House call doctor when is chest pain serious quick and dirty tips chest pain and shortness of breath

Chest “tightness,” “squeezing,” or “heaviness.” People describe this feeling as a weight or as a band being tightened around their chest. The pain is usually located on the left side of the chest above the bottom of the ribcage, but it’s sometimes hard to define its exact location.

Those are the typical symptoms, and the presence of all of the above descriptions certainly is cause for worry. But many people have other atypical symptoms that may still be a cause for concern. These atypical symptoms of heart attacks are especially common in women, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Here are some of the other symptoms and misconceptions about heart attack signs:

Aside from what the chest pain feels like, you should also pay attention to how long the pain lasts.


Chest pain related to a heart attack doesn’t typically last just a few seconds. Heart chest pain almost always lasts at least 5 minutes, and doesn’t typically last more than 20 to 30 minutes continuously.

Pain that comes on after exercise or exertion but consistently goes away with rest may represent a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. That could lead to a heart attack eventually, but it isn’t always an emergency, either. However, it is vital that you discuss these symptoms with your doctor right away..

The other major things to consider when determining whether your chest pain is a heart-related emergency are your risk factors. It’s a big difference when a 20-year-old woman comes in with chest pain than when a 50-year-old male diabetic who smokes comes in. The risk factors for heart attacks include:

Smoking – people often think of smoking as a danger to the lungs (which it is), but the biggest risk of death from smoking is from heart attacks. I recommend my patients quit smoking and take up something safer, like tightrope walking, javelin catching, or training pit bulls.

Using the results of the revolutionary large Framingham Study, you can calculate your own risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years using their interactive calculator online. This is a tool that some physicians often use to determine a patient’s risk.

The more of these risk factors you personally have, the more seriously you should take any chest pain you experience. I will often be more concerned about a high-risk person with atypical symptoms than a low-risk person with classic symptoms.

I hope these tips help you. Learn the symptoms of heart pain and know your risk factors. If you are experiencing an acute chest pain more consistent with heart symptoms and/or have atypical symptoms and risk factors for heart disease, get to the emergency room immediately, even if you have to call an ambulance. If you are high risk and have classic symptoms, get to the emergency room immediately, even if you have to call an ambulance.

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Let me remind you that this podcast is for informational purposes only. My goal is to add to your medical knowledge and translate some of the weird medical stuff you hear, so when you do go to your doctor, your visits will be more fruitful. I don’t intend to replace your doctor; he or she is the one you should always consult about your own medical condition.