I have chest pain

Photo of chest xray

As you know from all my writing, I am not a doctor and I do not dispense medical advice but I do try to answer simple questions based on commonly available knowledge. What I mean is that you can ask me what you can ask a friend casually.

So when I heard from Penelope, I was initially hesitant to tell her anything but she insisted that she needed help because she did not have health insurance. She wrote, “I would greatly appreciate your advice on some heart pains I’ve been experiencing recently. What’s strange is I’m 23, 120 lbs, normally in good health, and I eat fairly healthy and yet these cramps in my left chest area seem to be coming from my heart. I would love to hear your ideas or advice on this.”

Regarding your heart pain, it could be something as simple as pulling some muscle in that area even without knowing it (e.g. while sleeping or while trying to pick something from a higher shelf in the closet). It could also be something serious, particularly among people who are somewhat older, are overweight, have problems like high blood pressure, and are in generally poor health.

Do you have any other symptoms like palpitations or breathing problems or overall discomfort? If so please seek medical help immediately. The best thing to do is to show up at the emergency complaining of chest pains.

In any case, it does not hurt to set up an appointment with a doctor (you can often find that in your area there are always charity groups that organize free medical clinics or you could try to find a doctor that works with immigrants since they are generally much cheaper as they are used to dealing with patients without health insurance) and make sure everything is OK. He will be able to listen to your heartbeat and make sure that it is working alright.