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Mystery Diagnosis: Chest Pain

Calvin is a 48-year-old CEO of a water filtering company who has been experiencing chest pain for 2 weeks.  Find out what the most common causes of chest pain are and how his doctor determined the root of his scary symptoms. House Call Doctor is on the case 


Scientific American presents House Call Doctor by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

February is American Heart Month.  And chest pain is one of the most troubling symptoms that patients experience, and for good reason – heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S.  It also seems to be a very common topic of emails I receive at housecalldoctor@quickanddirtytips.com.

Unfortunately, it can be one of the most challenging symptoms to dissect, let alone over email, and short answers just won’t do.

So I thought it would be a good idea to instead learn more about chest pain and what really goes through a doctor’s mind when patients first present with this potentially alarming symptom.  Let’s learn about chest pain via another mystery diagnosis case.

The Chief Complaint
Calvin is a 48-year-old man who came to see me in the clinic with a “chief complaint” of chest pain ("chief complaint" is a medical term used to describe the “main symptom”).  I had seen Calvin several times in my clinic before for his high blood pressure.  He’s an interesting guy – very humorous and loves to talk to me about his 3 rambunctious children (whom I also take care of) and his job as the CEO of his father’s water filtering company.  When the economy took a dive, Calvin started to feel the pressure at work.  He’s been putting in long hours.  And when he goes to bed, his mind really starts to wander and that’s when he feels the stress and subsequent chest pain.
 


> Continue reading on QuickAndDirtyTips.com

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