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Having sharp chest pain, no palpitation or shortness of breath. Non-smoker. What is it?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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Awakened a couple times recently by a brief very sharp chest pain on left side. No pain once I wake up, no palpitations or shortness of breath, but it is disconcerting. What is it? 52 yrs old, non-smoker, 5'9" 182 lbs, no history of major health problems.
Posted Sun, 26 May 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 2 hours later
Hi and thanks for the query,

What you describe deserves an in depth clinical evaluation. The commonest cause of these symptom that must be excluded is a cardiac pathology. Considering the past medical history, which of course one main cardiovascular risk factor smoking, a clinical examination by an internist preferably would be very useful.

Other diseases like those of the lungs, gastrointestinal reflux , gastritis should also be borne in mind. Palpation on physical examination might be useful to ensure that the pain is not local, but a referred pain.
A chest X XXXXXXX ECG from the beginning, coupled with your physician s examination is a very good start in the evaluation.

My suggestion is you book an appointment with your internist.

Thanks and hope this helps.

Do not hesitate asking further questions if need be.

Thanks and best regards,
Dr Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having sharp chest pain, no palpitation or shortness of breath. Non-smoker. What is it? 17 hours later
Thanks Dr. Bain. One point of clarification. It appears your recommendation is based on me being a smoker with a medical history, but I am a non-smoker with no medical history. Does that change your opinion? Also, neither of my parents, both of whom are deceased, had heart issues. A paternal great grandfather died of heart failure at age 53, and a paternal uncle had to have a quadruple bypass last year at age 74.

Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 20 minutes later
Hi and thanks for the major clarification,

I really appreciate it. I am sorry earlier I mistook it as smoking. What remains now actually is, as I earlier mentioned, undergoing a screening for a probable cardiac problem. A chest X XXXXXXX an EKG and a cardiac ultrasound would be a very good start.

A clinical evaluation by your internist would be a good input in assessing other possibilities from other organs. The past history of heart disease in your family is a strong point to be evaluated in your situation now.

Thanks once again, and I would suggest you take an appointment with your internist. I would be glad making further contributions if you have any need.

Wishing you the best of health and thanks for using health care magic.
Best regards,
Luchuo, MD.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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