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Pain in heart, chest and spine. Is this due to high blood pressure?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2000
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My mum call me few days ago from africa,she complained bittery that she is having pain at back of her heart and as well her chest,that she feels like a load of blocks is been places in her chest and some spinalcord pains.I gave her money to go hosp.after medical lab,doctor said her BP is too high,doc could this be true?If yes,what possible treatment and medication would you refer me to buy for her here and send to africa?Is it advisable to change her diet?She is 64yrs old.
Posted Tue, 19 Mar 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 1 hour later

Thanks for writing in.

The possibilities that exist with chest pain and pain in the upper back could be anything ranging from angina(chest pain due to decreased blood supply to the heart), heart attack, gastro esophageal reflux, anxiety & stress, or a musculo-skeletal pain.

In view of her age, 64 yrs, necessary investigations would be blood sugar levels, lipid profile , ECG and other tests. She needs to be thoroughly evaluated by a cardiologist and that would determine whether all she needs is anti-hypertensive medications or other medicines as well.

If the cardiac evaluation is normal, most likely her symptoms might be due to gastritis, acidity or stress which can be then treated accordingly.

The general measures she should take to reduce Blood Pressure is:
1.Reduce salt intake in foods etc.
2.Mild exercise for about 30 minutes a day 5 days a week, if approved by her treating physician.
3. If overweight, try to reduce weight.
4. Avoid chips, oily food, XXXXXXX fried foods, pickles etc which are high in salt content and fat content.
5. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, salads etc.

Hope I have answered your query. I shall be glad to answer any further queries you might have.

In case you don't have any further queries , kindly accept my answer. Any reviews are welcome.

Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pain in heart, chest and spine. Is this due to high blood pressure? 10 hours later
Thanks for your answer.Yes me too think my mum have angina and not high blood pressure like the african doctor said.I do not trust african doctors some of them do not know there wor but u think high BP could be th cause?what medcine should i buy for her if its angina
advice me
Answered by Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan 11 hours later

Angina (chest pain due to decreased blood supply to the heart) is a symptom of coronary heart disease. One of the cause of coronary heart disease is high blood pressure. Other causes are smoking, high cholesterol levels and high blood sugars. So, your mom's doctor might be right in saying that high blood pressure is the cause of her chest pain.
XXXXXXX please try to understand that can we cannot diagnose your mother's condition without examining her and looking into all the relevant blood investigations, ECG etc.

However, if you feel you are not convinced about the treating doctor's diagnosis and advice, please ask your mom to get a second opinion from another doctor at a different hospital.

Angina is treated with nitrates, beta blockers , antiplatelet drugs etc.

Hope this helps.

Dr. Divya Kuttikrishnan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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