We all know intermittent chest pain can be caused by angina*, but it could also be unrelated to your heart. So many other conditions (eg. stomach or lung issues, or even anxiety) can mimic a heart condition. Pain is perceived differently from person to person. It is always better to describe your medical problem than to give it a name. An example is, rather than saying you think you have a ‘migraine,’ describe the when, where, and how your headache behaves. Please do not be quick to put a label on your discomfort; leave the diagnosing to the professionals.3D_vol_ren_of_LAD

So rather than say “I have chest pain,” describe the nature of the pain/discomfort. Most describe angina as tightness, NOT A PAIN, taking the breath away, squeezing around the chest. Others, especially woman, may describe the sensation of a band around the chest, indigestion, feeling faint, or the discomfort of a tight bra. In the elderly, passing out might be the only sign of a heart attack. You get the idea: so diverse.

We are all unique; hence, our body talks to us in different manners. In my medical career, I have even seen right shoulder pain be a patient’s sign of angina.

So, describe; paint the picture with telling the where on your body, when it occurs, what brings it on/takes it away, and how it makes you feel (eg. tired, nauseated, clammy, hot).


*the heart muscle not getting enough oxygen, whether from anemia, abnormal heart rhythms, or blockage of blood supply