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"What kind of doctor should I see if I have consistent chest pains?"


I'm a 25 year old African-American male with a long history of medical issues on both side of my family (including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, etc.). I wake up in the morning feeling fine. As soon as I start walking around, my chest begins hurting quite a bit...almost to the point where it's hard to breathe. I'm not taking any medications besides tylenol extra strength when the pains becomes too great.


When you have chest pain such as you are describing, you need to see a physician immediately--emergency department or whoever can see you most quickly. Without more information, that is really the only answer that can be given, again emphasizing the fact that this is something that should not be delayed. While you are somewhat younger than the average patient that has heart disease, a strong family history of heart disease is one of the major risk factors that puts you at increased risk.

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It is important to discuss with a physician how long these issues have been going on for, so that you can identify exactly what is causing them. Your personal medical history is also vitally important, as a history of smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are additional risk factors for heart disease, which would be likely the worst thing that is causing these symptoms. Often, if it is angina (the doctor term for chest pain caused by low blood flow to the heart muscle itself), the pain will get better with rest. It is also important to know if you can reproduce these symptoms by pressing on your chest or moving in certain positions, as that could be indicative of costochondritis, a nagging but treatable condition that is caused by musculoskeletal pain in the rib cage itself. But please, seek physician assistance in person immediately.

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