How do I know if I am having a heart attack?
Chest pain is a common concern in my patients. Quite often, patients complain of chest pain asking “Am I having a heart attack?”
There are several key characteristics that can predict if the chest pain is cardiac or non cardiac.
-radiates into left arm and jaw
-chest pressure and “squeeze” feeling
-gets worse when you are exercising or exerting yourself
-burning in mid sternum or giving an “acid” taste on your mouth
-reproducible upon palpation
-gets worse when breathing
-pain happens when you are anxious or scared
-pain is unrelated to exercise or exertion
*** If you are diabetic or female, your chest pain will be atypical. You should consult your physician immediately.
The first step is to see your physician for your chest pain. Your physician will decide if this chest pain is cardiac or non cardiac.
The most common causes of chest pain are:
More serious causes are (however less common) are:
-Dissecting aortic aneurysm
Your physician will decide on what necessary testing is needed. However, if your chest pain is worrisome to you, you should immediately go to the emergency room for STAT lab testing and EKG.