Physician Says Chest Pain can be Symptom of Life-threatening Disease

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A medical practitioner in Abuja, Dr Okezie Emenike, on Wednesday, said chest pain could be a symptom of life threatening disease.

He said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

Describing chest pain as a discomfort or pain that a patient feels somewhere around the front of the body between the neck and upper abdomen, he said the pain could be from heart muscle if there was no enough oxygen or blood flow.

The physician said chest pain vary from person to person because some feel like a sharp stabbing pain, while others feel a dull ache in the chest.

According to him, the pain is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying heart problem which may be life threatening or non-life threatening.

Emenike said that chest pain could be caused by poor blood flow to the heart or that the heart muscle had no enough blood to function properly.

He added that other factors such as angima, which means discomfort, pressure or squeezing of the chest, could be a causative factor to chest pain.

The medic explained that chest pain could also be as a result of a strained muscle in the chest wall, as well as inflammation in the joints between the cartilages that join the ribs to the breast bone.

He further explained that problems in the lungs, the esophagus, nerves, high blood pressure and blockage of blood flow to the heart could also be contributory factors to chest pain.

He said “problem of the gallbladder and stomach ulcers could also predispose a patient to chest pain.

“Gastrointestinal problem, anxiety and panic attack could also cause chest pain.

“Lungs problem, pneumonia and inflammation of the membrane surrounding the lungs caused by infection could also cause chest pain.

“Also, shingles, a disease caused by chicken pox virus could also cause chest pain.’’

The physician said that pain and swelling of the breast, which was usually caused by infection during breastfeeding could also cause the condition.

Emenike added that pulmonary embolism, a blockage in the blood vessel that carries blood to the heart to the lungs, could also predispose a patient to chest pain.

He, however, said that treatment and management of the condition depended on the cause, adding that it required evaluation and diagnosis first.

He, therefore, encouraged the use of medication, non-invasive procedures and surgery in treating chest pain relating to heart disease.

Besides, emenike advised, the physical examination and testing was necessary in order to treat and manage the condition.

The physician enjoined patients with the condition to seek medical help, saying that chest pain could lead to life threatening disease if ignored. 

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