution.