4 Causes of Chest Pain You Might Not Know About
Between Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, it’s pretty impossible not to think about your body’s hardest working organ during February. But whether you celebrated Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day this year, it’s time for some straight talk about your ticker. About 720,000 Americans have a heart attack every single year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To put that into perspective, that’s about 80,000 more than the population of Seattle.
In most cases, a heart attack comes on suddenly and can be very intense, with chest pain and/or pressure starting in the center of the chest and radiating to other parts of the body like the jaw, shoulder, back, neck and stomach, says Rani Whitfield, MD, a family practitioner in Baton Rouge, LA, and national American Heart Association volunteer spokesperson. Some people experience extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea and lightheadedness. If you recognize any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
But did you know that noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) affects up to 25 percent of the adult population in the U.S, too? Check out these four causes of chest pain you may not have heard about before — and learn why you should still seek medical attention if you suspect they’re to blame for your pangs.