Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Am I having a heart attack?"
II am a 28 year old female. I have had a nasty cough that spread to my chest about a week ago. At the same time, I noticed a dull Ache in my chest.. Mainly in the center or to the right side. It had come and gone all week and Or the past 3 days it has been a little worse. My cold seems to be clearing and although I still have a cough, the pain doesn't get worse when I cough. I have anxiety issues so I'm really worried and working myself up. I smoke a 7-10 cigarettes a day and am a socisl drinker. I just finished a zpack. I plan to make a drs appointment tomorrow but should I e concerned enough To go to the ER? the pain goes through to my back.. Almost in the same spot. haven't had any pain in my left arm but I have noticed some carpal tunnel type pain in my right arm
I am sorry to hear about your symptoms, and I can certainly understand why they are concerning. I am happy to hear you have scheduled an appointment with a primary care physician, as it will not be possible to provide an accurate diagnosis without an in-person evaluation. There are many potential causes of chest pain. In young people, it is often caused by costochondritis, or inflammation of the cartilage that connects your ribs and sternum. Such pain often responds to conservative management and anti-inflammatory medication. Anxiety can cause chest pain. Severe coughing can cause chest pain through a mild strain of the chest wall muscles and cartilage. Mucus congestion of the lungs can cause chest pain, and pneumonia can also cause chest pain. Additionally, acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus can cause severe spasms of the esophageal sphincter, thereby causing chest pain. It is not possible to know the cause of chest pain in your case without further evaluation, and I encourage you to raise these possibilities with a primary care physician. Although rare, young people can still suffer heart attacks. You are at higher risk due to your smoking, and other factors such as family history and additional genetic risk factors can put you at higher risk. Therefore, it is critical for you to schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor.