Chest Pain in Young Adults
Chest pain is one of the most common terms heard in medical parlance. It often triggers a sense of panic for the person, as it is seen as a warning sign of a heart problem. Anyone with a chest pain is interested to find if this is a sign of a heart attack. Well, in most cases, chest pain is a warning sign of a heart attack, but not always. There are a number of structures in the thoracic cavity that could trigger pain. So a systematic approach is required to correctly diagnose the source of chest pain. Most of the time a heart disease is not the cause for chest pain in young adults. The reason could be over exertion that can cause chest pain in young people.
Reasons for Chest Pain in Young Adults
- Cough/Cold: Children may experience benign pain in the chest after a severe bout of cold and persistent cough.
- Pleurisy: Pain may originate from inflammation of the lining around the lungs. The pain may become worse by deep breathing. Pleurisy is caused along with a viral syndrome.
- Pericarditis: If the inflammation involves the pericardium covering the heart muscle, the result could be chest pain that often exacerbates with deep breathing.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: The condition occurs due to the increase in thickness of the septum and the left ventricular wall. The result of this rare condition could be chest pain on exertion, irregular heartbeats, and shortness of breath. Increased voltage could be reported on an EKG due to the thick heart muscle. The condition may be found in students engaging in strenuous physical activities, which may include football, basketball, or other athletic activities.
- Mitral Valve Prolapsed: A few young adults may experience chest pain from the prolapse of the mitral valve into the left atrium when there is contraction in the left ventricle. The condition may also cause intermittent symptoms, such as weakness, shortness of breath, palpitation, dizziness, and extreme fatigue. A 2D echocardiogram is used to diagnose the condition.
- Syndrome X: Chest pain in young adults may be experienced due to obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and inactivity. Though tests may not confirm coronary artery disease, such people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular event and try to lose weight. The doctor may prescribe cholesterol, blood pressure medications and encouraged to exercise.
- Acid Reflux: The condition can lead to heartburn that often mimics chest pain.
- Gallstone Symptoms: In some adults, gall bladder symptoms can be felt like the signs of a coronary artery disease. Most cases of chest pain in young adults are actually a gall bladder attack.
- Anxiety: Some people with anxiety problem may experience chest pain symptoms. It is normal for such people to feel chest pain when they are anxious and stressed. Anxiety can only worsen the symptoms.
- Heart problems: Congenital heart abnormality is the primary cause of chest pain in young adults. The pain may also be caused due to blood clotting. Smoking is the most common risk factor in young people that can constrict blood vessels and promote blood clots.