I started getting chest pain in my early 50s but it’s not heart-related. Please help!

DR Zoe gives advice to a reader who is suffering from chest pain that isn’t heart related.

Most chest pains aren’t a sign of anything serious, but you should always seek medical attention for them.

Olivia WestDr Zoe helps a reader suffering from chest pain[/caption]

AlamyAllergies can cause or intensify chest pain[/caption]

Q: UNTIL my early fifties, I never suffered from hay fever-type allergies, nor did any of my family.

Then one day about 15 years ago a strong, crushing feeling started in my chest and forearms.

I saw a doctor about an hour later who assured me it wasn’t heart-related. This has happened periodically ever since.

Only this year did I realise, when feeling quite bad, that it was a response to hawthorn and cow parsley.

Is there a prescription antihistamine I can take rather than over-the-counter?

A: When you mention a crushing feeling in the chest to a doctor, their first thought is ruling out a heart problem such as angina or even a heart attack.

You say that you have been reassured by your doctor, but have you had an ECG and blood tests?

And do you have any risk factors for heart disease?

If the last time your heart was checked was 15 years ago, it would be a good idea to get looked at again.

But you are right that allergies can indeed cause chest pain.

While seasonal ones most commonly cause nose, throat and eye symptoms, the same histamines that lead to these may also trigger inflammation in the chest.

If over-the-counter antihistamines are not cutting it for you then your GP can prescribe stronger medication.

TIP: Unbranded hay-fever antihistamines (cetirizine or loratadine) are much cheaper than branded ones, and if you shop around online you can get several weeks’ worth for less than £5.

If you use a nasal spray, don’t make the mistake of putting the nozzle too far back and sniffing it back to the throat.

It’s meant to coat the nostril inside.

Direct the nozzle to the inside of the nostrils and only sniff lightly.

EMAIL Dr Zoe health@thesun.co.uk

The 13 reasons you might have chest pains

If you’re worried about your chest pain then you should seek help from your doctor.

Here are the different conditions that your chest pain could be caused by.

1. Costochondritis

2. Pleurisy

3. Precordial catch syndrome

4. Acid reflux

5. Gallstones

6. Heart burn or ingestion

7. Anxiety or panic attacks

8. Chest sprain or strain

9. Chest infection or pneumonia

10. Shingles

11. Pericarditis

12. Angina

13. Heart attack

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