Chest Pain in Men – Causes & Alerts

Chest Pain in Men

What Could It Be?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has listed heart disease as the leading cause of death for men in the United States.

So, it is no surprise that when the men in our lives experience chest pain, our first thought is a heart attack. Luckily, not all chest pain in men is a symptom of a heart problem.

Some causes of chest pains are just as dangerous as heart disease, while others are not life-threatening.

What is Causing Your Chest Pain?

Chest pain is the second leading cause of ER visits in America with more than 8 million emergency room visits a year.

The cause of chest pain can be due to conditions affection other organs in the upper abdomen, including the esophagus, lungs, gallbladder, stomach, and heart.

 

Digestive Causes of Chest Pain in Men

 

1. Acid Reflux or Heartburn

Heartburn occurs when the stomach acid flows up into the esophagus. The burning sensation and pain caused by the acid are often mistaken for a heart attack.

 

2. Esophageal Spasm

The esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the throat with the stomach. Sudden and forceful contractions can cause chest pain.

 

3. Gallbladder disease

Chest pain caused by gallbladder stones usually occurs 30 minutes after eating. Gallbladder pain is typically felt just below the breastbone, and it can extend to the right arm or between the shoulder blades.

Inflammatory Causes of Chest Pain in Men

 

1. Costochondritis

Costochondritis is an inflammation of the chest wall between the ribs and the breastbone. It can cause a stabbing, aching pain that is often confused with a heart attack. The inflammation, however, is usually caused by trauma from playing contact sports or arthritis.

 

2. Pericarditis

This is an inflammation of the protective, double-layered sac surrounding the heart. There are many causes including a virus, radiation from cancer treatments, and certain illnesses or injuries. Pericarditis causes sharp, stabbing pain in the center of the left side of the chest. The pain worsens when you take a deep breath or lie down.

Lung-Related Causes of Chest Pain in Men

 

1. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that can cause shortness of breath and sharp pains that become worse when you take a deep breath. It is usually accompanied by other symptoms, including fever, chills, or coughing.

 

2. Pulmonary Embolism

This is a blood clot that has traveled into the lung vessels. It can cause chest pains, often accompanied by a fast or irregular heartbeat, sudden difficulty breathing or feeling lightheaded or faint.

This condition can be life threatening, therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms head to the nearest Altus Emergency Center.

Psychological Causes of Chest Pain in Men

 

Anxiety or Panic Attacks

These types of attacks are the body’s response to stressful events, they happen without warning and can cause chest pains, shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. The chest pain is usually fleeting, lasting only a moment or two.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

Is it a Heart Attack or Something Else?

This simple symptom chart was published by the Harvard Medical School and could help you assess the severity of your chest pain.

More Likely to be a Heart Attack

  • A sensation of pain, or of pressure, tightness, squeezing, or burning
  • Gradual onset of pain for a few minutes
  • Pain in a diffuse area, including a constant pain in the middle of the chest
  • Pain that extends to the left arm, neck, jaw, or back
  • Pain or pressure accompanied by other signs, such as difficulty breathing, a cold sweat, or sudden nausea
  • Pain or pressure that appears during or after physical exertion or emotional stress (heart attack) or while you are at rest (unstable angina)

Less Likely to be a Heart Attack

  • Sharp or knifelike pain brought on by breathing or coughing
  • Sudden stabbing pain that lasts only a few seconds
  • Pain clearly on one side of the body or the other
  • Pain that is localized to one small spot
  • Pain that lasts for many hours or days without any other symptoms
  • Pain reproduced by pressing on the chest or with body motion

What to Do When You Are Not Sure What Is Causing Your Chest Pain

If you experience a recurrent chest pain or pain that lasts for several hours or even days, you should make an appointment with your doctor.

However, if your chest pain is gradually getting worse, with pain building in intensity that is not relieved by resting, you could be having a heart attack and should come to the nearest Altus Emergency Center immediately.

 

Correctly diagnosing the cause of chest pain is not something you can do at home; only a doctor can do it. And you should never ignore any type of chest pain.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we have the most experienced emergency physicians who can quickly and accurately diagnose the cause of a patient’s chest pain.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

How Bad are Energy Drinks for Your Heart?

How Bad are Energy Drinks for Your Heart?

Energy drinks have become a staple in the lives of teenagers, college students, and workers.

This type of beverage is sold as a dietary supplement, that promises to boost concentration, improve physical performance, and reduce fatigue.

The drinks contain caffeine, sugar, and a proprietary “energy blend” that typically includes a combination of the following components:

  • Guarana
  • Taurine
  • Ginseng
  • B vitamins
  • L-Carnitine

Unfortunately, studies show that the consumption of energy drinks has severe adverse side effects on heart health.

The impact of energy drinks on the heart is so severe that it could land you in our emergency room and could potentially kill you.

What the Studies Revealed

There have been several relevant studies conducted in recent years, here are few of the findings:

 

Study Findings of The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston

 

The study involved 44 healthy non-smoking students in their 20’s. Researchers performed special tests to measure the blood vessels ability to dilate.

The tests were done before the students were given a 24-ounce energy drink and repeated 1½ hours later.

The researchers found that after having the energy drink, the blood vessels were much narrower. Narrow blood vessels make blood flow more difficult, and this increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Study Findings of The University of the Pacific

 

A study funded by the University of the Pacific and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association

found that energy drinks alter the heart’s rhythm.

The study involved 34 adults aged 18-40. The subjects were asked to fast overnight and were then given two 16-ounce bottles of either an energy drink or a placebo.

The researchers then measured the heart rhythms of the participants with electrocardiogram and blood pressure readings every half hour for a total of 4 hours.

The study concluded that energy drinks significantly prolong the time it takes the heart chambers to contract and relax (QTc interval).

