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Chest Pain

James Kim, MD -  - Cardiologist

James Kim, MD

Cardiologist & Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases located in National City, CA & Chula Vista, CA

Chest pain is a prevalent warning sign of a heart problem and should always be taken seriously. At his practice in National City and Chula Vista, California, James Kim, MD, diagnoses the condition causing your chest pain and provides personalized treatment plans to restore your cardiovascular health. Call or schedule a consultation online today to discover what’s causing your chest pain and get the treatment you need.

Chest Pain Q & A

What causes chest pain?

Many issues can cause chest pain, from heart problems to digestive discomfort and musculoskeletal injuries. Some of the common cardiovascular-related causes of heart disease include:

  • Heart attack
  • Reduced blood flow to the heart (angina)
  • Aortic dissection
  • Pericarditis

Cardiovascular-related chest pain causes various sensations, including:

  • Pressure, fullness, or squeezing 
  • Crushing, burning pain that radiates to your neck, back, shoulders, or arm
  • Pain that might come and go or change in severity

You might also develop shortness of breath, cold sweats, dizziness, and nausea. 

When should I talk to a doctor about chest pain?

You should always talk to a doctor about chest pain. If you have chest pain, as well as shortness of breath and dizziness, you should call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. 

While chest pain can be caused by something as benign as heartburn, it’s nearly impossible to know what’s causing your pain without medical assessment and testing. It’s best to take chest pain seriously.

How is the cause of chest pain diagnosed?

Dr. Kim provides thorough exams and testing to identify the condition causing your chest pain. He begins with a comprehensive consultation, reviewing your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle factors. 

Dr. Kim listens to your heart and lungs and checks your blood oxygenation levels. He also checks your blood pressure and orders blood tests to look for proteins released during a heart attack.

Depending on your needs, Dr. Kim might also order additional testing like:

  • Chest X-rays
  • CT scans
  • Electrocardiograms
  • Echocardiograms
  • Stress tests
  • Diagnostic cardiac catheterization

Following your exam and testing, Dr. Kim creates a personalized treatment plan to address the condition causing your chest pain. 

What is included in a treatment plan for chest pain?

Your plan could include medication or procedures to correct abnormal heart function. 

Dr. Kim also helps you make lifestyle adjustments to improve your heart health. For example, he can help you adjust your diet to include more heart-healthy foods and cut out potentially dangerous items such as too much salt, sugar, and fat. He recommends eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein.

Dr. Kim might also recommend that you add physical exercise to your daily routine. Most adults should aim for around 30 minutes of moderate activity, like a brisk walk around your neighborhood, every day. 

You’ll also have follow-up visits and testing so that Dr. Kim can monitor your heart health and your treatment plan's effectiveness. 

If you have chest pain or are concerned about your cardiovascular health, call the office of James Kim, MD, or schedule a consultation online today.