Hello. I am Dr. Siddhartha Mani. I am a consultant, Interventional Cardiologist,at R.N.Tagore Hospital,Kolkata. Today we are going to discuss, about someimportant symptoms of heart diseases. Meaning the symptoms if observed, a patient can understand that it is because ofheart problem and consult a doctor. Out of these, the most important symptom to be worried about, is chest pain. It is the most important thing in heart disease. Because of chest pain, in future, heart attackor what we call myocardial infraction, can occur or the symptoms can come up. In cardiological terms, chest pain is known as angina. We have to understand which chest pain is from heart, and which is not. There are three main important reasons for chest pain. Number one in which place and what type of pain is there in the chest. The chest pain that is because of heart problems,is generally found in the middle of the chest. We call it as central chest pain. Sometimesthat is closer to the left side of the chest. Sometimes that can be closer towards the right side of the chest. Meaning heart pain might not be only on the left side of the chest. Usually the pain is in the central or the middle part. The pain can be from the middle of the chest to the back, from the inner side of the left arm till the finger tips, in the throat, cheeks or lower jaws. Generally this pain does not reach the upper jaws, or the head. We call the nature of this pain, compressive sensation or heaviness. The is a feeling of heaviness or pressure. There are many patients who come to uscomplaining that they do not feel any pain. In heart problems, the pain is not like that of a fracture in the bone. The symptom of heart problem is heaviness.
The patient feels as if someone has kept a heavy rock on the chest, or something has been tied up with.This is very important and we worry the most. For patients also, we need to give the importance to this. This pain is exertional or linked to doing heavy work. Generally after a quick walk, walk after food, after using the stairs, running, increase in heart beat because of excitement, while walking during the winter time, this pain or the heaviness is observed more. The patient who complains about the heaviness in chest after having a full meal, and gets relieved while standing or after taking rest, or the pain goes away after keeping sorbitrate below the tongue. Those who complain about this, we consider this to be angina.
We also need to keep in mind that sometimes, diabetes patients or aged people or ladies, might not have a chest pain. In those cases based on if there is a sweating or breathing problem, we decide if chest pain needs to be given importance. The chest pain that I told about is the early symptom of heart attack. We should pay importance to chest pain that developswith heavy work and goes off after rest. Generally many patients complain of a mild pain while seated.
These are typically not cardiac pains. But the person who complains about chest pain after a quick walk, which reduces after being seated is usually a cardiac pain. We need to keep in mind that during heart attacks,chest pain will be there while in rest also. Meaning while I was sitting idle, if there issevere pain along with sweating, respiratory problem, the pain is not reducing in 2-4 mins, or if it is not going away even withhaving sorbitrate below the tongue.
Then we need to consider that it is a heart attack. Immediately we should go to a hospital emergency,get an ECG & blood test done to confirm. Then come back. So the chest pain about which I talked, I hope the viewers are now aware of the nature of the chest pain. Now after this, the second mostimportant symptom is breathing trouble. Breathing trouble means it can either be aheart problem or a lungs problem. It sometimes even become difficult for us todifferentiate between these two. Heart and lungs are sometimes inter relatedin the same way in the same disease.
What is most important for us to understand,the breathing trouble while doing some heavy work, which increases while lying down, this is very important in heart problems. The breathing trouble that is observed while lying down, or getting up from sleep because of a chronic cough, and if there is a breathing trouble after that, we call it as pink frothy sputum, which means some amount of pinkish saliva coming out of the mouth, which might even have blood drops.
If these kind of symptoms are observed,then we need to consider these as heart problems. Another most important thing is swelling in the legs. Swelling in the legs can be a very important symptom in heart problems. Swelling of the stomach or legs are generallyindicative of heart failure in the right side. Sometimes this can also be because of lung diseases. In this case we need to understand that unless there are heart issues we do not observe a swelling in the legs.
The next symptom that we need to keep in mind is getting unconscious. Meaning loss of consciousness. You should not ignore the important symptom of getting unconscious. Sometimes the reason for becoming unconscious can not be found. A patient can even be unconscious while standing. It can also be because of dehydration or being in the sun. Many a times because of cardiac or heart issues, increase or decrease in heart beats, if the patient becomes unconscious, we call it cardiac syncope, and those are very dangerous. Pacemaker is very urgently required for the treatment. Sometimes, radio frequency abretion which is called EP Study, or some special kind of pace maker, or some special medicines are required. Being unconscious, should never be taken lightly.
Through some tests, we can determine if it is a heart problem. So these are the four most important symptoms for heart. We all need to understand, chest pain, breathing trouble,getting unconscious, swelling in the legs Sudden increase in the heartbeats, can be because of arrhythmia in heartwhich can cause sudden cardiac death. This can be a symptom of that also. If you do see these symptoms, then quickly consult a cardiologist and get that treated after doing a proper investigation.