The most apparent cause of chest pain is heart problems, but they aren’t always to blame. There are many other causes. While some of them are harmful, others aren’t less serious than heart disease. This is crucial to visit an emergency room if you feel discomfort or pain in the chest area. Early diagnosis can help you prevent life-threatening consequences. For this reason, you need to educate yourself on what might be causing your chest pain.

Keep reading to discover 7 common causes of chest pain and other symptoms that may accompany them.

1. Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a disease associated with blockage of the pulmonary artery in your lungs. The main cause is blood clots that travel to your lungs from deep veins in other parts of your body. This condition can be life-threatening because it is associated with reduced blood flow to the lungs. Along with chest pain, you may experience shortness of breath, cough, body swelling, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus(tube connecting your mouth and stomach). This can irritate esophagus tissues causing chest pain and discomfort. This condition is manageable with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. Other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease you may experience difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, and feeling of a lump in your throat.

3. Coronary artery disease
Coronary artery disease is a condition that develops when the blood vessels that supply your heart are damaged or diseased. The most common causes of this condition are cholesterol-containing deposits in your coronary arteries and inflammation. Because coronary artery disease narrows your arteries, it can reduce blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients supply to your heart. The symptoms of coronary artery disease include chest pain and shortness of breath.

4. Peptic ulcers
Peptic ulcers are sores that appear on the lining of your stomach. There are many causes of peptic ulcers including Helicobacter pylori bacteria and certain medications. Bad habits like smoking, alcohol abuse, and untreated stress can increase your risk of peptic ulcers. Alone, these factors cannot cause ulcers, but they can make them worse. The symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain, bloating, burning sensation in the chest, and nausea.

5. Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a serious infection that causes inflammation of the air sacs in one or both lungs. Because of inflammation, air sacs may fill with fluid or pus. The inflammation can be caused by different organisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Pneumonia can cause various health consequences that range from mild to life-threatening. The symptoms include chest pain, confusion, cough, fatigue, chills, shortness of breath, and vomiting.

6. Heart attack
A heart attack is a serious health condition. It occurs because of reduced blood flow to the heart. This often happens due to fat, cholesterol, and other substances buildup in the arteries. A heart attack can be fatal but early treatment can decrease the risk of health complications. The symptoms of a heart attack include pain and discomfort in the chest, cold sweat, fatigue, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain. If you suspect you have a heart attack, call 911 or emergency medical help immediately.

7. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition when the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. This can make it harder for your heart to pump blood. This condition often stays undiagnosed because it causes fewer symptoms. But some people may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, and abnormal heart rhythms. While some can lead normal lives with no significant problems, for others hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can be fatal.

If your chest pain comes suddenly and is accompanied by difficulty breathing, it is crucial to contact the doctor immediately. The doctor can take all the necessary tests and make the right diagnosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition can be lifesaving.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.