Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Could my stress be leading to my chest pain?"
I don't have any trouble breathing, but from time to time I do get pain in my chest. Not a smoker either. I do however, have a stressful job. Could my stress at work be causing my chest pain?
I suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this issue. Any episodes of chest pain do need to be checked out by your doctor, primarily to make certain that the chest pain is not related to any problems with your heart. The probability that your chest pain is a sign of heart disease depends a lot on your risk factors. The fact that you are not a smoker is excellent! However, other risk factors may raise the probability of having heart disease. These include being male, being middle aged or older, having a strong family history of heart disease, having high cholesterol, and having diabetes, among other risk factors. Your primary care doctor is the doctor who is best qualified to evaluate all of your risk factors and decide whether you need additional testing. Tests that are often used when there is a question about the source of chest pain include basic blood tests to look at markers of heart muscle damage, cholesterol levels, and to screen for diabetes. Additionally, an electrocardiogram, which is an electrical tracing of the heart is often performed. In many cases, a stress test, which looks to reproduce evidence of heart disease while exercising, if performed. Again, check in with your doctor first!
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