TODAY -

Every chest pain is not a heart attack

Dr KK Pandey *



People in our country are scared of heart attack, so much so any mild stress in chest or burning sensation will straightway land them up in a doctor’s clinic. An urgent ECG and multiple blood tests will be performed and ultimately result will turn out to be negative.

Even then majority of the people will not be satisfied with negative result and would insist for admission against medical advice in a ICU of a nearby nursing home to be doubly sure and unnecessarily would spend four to five days in ICU with 24 hours monitoring and daily blood tests and other investigations. After spending time and money as well, in nursing home, they feel greatly relieved as though an impending heart attack has been preempted.

The story does not end up here and even after become so anxious that they continue to take a variety of medicines to prevent any further chance of heart attack. This type of incidence is happening repeatedly in every corner of our country day in and day out.

With the result, any person who had a complaint in the past of even a minor chest wall discomfort has already labelled himself a heart patient and therefore drastically changed his daily routine and life style, thinking that his days are numbered and anytime he can embrace death. Sometimes such persons begin to give a serious thought to writing a will, in advance.

After all why there is a panic of heart attack

To a great extent, our media especially television is responsible for creating havoc among people about impending heart attack. Everyday either through special programs or through advertisement, a panic is created in the mind of viewers about heart disease and attack.

For example, if Safola oil is not used for cooking, heart attack then is inevitable and you are advised to get medi claim policy lest you suffer a heart attack in future and your family and children become orphans.

Another important reason is the abundance of cardiology clinics in every nook and corner of India, because every general physician (Internal Medicine) proclaims himself as a heart specialist. If you go to any street of a small town in our country, you will find a lot of sign boards proclaiming ‘Physicians and Heart specialist”. When every physician has become a heart specialist, the number of patients under constant threat of heart attack is bound to increase exponentially ??

When to suspect an heart attack ?

If you are 40 years of age or above, and you are either a diabetic or a smoker or a tobacco addict (Zarda, Khaini, Chaini) and you develop mild chest pain or heaviness on walking fast or climbing a staircase or else you develop breathing difficulty while doing physical exercise, the possibility of heart problem or disease cannot be excluded. The peculiar thing about this type of chest discomfort is that the chest pain and heaviness disappear immediately after you stop walking or doing physical exercise.

A cardiac or angina pain may appear in left hand, left side of neck and jaw while walking. If you want to get rid of mental tension arising out of this type of peculiar chest pain, first get your treadmill test (TMT) done. If TMT result is doubtful or suspicious, get Dobutamine-induced Stress Echo (DSE) done and clear your doubt and feel relieved if this test turns out to be negative.

To be doubly sure and to feel completely relieved of the tension of any suspected heart problem, the last and best thing is multi slice CT coronary angiography. For this special investigation, you neither need to be admitted in hospital nor require to be putting a wire/pipe in the groin (invasive procedure) as in a conventional angiography.

When there is a very little possibility of a heart attack ?

If you are below 40 years of age and you are neither overweight, nor have any co-morbid medical conditions like diabetes and blood pressure, chances of heart disease are less likely. If you are nonsmoker, nonalcoholic and not tobacco addict and follow stress free daily routine, you are then less likely to be suffering from heart attack. If pain is confined to right side of the chest and does appear on only during coughing or sneezing or normal breathing, chances of having heart problem are only five percent.

If you develop chest problem only after eating oily, spicy and heavy meals, chances of heart disease are minimal. In such situations, one should seriously think of diseases other than heart.

Causes of chest pain other than the heart

In our country, the major cause of non-cardiac chest pain is the inflammation of inner wall of the chest. What happens when the outer covering of lung if inflammed, rubs against the inner wall of the chest during deep breathing, chest pain becomes unbearable, this medical condition is called ‘PLEURITIS’.

This pleuritis is an early indication of an impending collection of infected water inside the chest cavity and tubercular infection is responsible for this in majority of such cases. A sufferer of such condition in our country keeps taking pain killer for a long time without any proper investigation and treatment, and eventually lands up in a serious problem.

If the problem of pleuritis is not tackled promptly, it leads to collection of an infected yellow water around the lung inside the chest. This condition is caused primarily by tuberculosis and secondarily by pneumonia. If this condition develops, immediately consult a chest surgeon or a thoracic surgeon.

Collection of Pus inside the chest is also a cause of chest pain

In our country, it is very common to see collection of pus inside the chest. If pneumonic or other type of infection becomes uncontrollable due to delayed or inadequate treatment, the infected water collected inside the lower part of the chest turns into a full-fledged pus. The amount of pus, even if it is in a small quantity, remains unresponsive to all kinds of antibiotics.

