2. Chest pain
Colds and respiratory infections often result in inflammation of the cartilage next to the ribs, which can cause chest pain. Pneumonia or pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs, can also lead to chest or rib pain. So if your chest hurts, don’t panic, but do look into it.
Chest pain can indicate something as simple as a gas bubble in the stomach, or it could be a heart attack. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two. When a nerve near the heart (called the vagus nerve) becomes irritated because of a heart attack, it can cause stomach symptoms. If the pain goes away with an antacid, it’s less likely to be related to the heart. Most times, it’s probably not a heart attack, but if dull, pressure-like chest pain comes on for no reason, call an ambulance and get to an emergency room.
Why an ambulance rather than your neighbour? For two reasons: Many ambulances now come equipped with sophisticated monitoring equipment, and emergency personnel are trained to administer necessary medication at a time when every minute counts. A number of doctors also recommend that you take an aspirin to protect your heart from a blood clot while the ambulance is on its way.