Chest pains, abdominal pains

Chest Pain & Abdominal Pain in Allen, Coppell, Frisco, North Richland Hills, & McKinney, TX

The first thing you may think of is heart attack.   Certainly chest pain is not something to ignore. But you should know that it has many possible causes. In fact, as much as a quarter of the U.S. population experiences chest pain that is not related to the heart. Chest pain may also be caused by problems in your lungs, muscles, ribs, or nerves, for example. Some of these conditions are serious and life threatening. Others are not. If you have unexplained chest pain, the only way to confirm its cause is to have a doctor evaluate you.

You may feel chest pain anywhere from your neck to your upper abdomen. Depending on its cause, chest pain may be:

  • Sharp
  • Dull
  • Burning
  • Aching
  • Stabbing
  • A tight, squeezing, or crushing sensation
 

When to See the Doctor for Chest Pain
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
 

Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain:

  • A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
  • Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
  • Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
  • Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
  • Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
 

Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
  • Problems swallowing
  • Severe chest pain that does not go away
 

The cause of abdominal problems can be hard to pinpoint. Sometimes minor and serious abdominal problems start with the same symptoms. Fortunately, most abdominal problems are minor, and home treatment is all that is needed.

Many times the exact cause of abdominal pain is hard to find. The severity of your pain, its location  and other symptoms you have may help determine what is causing the pain.

  • Generalized pain occurs in half of the abdomen or more. Generalized pain can occur with many different illnesses and will usually go away without medical treatment. Indigestion and an upset stomach are common problems that can cause generalized pain. Home treatment may help relieve some of the discomfort. Generalized mild pain or crampy pain that becomes more severe over several hours may be a symptom of a blockage of the intestines.
  • Localized pain is located in one area of the abdomen. Localized pain that comes on suddenly and gets worse is more likely to be a symptom of a serious problem. The pain of appendisitis may start as generalized pain, but it often moves (localizes) to one area of the abdomen. The pain from gallbladder disease or peptic ulser often starts in one area of the abdomen and stays in that same location. Localized pain that gradually becomes more severe may be a symptom of inflammation of an abdominal organ.
  • Cramping is a type of pain that comes and goes (intermittent) or that changes in position or severity. Cramping is rarely serious if it is relieved by passing gas or a stool. Many women have cramping pain with their menstrual periods. Generalized cramping pain is usually not a cause for concern unless it gets worse, lasts for longer than 24 hours, or localizes. Cramping that starts suddenly with diarrhea or other minor health problems can be quite painful but is usually not serious.
 

Occasionally, severe pain that comes on suddenly may be a symptom of a rupture of the stomach or intestines or blood vessel problem. The pain caused by appendicitis or gallbladder disease may increase when you move or cough. Pain that increases with movement or coughing and does not appear to be caused by strained muscles is more likely to be a symptom of a serious problem. A visit to a doctor is usually needed when severe abdominal pain comes on suddenly, or when new and different mild pain slowly becomes more severe over several hours or days.