Can Pregnancy Cause Heart Palpitations
I have had a number of patients in my practice that had their first episode of rapid heart action and palpitation during pregnancy. This is understandable in that the state of pregnancy causes significant shifts in blood volume and also puts a new stress on the heart that may bring out a tendency for rapid heart action that was not manifest prior to pregnancy.
After the pregnancy, the patient may not experience palpitations or may begin to see palpitations occur under other stressful circumstances. There certainly doesn’t need to be anything wrong with the heart in order for palpitations to occur during pregnancy.
One the other hand, women with a history of heart rhythm problems or syncope prior to pregnancy will often have a marked decrease in their symptoms during pregnancy as their cardiac output increases and blood volume increases.
Why Do Doctors Ignore Signs Of Heart Attacks In Women
On an episode of Greys Anatomy earlier this month, Dr. Miranda Bailey heads to the hospital convinced she is having a heart attack. But her male doctor is dismissive of her complaints and recommends she see a psychologist. Determined to be believed, Bailey goes to a second hospital to get the care she needs.
A new study published this month in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, confirms Baileys concern that women have to fight hard to get proper medical treatment. Research by the Yale School of Public Health found that physicians are more likely to disregard heart-attack symptoms in younger female patients versus younger males.
Heart disease the leading cause of death in the US kills some 15,000 women under the age of 55 each year. In general, women tend to experience heart-attack symptoms that are more complex than the acute chest pain portrayed in movies. But neck and back aches, fatigue, burning in the chest and nausea symptoms women may experience with heart episodes are easy to mistake for overexertion, stress, indigestion or the flu. And often, young female patients and their doctors do, which could be why younger women are twice as likely to die after being hospitalized for a heart attack.
Lichtmans study also sought to gain a better understanding of how young women describe and experience heart attacks, in the hopes of helping clinicians expand their symptom vocabulary.
I know, youre right. Thats crazy, I told him.
Could Heart Palpitations Accompanied By Shortness Of Breath Be Serious
Heart palpitations can certainly be associated with shortness of breath, that is, the two symptoms together without a serious condition being present. That usually indicates that the irregularity of the heart rhythm is significant and may signal the need for a more comprehensive evaluation.
In general, the more serious the symptoms, such as lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, chest pain, shortness of breath, the more seriously one needs to take the problem.
If a patient has known heart disease such as a previous myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure , hypertrophic cardiomyopathy , and others, the symptoms of palpitations will require a thorough evaluation.
Women Dont Always Get The Proper Medications After A Heart Attack
After a heart attack, women are at greater risk of developing a blood clot that can cause another heart attack. For unknown reasons, they are not as likely to be given a drug to prevent such blood clots. This could explain why women are more likely than men to have a second heart attack within 12 months.
What Not To Do After A Heart Attack
Give your heart a chance to heal after a heart attack. This means you may need to modify your normal routine and reconsider certain activities for several weeks.
Gradually ease back into your everyday routine so you dont risk a relapse. You may have to modify your daily activities if theyre stressful.
It may take up to 3 months before your doctor gives you the OK to go back to work.
Depending on the stress level of your job, you may need to significantly cut back on your workload or ease back into it on a part-time basis.
You may not be able to drive a vehicle for at least a week after your heart attack. This restriction may be longer if you have complications.
Each state has different laws, but the general rule is that your condition must be stable for at least 3 weeks before youre allowed to drive again.
Your doctor will likely advise you to hold off on sex and other physical activities for at least 2 to 3 weeks after your heart attack.
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About Half Of All Heart Attacks Are Mistaken For Less Serious Problems And Can Increase Your Risk Of Dying From Coronary Artery Disease
You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction , account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.
They are described as “silent” because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme and pressure stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw sudden shortness of breath sweating, and dizziness.
