Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I get random chest pains?"
I get pains in my chest completely at random. It almost feels like my chest is seizing up but then it passes and I feel fine. I'm in my forties and I just want to make sure it isn't something wrong with my heart. What could these random chest pains be?
You definitely need to get in to see your primary care doctor as soon as possible. Although there are many benign causes of chest pain, in someone your age, heart disease starts being a big possibility, so it is really important to get that evaluated right away! When you go to see your doctor, they will listen to your heart to see if they can detect anything obvious. You should also tell them what brings the pain on (for example, do the pains occur at rest or only with exercise) and what makes them better, as well as any other associated symptoms (shortness of breath, sweating, nausea). After this, your doctor will probably want to obtain an electrocardiogram, or electrical tracing of the heart, which is a simple office procedure. They may also want to get some basic bloodwork. If they have any concern that this might be heart disease, then they will probably want you to have a stress test to further evaluate for heart-related causes of your chest pain. Assuming all of those tests check out ok, then your doctor will also consider other potential causes of your chest pain that are less serious, such as chronic heartburn. Go see your doctor right away!
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