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Chest Pain

Chest pain and palpitations are symptoms of a number of heart diseases, including a heart attack, and must be addressed without any delays. Although many of the heart diseases share some symptoms in common, the way to treat them is different.

As time is a crucial factor in treating these conditions, it is highly important to recognize the symptoms and seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

What causes chest pain and palpitations?

Several conditions can cause chest pain and palpitations. When your heart muscle is not receiving a sufficient amount of blood rich in oxygen, you may feel tightness or pressure in your chest, recognized as a chest pain. It is not a disease by itself, but a warning sign for heart problems, such as coronary artery, pulmonary embolism, aortic dissection, aortic stenosis, a lung infection, hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, pericarditis, a panic attack or a heart attack.

Heart palpitations may be noticed in either your chest, throat or neck. These irregular heartbeats can be felt like very strong or fast beating, fluttering or skipping a beat. Palpitations on their own may signal anxiety or stress or can be caused by consuming too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol. However, if you also experience shortness of breath, dizziness or chest pain, don’t ignore it and call emergency services.

Heart attack symptoms

Chest pain and palpitations can also signal a heart attack. When the blood vessels that surround the heart muscles become blocked, the blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or stopped completely. Warning signs of a heart attack can start as mild discomfort and progress to strong pain.

The symptoms may include

  • Pain, tightness or discomfort in either the chest, arm or under the breastbone
  • Pain that radiates to other areas of the body like the back, shoulder, neck, jaw, throat or arm
  • Shortness of breath or a feeling of suffocation
  • Heart palpitations, changes in the rhythm of the heartbeats
  • Fatigue, a feeling of extreme tiredness and exhaustion
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Indigestion, a feeling of heartburn
  • Sweating more than usual, night sweats
  • Nausea, vomiting