5 Causes of Chest Pain That Aren’t a Heart Attack

Chest pains can be scary, understandably—and you should definitely call 911 if you think you’re in cardiac arrest—but some types of chest pains may have nothing at all to do with your heart.

Heartburn

Severe heartburn may cause a person to wonder in a panic, “Am I having a heart attack?” The symptoms may be confusing, and if you have any doubt, call 911. If, however, you are not at risk for heart attack, and you have reason to believe that the pain you are experiencing is from acid in your esophagus, try taking an antacid. This should soothe the burning pain of indigestion.

Shingles

Another possible cause of chest pain is shingles, according to Kristine Arthur, MD, an internist at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. Shingles, which are a resurgence of the chicken pox virus in the body, can cause severe pain that radiates around one side of the rib cage. Usually there is a significant rash, however, in some cases, it’s so small that people may not see it. According to Dr. Arthur, “You should suspect shingles if the pain follows the line of a rib and if there are any type of skin changes along the area that hurt. It is almost always only on one side.”

Pancreatitis

Typically, pancreatitis causes abdominal pain, according to Medicine Net, but pain from pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, a long flat gland behind the stomach), can radiate into the chest, causing the sufferer to think that the problem is heart-related. You’ll need a medical workup to determine the cause of the pain, as blood work and medical imaging can help your doctor make the proper diagnosis.

Panic attack

Many times a person believing they are having a heart attack is in fact having a panic attack, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Tightening of the chest, heart palpitations, sweaty palms, lightheadedness—these are all symptoms of both. For people suffering from panic disorders, it is a good idea to have a doctor evaluate your heart health, so the next time a panic attack occurs, you will know how to address it without worrying that you’re having a heart attack. Regardless, if there is any doubt during such an attack, go to the ER.

Costochondritis

Another possible cause of chest pain that is not a heart attack is costochondritis. According to Dr. Arthur, this is a condition where the cartilage between the ribs becomes inflamed. “The pain can be very sharp and hurt if you take a deep breath. Although it can be present on both sides, it is usually worse on one side,” Dr. Arthur says. A good way to tell if your chest pain may be costochondritis is to lift your arms above your head and see if the pain gets worse, versus heart attack pain, which will persist regardless of motion.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

6 Common Symptoms of a Fatty Liver Disease

The role of the liver in your body is crucial, as it eliminates accumulates toxins through the urine and feces in the form of waste. So, since we are continually

6 Solid Reasons to Eat More Mushrooms

Have you ever truly stopped to appreciate those little fungi peeking out from your spinach salad? You should – by eating more of them! “Although white foods are often thought

Proven Health Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been a part of our diets for a long time. They are neither a vegetable nor are they a fruit; instead, they are a type of fungus. It

8 Self-Care Practices From Pros During Workouts

You will feel so much better if you start to practice self-care strategies during your workouts. Your body and mind will be thankful, and these self-care strategies make exercise much

8 Solid Reasons to Quit Smoking Immediately

Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. It is difficult to give up this bad habit,

9 Conditions That Are Hard To Diagnose

Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis are two examples of the most common allegations of medical liability claims. Some diseases have such difficult processes, that it’s genuinely difficult to be

Sleep Better With These 4 Essential Oils!

Herbal oils have been used to relieve stress and relax the human body. Fortunately,  modern research continues to support the incredible benefits of essential oils. We’ve all been through periods

8 Harmful Effects of Skipping Breakfast

Studies show that more than 30 million Americans skip the most important meal of the day. Some are trying to cut “lots” of calories, some are way too busy during

Warning Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut

Your gastrointestinal tract is lined with microbes collectively called the microbiome, which includes bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Gut bacteria perform many important functions in the body, including aiding the

Scroll to Top