Saturday, June 22, 2013

Matters of The Heart


 Have you ever felt pain on your chest? 

     I have had my own share of chest discomforts and I used to panic and think of the worst case scenario. Who isn't afraid of a heart-attack anyway? But how do we know the pain we are experiencing is not life threatening? How do we know we are not in need of further clinical assessment, a holter monitoring or any other advanced cardiac evaluation? 

     Feeling something weird on your chest? You could try out the following relaxation techniques: 

  • Do not panic. Breathe in... breathe out and assume a comfortable sitting or lying position. Continue breathing in and breathing out, allow the air to completely fill your lungs and relax as you exhale. You may close your eyes and think of a place you would love to be. Imagine the sound of waves or the pitter patter of rain. Let the thought lull you to sleep if it does. 
  • You could slowly drink a glass of water, play your favorite music. If it is too warm in the room, try going outside and getting some fresh air. Look at green things around you or the sky and clouds. Breathe in, breathe out and focus on happy thoughts. 
  • Talk to someone you love or trusts or anyone around tell him or her what you are feeling, describe to him or her what you are experiencing. Allow the person to make you feel better. Smile, laugh if you can.

       In several minutes did you feel better? Has the sensation of pain left? Has it become merely a discomfort? You may now have time and concentration to reflect on the following notes on chest pain...  

  • Is the pain felt when your chest is pressed on a particular site over or in between your ribs?  You may be experiencing something clinicians term as costochondritis (a temporary, inflammation of the joints between the cartilages that join the rib to the breastbone). Do not worry it is not something serious and may resolve with simply rest and intake of pain relievers if persistent.

  •  You may have been lifting a heavy object the past hours or days or been in one particular lying or sitting position that put pressure on your chest muscles. It could just be a strained chest muscle- in that case you need to rest those busy muscles to get rid of the pain completely.

  • You may be having GERD (Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease) - a burning sensation that rises from the abdomen to the chest and the neck or something termed as a heartburn which could be mistaken as a cardiac problem. Consult a physician and you may be prescribed medications to halt the symptoms and you may be instructed to follow several lifestyle changes like proper eating habits.

  • You may have been reading too much about chest pains or have heard about a neighbor or a friend of our age who recently had a heart-attack and died and was worried sick you may be having the same symptoms. An Anxiety Attack has overcome you. Smile, relax but do have yourself checked for physical problems just to be sure..and do maintain a healthy lifestyle- eat a well balanced meal, stay away from fatty and too salty foods; do not smoke; have regular exercise and surround yourself with people who can inspire you to love, and live life to the fullest. 

Otherwise/if your pain is not relieved by the above and is characterized by the following, please do seek medical assistance immediately:

a gradual onset of symptoms- chest pain which is characterized by:
  • a sensation of tightness, pressure or squeezing
  • could radiate to the left arm, jaw, neck, right arm, posterior chest or abdomen
  • associated with shortness of breath, dizziness, excessive sweating, vomiting, nausea and palpitations and loss of consciousness

     In those who are at risk, there may not even be symptoms at all...

  • those with long-standing diseases of the heart or kidneys
  • those with a family history of cardiac problems
  • smokers, obese, alcohol drinkers, 
  • those who lack physical activity
     You belong in any of those? It is not too late, you can always change and choose to live a healthy lifestyle....


special thanks to my friend Mimi who is such an inspiration.....
Stay healthy and beautiful my friend...
Wishing you no more chest pains...

2 yorum:

  1. I am happy for your friend Mimi Zen who was able to change her lifestyle for a chest pain- free life. I never had chest pain, but I do have family history with cardiac problems. So, I try to be careful too.

  2. i always encourage M to change his lifestyle. puro kain walang exercise. your friend is a great inspiration. hoping and praying she is chest-pain free and healthy all the time! :)


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