Right Side Chest Pain in Women: What they Mean
Left and/or right side chest pain in women are caused by a wide variety of factors. Though many believe that chest pain is due to a heart attack or other diseases related to the heart, this is not necessarily the case. Many chest pains, especially in women, have different culprits. Hence, it is quite difficult to diagnose left or right side chest pain in women.
In many instances, when there is an occurrence of chest pains, women who suffer this are subjected to tests and evaluations to find out if the pain is related to coronary heart disease. When these tests prove to be negative, no further examinations are conducted since chest pains are mainly regarded as a symptom of heart-related problems.
The Relationship of Women and Heart Disease
As corroborated by many studies, women who still have their periods are less at risk of having heart diseases. This is due to the high estrogen levels in women before menopause. Estrogen helps prevent the arteries from narrowing, also known as atherosclerosis; hence, preventing the occurrence of heart disease. Be aware, though, that this does not exclude women from having heart attacks. It just tells us that they are less at risk when compared to their men counterparts. After menopause, on the other hand, estrogen levels decrease, making post-menopausal females at equal risk with males.
So what do these facts mean? They mean that when there is an occurrence of left or right side chest pain in women, do not disregard it even if you have been cleared of coronary heart disease. Find out what the cause is so you can be diagnosed and treated appropriately and promptly.
Causes of Chest Pain in Women
To know more about the possible causes of left or right side chest pain in women, read the following.
• Micro vascular dysfunction
Is a condition in which the small blood either constricts abnormally or do not dilate. This results to impaired blood supply to the heart, hence, causing pain in the chest.
• Endothelial dysfunction
This is a condition characterized by the improper functioning of the cells that are found on the inner surfaces of the blood vessels.
Women who suffer chest pains are subjected to stress test to find out if the pain is a result of coronary heart disease. When the result is positive, as is typically the case, confirmatory tests such as angiograms are conducted to verify the presence of heart disease. These tests, will most probably tell you negative.
The two conditions mentioned above are the usual causes of hard-to-diagnose chest pains. Also, build up of plaque in the arteries can occur in such a way that an angiogram fails to detect its presence.
Other conditions that may cause left or right side chest pain in women are listed below.
• Pulmonary embolism
This condition arises when there are blood clots in the blood vessels that bring blood to the lungs. This can result to chest pain. Read more about pulmonary embolism
This results when there is accumulation of gas or air around the lungs. The chest pain resembles that of getting stabbed.
• Esophageal reflux
Also known as acid reflux, this is a condition wherein the gastric contents are leaked back to the esophagus. This is manifested by a burning sensation in the chest.
When the bones and cartilage of the chest swell, this could result to chest pain. Here is more information on costchondritis symptoms and treatment
• Mitral prolapse
• Mitral stenosis
This happens when there is an impediment of blood flow between the heart and the body. Here is more information on mitral stenosis.
This refers to the chest pain that occurs because of a deficiency of oxygenated blood in the muscles of the heart.
• Vulvular Heart Disease
This refers to any disease that involves the valves of the heart.
• Rheumatic Heart Disease
This usually occurs after rheumatic fever attacks and involves damage to the heart and its membranes.
• Anxiety and Stress
These should not be taken lightly as these are also found to cause left and right side chest pain in women.
There are conditions that are responsible for many right side chest pains in women. These conditions or problems have nothing to do with the heart at all.
• Liver diseases (i.e. hepatitis)
• Gas problems
• Improper posture
• Rapid breathing
Prevention of chest pain in women
Women should take all necessary steps to prevent the occurrence of heart diseases. You should control your cholesterol level by adhering to a healthier diet and lifestyle. Try not to smoke and control any excessive weight gain to make your heart healthier.
Since most chest pains are associated with coronary heart disease, it is important to heed them, whether it is a left side or right side chest pain in women. When you experience chest pain, have it checked promptly. Though it has nothing to do with any heart problems, it is better that you know what is causing it so you can address the problem promptly to prevent further complications.