Chest Pain And Its Anxiety - Causes And Treatment
Chest pain doesn't necessarily mean a heart attack, so there may be no real need for acute anxiety. There are numerous reasons why we might be experiencing pain in the chest. In this concise and informative article you will learn all about the various causes of chest pain and what to do about them.
The very first thing to bear in mind when experiencing pain in the chest is DO NOT PANIC. Yes, it can send anxious feelings flooding through your body and mind, but this doesn't necessarily mean you're having a heart attack. So stay as calm as possible.
In fact, the problem may not even be coming from the heart. Practically any internal organ in the upper trunk area can be the source of pain, and chest pain may also be radiated from the back, the neck, the lungs or the stomach. The causes of chest pain may very well be non-serious, while other causes may be more dangerous, so it pays to know which is which. But it's always wise to take chest pain seriously.
First, let's get the potentially dangerous chest pain out of the way. This is the kind of pain that tells you to call the emergency services as soon as possible -- the kind that is practically guaranteed to make you or those around you feel really anxious.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms then immediate action needs to be taken:
- Sudden and persistent chest pain - tightening or squeezing
- Sharp pain in the chest
- Severe shortness of breath
- Pain radiating from the left arm, jaw, or from between the shoulder blades
Also, if you have already visited your doctor because of heart problems, have been prescribed medicine such as glyceryl trinitrate or nitroglycerin, and experience chest pain that endures for longer than 15 minutes then emergency help needs to be called without delay.
Angina is another cause of chest pain, and is often mistaken for a heart attack because of the similarity of its symptoms. Its full medical name is 'angina pectoris' which means 'tight chest' in Latin.
Unstable angina can occur when the body is at rest, but often the symptoms of angina only occur when exercising, moving quickly or climbing stairs, or when feeling very stressed. It is usually caused by something called 'coronary atherosclerosis' in which the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the heart have become thick and so narrow and constricted.
When the heart is called upon to pump faster then the constricted arteries are placed under real pressure to keep up. Lack of sufficient oxygen causes a painful feeling in the heart, which translates as pain in the chest -- and of course real feelings of anxiety.
Though anxiety is nowhere near as serious as a heart attack, it's always wise to visit your doctor to check. Treatment may be quite simple, and may involve taking a low dosage aspirin tablet daily, in order to thin the blood. You may be advised to take other tablets, spray, or patches, too. All of these can be prescribed by your doctor, if necessary. Additionally, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers may be used.
If this doesn't remedy the problem, then you may be advised to visit a specialist cardiologist for further investigation.
As always, prevention is so much better than cure. A few simple life-style changes can reduce the risk of angina and heart attack and also improve your overall health, really lessening anxiety levels. When it comes to avoiding chest pain and increasing heart health, the very best things you can do are to:
- Cut down on, or better yet, completely eliminate all saturated fats. These are the kind found in animal produce. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables (your Mom was right), as well as some form of complex carbohydrates and fresh fruit on a regular basis.. Ban tras fats -- anything that has the word 'hydrogenated' listed on the table of contents needs to be completely ruled out. Doctors also recommend seriously reducing, or eliminating, all added cooking oil from too.
- Stop smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight - slimming down if you are overweight
- Exercise on a regular basis - 30 minutes at least 3 times a week is good
- Learn to relax - yoga, meditation, or a good self-hypnosis recording that focuses on helping you become more calm and relaxed can be just the thing here. Hypnosis is great for unwinding and releasing anxiety.
Another cause of chest pain can be because the lungs are not functioning well. Inflammation of the lining surrounding the lungs, or even a blood clot may be to blame. Pneumonia and asthma can also be the cause of pain in the chest.
Chest pain may also be caused by digestive problems.
Other causes can be shingles or strain of the muscles between the ribs and, once again, anxiety.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for information purposes only and is not meant to replace medical advice. If you are experiencing chest pain be sure to consult your doctor or medical advisor without delay.
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