Do you experience a burning sensation in your chest after having a spicy meal? Does it lead to chest pain? Usually, such situations are concluded as signs of indigestion. But, a chest pain specialist warns that it can be life-threatening if failed to diagnose at the right time. Because early signs of a heart attack are often misinterpreted as acid reflux.
Chest pain, also called angina, is considered a prominent symptom of heart ailment, but there can be non-cardiac reasons. About 20-40 % of the general population suffer from chest pain every day.
Depending on the cause, chest pain can vary based on – quality, intensity, duration and location.
So, let’s understand when chest pain is an emergency.
What causes chest pain?
Chest pain may be triggered by any internal structure such as the abdomen, heart or superficial structures such as the connective tissue, nerves etc.
People usually prefer over-the-counter medicines to cure chest pain. But, unknowingly, they are inviting a critical medical emergency. Thus, if you experience sudden chest pain (or you are already on medication), it is best to contact a chest pain specialist.
Most of the problems are hard to detect from a general overview and require immediate intervention by a specialist for a more appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
Ailments associated with chest pain
The first thought associated with chest pain is a heart attack, but usually, the symptoms are vague and vary from one person to another. Thus, making it hard to detect.
Alongside, there can be many other reasons, such as high blood pressure, blocked artery, and only a chest pain specialist can determine the actual cause.
Muscle and bone-related:
The chest pain can increase if you have an inflamed muscle or tendon near the ribs or chest cavity. The pain slowly increases and eventually becomes unbearable.
If you have suffered from an injury leading to bruises or fractured ribs, it can lead to chest pain.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease
If the food particles in the stomach thrust the valves and try to make their way out through the oesophagus, it can cause chest pain. You will also get a sour taste in your mouth.
It is one of the most common breathing disorders and leads to inflammation of the air tubes, which eventually generates chest pain. You might also experience breathing problems and coughing.
Lung infections significantly impact the chest cavity, which induces chest pain. The general symptoms are fever, cough and formation of phlegm.
The artery carrying blood from the heart to the lungs gets clogged, or there is the formation of a blood clot, which can lead to difficulty in breathing and excessive chest pain.
This occurs due to genetic factors where the heart muscles become thick and disrupt the blood flow, causing the muscle to work harder. This puts a strain on the heart, which leads to chest pain. You will also experience dizziness, nausea, dizziness, etc.
Due to fear, you can get panic attacks which have the initial symptom of chest pain, nausea, excessive sweating, increased heartbeat.
Try to understand when it is a medical emergency
Preventing chest pain requires a detailed symptom log.
Look out for:
- Feeling a crushing sensation on the chest cavity.
- The chest pain diffuses into the jaw, back and left arm.
- Accelerated breathing with increasing chest pain.
Next, answer a few basic questions about experiencing chest pain:
- When does it occur (Recall the activities before it gets triggered)?
- How long does the chest pain last?
- Does it spread to other parts of the body?
- Does the condition improve after a minute or get worse?
Diagnosis and Treatment
Electrocardiogram, blood test, chest X-ray, echocardiogram, MRI, stress tests are the most common diagnostic tests. Based on the reports, the treatments include medications, cardiac catheterization, bypass surgery, lung reinflation, antacids for acid reflux and heartburn, or anti-anxiety medications for stress.
If you are unsure about the cause of chest pain, visit ILS Hospitals and get a broad array of advanced treatments and meet experienced chest pain specialists.
Skipping a heartbeat or racing of the heart is a very routine event in literature and usually, leads towards a happy ending. But in reality an abnormal heartbeat, if too fast to too slow, is not normal and particularly, its repeated occurrence of the same happens without a medical review, things might be just opposite of a happy ending. That is why any irregularities of the heart beat should be considered as a cardiac emergency and medical opinion and care must be sought.
Having a cardiac arrhythmia or more commonly known as irregular heartbeats and cardiac dysrhythmia is a cluster of medical conditions in which the individual experience irregular heartbeat. The normal heartbeat is calculated in terms of a number of beats in a minute. The normal range between 70 to 85 and it varies between genders. A heartbeat of 70 to 72 beats for men and 78 to 82 for women is considered as ideal. However, it does not alarm any major cardiac abnormality as long as the heartbeat ranges from 60 to 100.
A cardiac arrhythmia is of two types, either due to being too slow or too fast. Tachycardia is the condition when the heart beats too rapidly, more than 100 beats in a minute. Bradycardia is the condition when the heart beats too slowly, less than 60 beats in a minute.
Having any pre-existing heart disease, misbalance of electrolytes such as potassium or sodium in the bloodstream, an injury from a previous heart attack, change in cardiac muscle, are all the medical risk factor for having an irregular heartbeat. Being stressed, emotional or adrenalin rush might also cause an irregularity in the heartbeat but these factors are not likely to onset a cardiac arrhythmia.