A prolonged QTc interval increases the risk of a person experiencing life-threatening arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and sudden cardiac arrest.

The researchers also found that the volunteer’s blood pressure increased by close to 5 points and remained elevated for about 6 hours after drinking the energy drink.

Additional Concerns

 

The energy drink industry is mostly unregulated, and this in itself is cause for concern.

Another concern is the amount of caffeine and sugar these beverages have.

The maximum dose of caffeine that is considered safe by the FDA is 400mg per day, and no more than 200mg per dose.

Shockingly, most energy drinks contain between 240-300mg of caffeine per 8-ounce dose. Not to mention that little is known about the safety of some of the other ingredients contained in energy drinks.

To make matters worse, some of the components may interact with certain gut bacteria to create a compound called TMAO. Higher TMAO levels are linked to heart attacks and strokes.

Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.

The Bottom Line

Energy drinks unsafe for consumption by anyone, but especially young people and anyone with a cardiovascular condition.

 

Healthy Ways to Recharge Your Batteries

 

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Take a 20-minute nap
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise
  • Eat small amounts of food more often
  • Lower your stress

 

At Altus Emergency Centers, we have seen firsthand the devastating effects that energy drinks can have on a patient’s health. We advise you to avoid drinking them and warn your children about the potential risks of consuming them.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas

is Here for You 24/7

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.  After You Receive Quality ER Care, our Patient Advocate will help ensure Hassle-Free Billing.

Our Promise is to Always Help Find the Best Solutions in Benefit of our Patients from the time you walk-in without having to wait in line and when you are personally assisted with the billing process.  We are here to help you get well and stay well!

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS to ER CARE!

Get Your High Blood Pressure Under Control

National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Control Your Blood Pressure and Live Longer

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month!  During this month doctors and nurses across the country strive to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your blood pressure under control.

At Altus Emergency Centers, we’re joining the high blood pressure awareness crusade!  We hope to spread the knowledge that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major factor in the onset of many serious health problems. Fortunately, there is good news. You can control high blood pressure easily with lifestyle changes and medication.

What is Blood Pressure?

The term, blood pressure is usually associated with negativity but it’s very good and necessary.  Our blood is pumped from our heart into our arteries.  It travels to every organ in our body carrying much-needed nutrients and oxygen absolutely necessary for our survival. “Blood pressure” is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the arteries and other veins.

What-is-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Blood pressure is made up of two forces:

  • Systolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood as it is pumped out of the heart and into the arteries.
  • Diastolic Pressure – This is the pressure of the blood flowing through the circulatory system during heartbeats.

When you look at your blood pressure reading, the first number indicates the systolic pressure which the second number represents the diastolic pressure, i.e. 120/80.

It is normal for your blood pressure to rise and fall throughout the day, but if it stays high for a long time it can cause damage to your heart and cause other health problems. The condition where blood pressure stays high for extended periods is known as hypertension.

How Does High Blood Pressure Harm the Body?

High blood pressure makes the heart and blood vessels work harder than they should, this, in turn, makes them less efficient.

Over time, high blood pressure will cause damage to the delicate tissues inside the arteries. This creates tiny tears in the artery walls where LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) will start to accumulate forming plaque inside the arteries.  This is a condition known as atherosclerosis. If left untreated, the plaque buildup will create a vicious cycle of high blood pressure as the inside of the arteries become increasingly narrow.

Dangerous-Effects-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

This cycle can ultimately lead to other conditions such as:

  • – Arrhythmia
  • – Heart Attack
  • – Stroke
  • – Vision Loss
  • – Heart Failure
  • – Kidney Disease
  • – Sexual Dysfunction

Additionally, recent studies have shown that uncontrolled high blood pressure in patients between the ages of 45 and 65 is linked to a higher risk for dementia later in life.

How Can You Know If You Have High Blood Pressure?

Regulating-Your-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

Hypertension or high blood pressure usually has no symptoms unless it reaches extremely high levels.  In that case, you may experience a severe headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, vision changes or a nosebleed.

Because there are no symptoms, the only way to know if your blood pressure is above normal is to get a blood pressure reading. Now, don’t get scared if you get a single high reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension. If your reading is high or moderately higher than normal then you should have a few more readings, try to have them at the same time of day.  Then, if the readings continue to be high then make an appointment with your doctor for evaluation and to determine the best course of treatment.  Remember that if you are concerned about a possible spike in your blood pressure any time of the day or night, all Altus Emergency Centers are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  You will not have to make an appointment or wait in line.

There are 5 blood pressure categories:

Blood Pressure CategorySystolic PressureDiastolic Pressure
NormalLess than 120Less than 80

 

Elevated120-129Less than 80

 

Hypertension Stage 1130 – 13980-89

 

Hypertension Stage 2140 or Higher90 or Higher

 

Hypertensive CrisisHigher than 180Higher than 120

 

Hypertension develops slowly over time, and there is no cure for it, however, it can be managed through lifestyle changes and medications if needed.

How to Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure

It has been proven that you can help control your blood pressure by:

  • – Reducing your salt intake,
  • – Adding plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and fatty fish such as salmon to your diet,
  • – Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Studies have shown that blood pressure can drop by as much as 5 points with a weight loss of just 5 or 10%.

How-to-Prevent-High-Blood-Pressure-Altus-ER-Centers-Texas

When to Visit the ER

If your blood pressure gets to be 180/120 or higher you are experiencing a hypertensive crisis and should rush to the nearest Altus Emergency Center for treatment.

A hypertensive crisis puts you at a higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Altus Emergency Centers are equipped with the necessary medications, equipment, and qualified staff to help all types of medical emergencies. There is no time to lose waiting in line during such time-sensitive moments.  We are open 24/7 with no lines.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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