Some symptoms in our body can sometimes indicate that our heart health is in danger. Heart Surgeon Prof. Dr. Bingür Sönmez, sometimes noticed and feared; I asked about the symptoms, which are sometimes compared to other diseases and ignored.
While heart diseases, especially heart attacks, sometimes do not cause symptoms; Most of the time, some alarm signs may appear. So, is every chest pain or shortness of breath a sign of heart disease? Is heart pain in cold weather dangerous? Do nausea and dizziness also indicate a heart attack? Is swelling in the legs related to the heart? Here is Heart Surgeon Prof. Dr. Bingür Sönmez’s answers to these questions:
Is every chest pain experienced heart related?
The most common symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. This pain, which accompanies a heart attack, usually spreads from the chest to the jaw and left arm. However, not every chest pain is a heart attack. Reflux, ulcers, gallbladder problems, and musculoskeletal system disorders can also cause chest pain. Panic attack patients may also be confused with chest pain. The real problem is in silent heart patients. Pain is a chain of protection of the body. If this chain is broken, a patient running up the stairs may be cut off from the bathtub on the 2nd or 3rd floor. These patients experience great problems because they do not feel pain and do not come to the doctor. This problem occurs very frequently in morbidly obese, COPD and diabetic patients.
Could the heart be the cause of chest pain that occurs while walking after eating?
Since most of the post-meal circulation will be directed to the gastrointestinal system, it is undesirable to take a walk immediately after a meal. Chest pain that occurs while walking after eating may be a clue in the early diagnosis of coronary heart disease.
Is shortness of breath a sign of heart disease?
Fatigue easily or shortness of breath with exertion indicates an advanced stage of coronary heart disease. The first symptom, especially in our female patients, may be fatigue. The damage that occurs in the heart muscle after a heart attack causes heart failure, thus fatigue and shortness of breath.
Could swelling in the legs be caused by heart diseases?
Swelling below the knees and around the ankles, called edema, is a sign of advanced heart failure. Those who experience this problem should definitely consult a doctor; They should immediately restrict salt and use diuretic medications regularly.
Is heart pain in cold weather dangerous?
Each season has its own problems with coronary heart disease. During the summer months, as blood thickens due to dehydration in extreme heat and its fluidity decreases, unexpected acute clotting may cause a heart attack. In winter months, cold air coming directly to the chest and inhaled cold air can trigger heart pain. Cold weather, which narrows the vessels feeding the heart, increases blood pressure and increases the workload of the heart, can lead to a heart attack. For this reason, we recommend our heart patients not to go out in cold weather. If they go out, we advise them to take sublingual medications with them and to wrap their mouths with a scarf to ensure that the cold air warms up and enters, and that cold air does not come directly to their chests. The best walking areas for heart patients in winter are shopping malls.
Does having difficulty climbing hills or stairs give a clue about heart health?
If you feel short of breath, become congested, and need to rest frequently in routine situations in your daily life, such as walking, climbing hills or stairs, the cause may be heart failure. In addition, palpitations that occur while moving are also a sign of mitral valve disease, and in such cases, the person must be evaluated for heart valve disease. This is kind of like the stress test we do in the hospital. A heart that does not cause any problems under normal conditions reveals itself with ECG changes during exercise in the hospital.
Are nausea and dizziness signs of a heart attack?
One of the most distinctive features of a heart attack is chest pain. However, heart rhythm disorders can also manifest themselves with nausea and dizziness. Heart attack symptoms in women, unlike men, are nausea and dizziness. Women are late in applying to the hospital because they do not suspect these symptoms.
It is beneficial to use Aspirin regularly for heart health.
Although cardiologists do not agree on this issue, it is beneficial for men after the age of 40 and for women in menopause to take 100 mg Aspirin a day, just like blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
If you suspect a heart attack…
If you worry that you are having a heart attack for the first time, chew two children’s aspirin (100 mg) immediately, do not wait for it to pass and call an ambulance immediately. If you are alone at home, be sure to leave the door open, do not exert yourself excessively, and lie down in bed. If you have nausea, be sure to lie on your side. If you have known coronary heart disease and have used sublingual before, take sublingual twice with an interval of 10 minutes. If the pain does not go away, call an ambulance.
What is a silent heart attack?
In the group called silent ischemia, a heart attack may develop suddenly without any complaints. In this group of patients, although there is significant stenosis in the coronary artery, the patient has no complaints. For this reason, silent coronary heart diseases can be revealed with provocation reverse tests (exertion test, thallium test) in patients who have no complaints at rest or whose ECG taken during rest is normal.