sometimes i have pain in my sternum...not severe ,,but dull.
I also sometimes get short of breath.
Is this angina or heart attack?
(yes, i know i need to see a real MD)
It's probably not a heart attack. Not if it happens all the time. But you never know.
The problem with not seeing the doctor is that there are a whole bunch of other things a doctor would need to know about this pain before they could form an opinion about what causes it. You gave me a couple of them--the location and the quality of the pain. Now here are some other things I would want to know about the pain: when does it occur? What time of day? What are you usually doing at the time? Is it associated with activities like exercising or walking, or with eating, or after eating, or lying down? Does the pain go anywhere else? How bad does it get? How long does it last? Is there anything you can do to make it better or worse? How long has this been happening (a month? a year? ten years?), and how often does it occur (once a month, once a week, once a day, more often than that)?
You also gave me another symptom: shortness of breath. Is this always associated with the pain, or does it happen at other times? Does it happen only when you exert yourself, or does it happen at rest? When you say you have shortness of breath, do you mean you feel you just can't get enough air, or is it that you don't want to breathe deeply because it's painful? Again, anything make it better or worse?
You begin to see why it would be easier to just see the doctor? ;-)
Then there is the background I would need to ask you about: How old are you? Do you have any medical problems that you regularly see a doctor for? Are you on any medications? What's your daily routine--do you work a sedentary job, go to school, exercise a lot? Anyone else in your family ever have any similar symptoms? What were they told they had?
It goes on, but you get the idea.
So: angina is pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart. A heart attack or myocardial infarction is what happens if this lack of oxygen goes on for too long and the muscle begins to die. What all those questions are designed to tease out is whether or not there is any likelihood that pain in the chest area is related to that as opposed to the rest of the differential (the list of things "chest pain" might be), which is vast, but which could include not only heart issues, but problems with the lungs, the lining of the chest cavity (the "pleura"), the chest wall muscles, the bones, the cartilage of the ribs, the esophagus, or even things that aren't in the chest at all like the liver or the diaphragm.
Your doctor can figure it out. *g* Hope it gets better, at any rate!
Myriad causes.... Heartburn, Spasms, even hiccoughs that aren't really causing sudden spasms to make sounds.
Go see a specialist, they live for symptoms like this due to wide range of posiblilities and tests that might be involved...
Could be pneumonia.
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