Chest pain and fatigue can produce symptoms that mimic a heart attack, but in many cases, other conditions are the cause. Some of the most common reasons for these symptoms are various forms of heart disease and pneumonia. In certain cases, fibromyalgia, which causes pervasive and expansive pain throughout the body, can also cause these issues.
When an individual complains of unexplained chest pain and fatigue, a medical professional may suspect a disorder or condition involving the heart. Angina often produces frequent bouts of chest discomfort, producing a grasping feeling in the chest along with pressure. The pain can sometimes radiate to other areas, such as the arm or neck.
Many individuals suffering from angina often complain of extreme tiredness and fatigue along with chest pain. In one form of this condition, the symptoms of chest discomfort generally occur after physical exercise. A medical professional typically will suggest complete rest for the patient. Medication will sometimes be prescribed to control pain and discomfort.
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP), in which one of the heart valves becomes thicker and does not close correctly, can also produce chest pain and fatigue in some individuals. This condition can also lead to an abnormal heartbeat, and a heart murmur can often be detected with a stethoscope. For some reason, this condition more commonly occurs in women than in men, and some experts believe it may be inherited. A medical professional may prescribe different medications to reduce the symptoms.
Periacarditis can also cause these symptoms in many patients. This happens when tissues surrounding the heart become inflamed, typically from an infection. It is an acute condition, and if treated at the onset, it can often be cured with no permanent damage. If it is a mild case, it may not require any further treatment other than rest. Typically, the individual will recover quickly, but in rare cases, surgery may be required.
When a person develops pneumonia, he or she may experience chest pain, fatigue, a cough, and a fever. Pneumonia occurs when one or both lungs becomes inflamed and infected, usually either from a virus or bacteria. When fluids build in the lungs, this often leads to discomfort and fatigue. The course of treatment is typically bed rest and, if it's bacterial, antibiotic therapy. In severe cases of respiratory distress, hospitalization may be required.
Other respiratory illnesses can also cause chest pain and fatigue. Asthma and chest pain are often related, so this typically makes it easy to diagnose when the patient is experiencing a flare-up. Patients who have bronchitis, either chronic or acute, will often have chest pain, along with a feeling of extreme fatigue.