“SMI symptoms can feel so mild, and be so brief, they often get confused for regular discomfort or another less serious problem, and thus men ignore them,” says Dr. Jorge Plutzky, director of the vascular disease prevention program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
For instance, men may feel fatigue or physical discomfort and chalk it up to overwork, poor sleep, or some general age-related ache or pain. Other typical symptoms like mild pain in the throat or chest can be confused with gastric reflux, indigestion, and .
Also, the location of pain is sometimes misunderstood. With SMI, you may feel discomfort in the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many people associate with a heart attack. “People can even feel completely normal during an SMI and afterward, too, which further adds to the chance of missing the warning signs,” says Dr. Plutzky.
What Are The Health Risks Of Experiencing Heart Palpitations
The irregularity of the heart rhythm per se usually does no damage to the heart itself. Patients with a very rapid heart over a long period of time do run a risk of developing enlargement and failure of the heart.
We see heart enlargment with a very common cause of palpitations called atrial fibrillation. Patients can be in atrial fibrillation for many years without harm, but some patients with very little symptoms may have too rapid and irregular a rhythm present with symptoms of heart failure. There may also be some increased risk of stroke because of blood clots that can form in association with atrial fibrillation.
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What Is Sudden Cardiac Arrest
A patients heart rhythm is controlled by the hearts internal electrical system, and when that system breaks or is otherwise compromised, this can trigger a life-threatening rapid heartbeat, known as sudden cardiac arrest . When this occurs, the heart stops effectively beating, quivering or shaking instead of pumping blood to the brain and body. Without the needed supply of blood to the body and brain, SCA often causes immediate loss of consciousness, leaving victims unable to summon medical attention if alone.
As the third leading cause of death in the United States, sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition with a very small window of opportunity for successful medical intervention. If untreated, death results within minutes. With no visible symptoms or preemptive warning signs, SCA events are difficult to predict by individuals who have them and are recognized by bystanders and loved ones only after an individual loses consciousness, lessening the chances of survival.
When Should I Call Triple Zero For Chest Pain
You should call triple zero and ask for an ambulance immediately if:
- your chest pain is severe, or worsening, or lasts longer than 10 minutes
- your chest pain feels heavy, crushing or tight
- you have other symptoms, such as breathlessness, nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
- you also feel pain in your jaw or down your left arm
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Jonitz Is Again Applying For The Presidency Of The German Medical Association
Berlin – The President of the Berlin Medical Association, Günther Jonitz, has announced his candidacy to succeed Frank Ulrich Montgomery as President of the German Medical Association . Jonitz confirmed this to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt when asked.
It is his second candidacy for the highest office of the medical profession. Jonitz came in second behind Montgomery at the 114th German Medical Association in 2011 with 74 votes and in the second ballot with 94 votes. In the second ballot, Montgomery was elected as the new BÄK president with 128 votes. Four years ago, Montgomery, who is not running again this year, was re-elected unopposed.
I’m running so that the Doctors’ Day has choice, Jonitz now told the DÄ. As professional and health politician, doctor’s attitude and concrete action are important to him. It is about medical values, also in politics, and about discovering relevant topics at an early stage and promoting them independently. For example, the President of has long been involved in the areas of patient safety and evidence-based medicine.
Jonitz also emphasized that the medical profession must “get out of the defensive”. Politicians and health insurances must be held up to their completely wrong health policy and better strategy must be shown. That was possible and happened, for example, with unanimous decision of the German Medical Association 2017 , “but inadequately communicated,” said Jonitz, who joined the Marburger Bund as student in 1981.
How Are Exercise And Pvcs Related
The relationship between extra beats and exercise is a complicated one. Many patients experience PVCs or palpitations before and after exercise, but not during exercise.
When most patients start to exercise, their own heart rate rises and the PVCs or other extra beats disappear at higher heart rates. After exercise, the body’s natural adrenalin level remains high for a period of time while the heart rate begins to go down during rest. This period of time often permits the extra beats to come back, and sometimes their rate and frequency are higher than before exercise.