In our country, collection of pus inside the chest if neglected, happens to be the most important cause of chest pain. This needs a surgical clearing of pus by a thoracic surgeon, only then this problem is resolved.

Cervical Spondylitis is also a reason for chest pain

In our country there is generally a complete apathy among people for physical exercise. People are even averse to walking, let alone do exercise. They continue to sit for long hours in the same body posture in front of television or computer. This habit of prolonged sitting and lack of exercise causes adverse effect on the backbone of neck and upper part of chest.

Due to lack of exercise, the joints of backbone becomes hard and inflexible, with the result an undue pressure is exerted upon nerves passing through back bone to hand, shoulder and chest. This leads to pain in chest, hand and people mistake it for either heart disease or impending heart attack.

With the result, such people adopt a life style and a daily routine, solely guided by a constant fear of an impending heart attack. This leads to a low self-esteem and very low work efficiency. You are advised to consult a thoracic or a chest surgeon.

Weakness of chest wall muscles is also one of the reason

Quite often very young people complain of chest pain. This pain generally occurs in the middle of the front of the chest. This pain is caused by chest wall weakness and it increases in intensity on coughing or sneezing.

The sudden jerky pain in the chest momentarily makes you feel lifeless. This condition is called in medical terms as “Costo Chondritis”. Victims of this problem are generally those people who either do not drink milk regularly at all or consume milk in a very small quantity. It has been observed that the low Vitamin D level in blood causes chest wall weakness and pain.

If you take daily 500ml of less fatty toned milk, protein rich balanced diet, vitamin-rich salads (300gm) and fruits (350gm), you will rarely suffer from chest wall muscle weakness and pain. Daily exposure to sunlight for a few hours helps in relieving of chest pain. Some people complain of chest pain on taking some special type of curd-based Indian foods like, KADHI, RAITA, Ice cream and Dahi-Bade.

The reason being, abnormal sensitivity of chest walls muscles towards these food items. Those suffering from this abnormal sensitivity should avoid these special food items continuously for days, and take warm food and some pain killer for one or two days.

Inflammation in Food Pipe is also a cause of chest pain

In our country, quite frequently at food stalls, people relish oil–rich and fried food items like CHAAT-PAKODE, SAMOSA, DHOKLA etc along with chillis, spices and achaar. This habit of eating unhealthy food items leads to inflammation and ulcer in the wall of stomach. When food pipe situated inside the chest gets inflamed, it gives rise to a severe chest pain simulating a heart attack. Whenever one eats food, one feels heaviness, pressure and pain in the middle part of the front of chest.

Now a-days, an excessive use of alcohol also leads to severe inflammation (Commonly called in Hindi SHOJIS or SOOJAN) of food pipe. People in India label this type of chest pain or discomfort as ‘GAS’ meaning thereby that an entrapped air column in the belly is causing problem.

After reading and understanding above-mentioned points, I am sure you would have become wiser and therefore I request you not to consider every chest pain as heart attack. If you are still in doubt, get above mentioned investigations done to clear the doubts, otherwise there will be always perceived threat of impending heart attack, and this will certainly undermine your self-confidence and lower your work efficiency.

Therefore, in an event of suspected heart problem, get suggested and heart-related investigations done to rule out any heart disease and get a mental peace and consult a thoracic surgeon to find out other causes of chest pain, so that you remain healthy mentally as well as physically.


* Dr KK Pandey wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Senior Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgeon, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi.
and can be contacted at drpandeykk(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 07 2022.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • A year of hostilities
  • Licypriya Kangujam to travel to Italy
  • Declining moral standards in public life
  • Healthy democracy with independent media
  • Why endangered species matter to us
  • Significant Guwahati meeting : 1st visible step
  • The Pallel story
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #2 : Gallery
  • Ukhrul: Climate change grip on water supply
  • Commemoration of World Eld's Deer Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Dance of democracy, a miracle in making !
  • Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence
  • The zero FIR, zero lesson
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • MOU signed: MTI-HUB & KIIT-TBI & SAbF
  • Lament of the Mourning Choir :: Poem
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wabagai
  • RSS-BJP fracas
  • Trials for Canoe Slalom World Cup
  • Poser from a villager says it all Kamjong
  • The cover-up effort
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Manipuri women in the arena of politics
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Assam
  • Aimee Baruah at red carpet of Cannes
  • National Defence Academy Exam 2024
  • How digital media changed communications
  • Manipur stands scandalised
  • All eyes on UP battle
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD