Non-cardiac chest pain: All we need to know
It is described as the pain in the chest that is not caused by heart disease or a heart attack.
According to research, 70 million people out of the total population in the United States suffer from non- cardiac chest pain.1]
- Not self-treatable
- Usually, self-diagnosable
- Laboratory tests and imaging are required
- Long-term: Can persist for months or years
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux , Esophageal contraction disorders, Visceral (esophageal) hypersensitivity, Musculoskeletal conditions, Pulmonary (lung) disorders, Pericardial conditions and Digestive disorders and stress
NCCP is described as a chest pain that resembles heart pain (angina) in patients who do not have heart disease. It can affect children as well as older patients. It usually affects both men and women. But, major proportion of affected people consists of females.
Self-diagnosable: Chest pain and heartburn. Usually, pain occurs after eating.
People may experience: Bitter taste in the mouth because of stomach fluid coming up.
Also common: Anxiety and depression
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis: Thorough cardiac evaluations are done to examine that the patient is not suffering from heart related problems. If the patient is not suffering from cardiac diseases, he is offered a treatment trial of acid-suppressive inhibitor medications for 2 weeks. If this does not work, other tests are taken-up. Some of them are as follows:
- pH study of the esophagus
- Upper endoscopy
- Esophageal motility test
- Ultrasound of the abdomen, to examine the gallbladder for possible stones
Medication: Proton pump inhibitors are the most common treatment to cure NCCP caused due to GERD. If the patient responds to this treatment, the dose may be increased to up to 8 weeks. The cognitive behavior therapy has also helped in reducing pain for patients suffering from stress, anxiety, and depression.
Specialists: For further concern, contact a cardiologist. At mfine, you will receive a holistic treatment plan for optimum health.