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    Does smoking cause throat soreness and left-sided chest pain?

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Posted on Tue, 11 Jul 2017 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Question: I have been smoking 4 - 8 cigarettes a day for the past year with one two week break from smoking. Prior to that I was smoke free for 1 year and before that I was nearly smoke free for 5 years with maybe 1-2 cigarettes / year, socially. Over the past year I became increasingly anxious which caused me to start smoking again. I have never had difficulty stopping cigarette smoking until this most recent use. I am fearful of lung cancer or cardiac complications as I have a strong family history of heart disease on both sides of my family. I've started to feel some throat irritation more recently, and the past two days I have had intermittent stabbing feelings on the left side of my chest that come and go. I'm feeling very, very guilty for smoking, anxiety is high, and I am not sure if the chest pain is related to anxiety, smoking, or both. I want to quit smoking, but the anxiety has been so bad. Then I feel more guilty for not being able to quit since I have done so successfully in the past. Regarding the above, what do you recommend as the best approach right now? I have a history of PVCs, none recently, and hypertension that began with my job, not with starting to smoke, but regardless is an issue. I work out at the gym with a trainer and engage in at least 1 hour of physical activity 5-6 days / week.
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Answered by Dr. Ilir Sharka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
I would recommend as follows:

Detailed Answer:
Hello!

Welcome and thank you for asking on HCM!

I passed carefully through your question and would explain that your symptoms do not seem to be related to any cardiac disorders.

Besides, you should know that smoking is a known cardio-vascular risk, but you have been smoking free for so many years, that I don't think that it has increased your cardio-vascular risk. The amount of cigarettes that you are smoking now is not too high, but it would be better avoid smoking contacts.

I agree with you that anxiety seems to play an important role in the chest pain.

But, chest pain and throat soreness, could be related to an upper respiratory tract infection, which is very common in smoking persons.

Is the chest pain triggered by deep breathing or body movements? This would indicate possible musculo-skeletal pain and inflammation.

For this reason, I would recommend consulting with your attending physician for a careful physical exam and some tests:

- a resting ECG
- a chest X ray study
- complete blood count, PCR and ESR for inflammation.

An antibiotic may be needed if your tests are suggestive of an infection. Using an antiacid and a painkiller (ibuprofen or acetaminophen) could also help.

Considering your cardio-vascular risk factors (family history, hypertension, smoking), I would recommend periodically scheduled follow ups with your doctor (with resting ECG, chest X ray study, blood lipid profile, fasting glucose, etc.).

A cardiac stress test would help exclude coronary artery disease, if suspicions are raised by the above tests.

Meanwhile, I would strongly encourage you to avoid smoking contacts. You should first try to manage anxiety. Yoga and meditation can help in this regard. Taking some anxiolytics for a short time (valeriana, passiflora, etc.) can also help manage withdrawal symptoms.

I would also advise continuing your daily physical activity.

Hope to have been helpful!

I remain at your disposal whenever you have any other questions!

Kind regards,

Dr. Iliri


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ilir Sharka

Cardiologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 7433 Questions

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