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When should you see the doctor for chest pain?

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When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.

Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain:

Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
  • Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
  • Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
  • Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
  • Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
  • Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
  • Problems swallowing
  • Severe chest pain that does not go away

From: What's Causing My Chest Pain? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American College of Gastroenterology: "Non-Cardiac Chest Pain."

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lung and Airway Disorders: Symptoms" and "Chest Pain."

National Lung Health Education Program: "Chest Pain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Chest Pain, Chronic."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD))."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 11, 2016

SOURCES:

American College of Gastroenterology: "Non-Cardiac Chest Pain."

Merck Manuals Online Medical Library: "Lung and Airway Disorders: Symptoms" and "Chest Pain."

National Lung Health Education Program: "Chest Pain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Chest Pain, Chronic."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD))."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on September 11, 2016

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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