Before we begin, it’s very important for you to know that chest heaviness (or any other unusual chest sensation like pain, tightness or a crushing feeling) should be taken very seriously. This only means that you should immediately seek medical assistance especially if it’s accompanied by shortness of breath, heart palpitations, pain that radiates to the arms, neck and jaw, dizziness, and sweating.
However, it’s also a must for you to realize that not all cases of chest heaviness can be attributed to the heart. This only means that the heaviness you are feeling in your chest may not be a sign of a heart attack — this is most likely to be the case if you are into healthy living and eating and your cardiologist just gave you a clean bill of health.
This article will discuss some of the most common causes of chest heaviness other than a heart attack as this very serious matter has already been briefly tackled above. So don’t stop reading now if it seems like you are encountering chest heaviness from time to time.
Got family members and friends who are complaining about chest heaviness every now and then? Then make sure that you share this article on your various social media sites to get them acquainted with the common causes listed below — although of course you should also tell them that none of the pieces of information found below should be considered as professional medical advice that can only come from no one else but a health care provider like a doctor or nurse.
Being stressed causes your body to go into what’s referred to as the fight-of-flight mode. Such can cause so many things to happen to your body such as tensing of the muscles, including those that are situated in your chest. Such is important as your body prepares you for your decision — either get into a fight or flee the scene.
However, health authorities say that leading a very stressful life may eventually cause heart disease to come into being, and such can cause your chest to feel heavy while you’re having a heart attack. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to keep your stress levels to a minimum.
Were you told by a mental health expert that you are exhibiting signs of anxiety? Then it’s very much possible that anxiety is the reason why your chest feels heavy most of the time, especially if your mind is flooded with a lot of anxious thoughts. Anxiety can cause tightening not only of the chest muscles, but also muscles elsewhere in your body.
Just like stress, anxiety can activate the fight-or-flight reaction, and that’s why it can cause chest heaviness as well as many other unfavorable physical symptoms. The presence of these symptoms may leave you feeling even more anxious as individuals with anxiety disorder tend to associate them with very serious matters such as a heart attack.
Especially if your chest heaviness occurs right after a meal, it’s very much possible for it to be more associated with the digestive system rather than the circulatory system. If you are suffering from acid reflux, it’s not unlikely for chest heaviness to be accompanied by other symptoms such as heartburn, nausea and a bitter taste in the mouth.
Chest heaviness due to acid reflux may strike after consuming something that’s spicy, acidic, greasy and fatty. You may also encounter the symptom after having coffee and alcoholic beverages as they are known as acid reflux triggers.
Various Medical Conditions
It’s a good idea for you to report your chest heaviness to your doctor especially if it comes into being often and it’s starting to keep you from having an enjoyable or a productive day. That’s because certain medical conditions other than a heart attack may leave your chest feeling heavy. Some medical conditions that can be associated with chest heaviness include costochondritis, stomach ulcers, pancreatitis, gallstones, asthma and pneumonia. Treatment and management can vary tremendously, depending on the causative factor.