Though several cardiac arrhythmias are not serious, and limits to symptoms of the same such as shortness of breath, passing out, lightheadedness, palpitation and chest pain for a small period of time. Some of them, however, can lead to complications like heart failure and stroke and can prove fatal, particularly the ones that occur repeatedly.
Thus, in case the patient is an aged individual or experiencing the same for more than a couple of time, he or she is advised to consider this as a cardiac emergency and is recommended to seek medical treatment on time. In order to keep track of the same, the use of heart monitor or pulse indicator is advised as well.
Food without spices is somewhat difficult to imagine, especially in a country like India. However, excessive use of anything can have adverse effects on our health. And one of the most overused things in every kitchen is without doubt, salt. Over consumption of salt can cause severe problems to the heart and can ultimately cause cardiac emergency.
Salt is very important in terms of taste and its composition. Sodium and chlorine is essential for our body to function well. Moreover, the addition of the Iodine to the salt makes it even more vital for daily consumption. However, over-consumption can be drastic, especially for the heart and the blood vessels.
Too much salt can exert excessive pressure on the interior walls of the blood vessels, namely the arteries. The muscles of the arteries grow stronger in order to cope up with this extra strain. It works for a while, but eventually, the space left for blood flow becomes even more restricted and elevates the pressure even more.
This goes in a cyclic pattern, usually over a period of years, after which, the chances of having clogged arteries increase significantly. It can also cause the arteries to burst. The respective organ receiving blood from any of the particular artery gets cut off from its blood supply and gets damaged.
Now we have to narrow our topic to heart and its restricted artery. At the beginning, the heart receives a slightly lesser amount of blood. It triggers a condition called the angina, a sharp pain in the chest, especially while being active. Slowly, the cardiac cells lose their affectivity and functional ability, mainly due to lesser exposure to oxygen and other nutrients.
If the salt over-consumption continues, bursting or clogging of the artery becomes inevitable. This may lead to heart attack, this is one of the major clause which claims several lives every year.
The good news is, lowering blood pressure and eliminating a large portion of salt from diet can make a significant change in the overall health condition. Also, it is advised to take timely measures for the same.
In fact, mitigating the excess amount of salt from the diet is actually one of the easiest ways of keeping the heart healthy. Without a doubt, it is much easier than consuming a lot of medicines.
Every year, 29th September is celebrated as World Heart Day. It aims to increase awareness amongst the people regarding heart diseases and its treatment.
Heart diseases in India is becoming epidemic. As per latest statistics, near about 30 million heart patients reside in India and about two lakh cardiovascular surgeries in India takes place every year. Out of 30 millions, 14 millions lives in urban areas, whereas rest 16 million lives in rural area. This outburst of cardiovascular diseases are due to several reasons, such as aging, food habit and lifestyle.
There are several types of cardiovascular diseases in and the most common one is coronary artery diseases it is also called ischemic heart diseases. This occurs due to blockage in blood vessels build up by plaque. These are a group of conditions which results in anigma (both stable and unstable), heart attack and sudden cardiac death.
How does it occur?
There are mainly two kinds of blood vessels, veins carry oxygenated blood from body to heart and arteries which carry oxygenated blood from heart to body. The arteries are thinner in cross section and elastic and smooth in nature. After developing plagues on the lining of arteries, the blood flow gets disrupted. Also, it make the inner surface sticky and attracts lipoproteins, inflammatory cells and calcium etc. Altogether they mix and sticks to the blood vessels making it thinner by growing inward.
Ultimately new blood vessels may develop around the blockage to supply the blood to heart. This process may get hampered by hyper-stress or vigorous exercise. In case the plaque bursts, and the blood clot block the blood supply of heart, the patient suffers heart attack. If the blood vessel to brain is blocked then the patient suffers ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel bursts within the brain, the patient suffers hemorrhagic stroke.
What are the Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are heartburn, loss of consciousness, heaviness, irregular heartbeat, weakness, nausea, sweating, chest discomfort, which may extend up to other body parts such as neck, jaw, shoulder and back. The severity of symptoms may increase during exercise or emotional stress.
How it can be Diagnosed?
It can be diagnosed by using ECG (Electrocardiogram), EKG (Echocardiogram), CT scans and several others. These procedure enables the doctor to evaluate the condition of the patient and provide suitable cardiovascular surgeries in India.
What Preventive measures to take?
One can reduce the chances of being susceptible to coronary artery diseases by following a healthy diet combined with regular exercise and not consuming any toxic substance such as cigarette and alcohol. In certain cases, medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol may be prescribed by the doctor.
The graph of people suffering from heart diseases is growing everyday. The number of lives being claimed by cardiovascular diseases are more than all forms of cancer combined. The symptoms of cardiovascular diseases vary from person to person and mostly gets ignored by several people.