If the other symptoms are mild or not present, usually there is not any reason for serious concern. If other symptoms accompany the palpitations such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or severe lightheadedness or loss of consciousness, those symptoms with palpitations in any setting are a cause for concern and require further evaluation.
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How Zoll Lifevest Provides A Life
When a person experiences a life-threatening rapid heart rhythm, the heart stops beating effectively and requires defibrillation shocks to restart a normal rhythm. This life-saving defibrillation can restore a life-sustaining heartbeat and allow people to regain consciousness. When successful defibrillation occurs at the onset of SCA, a persons chance for survival considerably increases.
Outside of the hospital, the survival rate of SCA is only about 10%. For patients who have a known risk of SCA, such as those who have recently suffered a heart attack and have a weakened heart function, there are treatment options so that patients can have protection from SCA. The ZOLL LifeVest wearable cardioverter defibrillator can provide constant monitoring, along with autonomously deployed treatment shocks in the event of SCA, providing patients with the support they need when they are at their most vulnerable. ZOLL LifeVest is a temporary therapy worn by patients during their cardiac recovery, allowing their physician time to assess their long-term risk for SCA.
What Are The Different Types Of Heart Monitors
The two basic types of monitors are holter monitors and event monitors. Holter monitors can be worn for 24-48 hours, or even extended periods of time. They provide continuous monitoring of a persons electrical heart activity . Event monitors only record activity when triggered by the patient when symptoms occur.
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How Does A Heart Attack Differ From Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Perhaps the largest differentiator is that SCA victims typically lose consciousness immediately while heart attack victims often remain awake. In the event of a heart attack, individuals do not lose consciousness, and the heartbeat remains functional. Conversely, in the case of SCA, individuals lose consciousness within seconds, and the heart does not continue to beat effectively. While it is critical to summon emergency medical help in both cases, people who experience SCA events while alone are unable to do so, increasing the risk of mortality greatly. Thus, while the survival rate for heart attacks is somewhat high, the average survival rate for SCA remains only about 10 percent.
Heart attacks are sometimes described as a plumbing issue, as they occur when there is a blockage in the hearts internal system of arteries and veins , disrupting blood flow to the hearts muscle. Conversely, SCA can be seen as an electrical issue, as it occurs when the hearts internal electrical system is disrupted, causing a life-threatening an irregular heartbeat.
While heart attacks and SCA are different, they can be related. Patients who have suffered a heart attack and have a reduce heart function are at high risk for SCA, particularly in the first three months after their heart attack. For patients with a known risk of SCA, there are treatment options so that patients can have protection.
How Do Heart Monitors Work
Electrodes are placed on the skin, and transmit ECG information to a storage device. Wires typically transmit this, however newer monitors can now work via wireless technology. The information is either stored directly onto a hard drive, and downloaded in the doctors office for interpretation, or transmitted wirelessly to a cloud. The advantage of wireless cloud based technology, is patients can be alerted in real time of any dangerous rhythm abnormalities.
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Vomiting And Nausea Can Be A Sign That A Heart Attack Is Imminent
This is not about an actual heart attack in progress, but vomiting and nausea as a warning sign that a heart attack is in the very near future.
Nausea and vomiting are very complex interactions between the brain and the stomach, says Michael Fiocco, MD, Chief of Open Heart Surgery at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, one of the nations top 50 heart hospitals.
The scientific thinking behind myocardial ischemia or infarction associated with nausea relates to the vagus nerve, continues Dr. Fiocco.
Myocardial ischemia simply means depletion of oxygen to heart muscle. Infarction means tissue death.
The vagus nerve arises from the brain and travels through the neck, along the esophagus, and gives off nerve fibers to the heart before continuing into the abdomen where it supplies nerves to the stomach, explains Dr. Fiocco.
So there is the stomach-heart-brain connection. Why people get nausea prior to a heart attack may be similar to why people get arm, neck or jaw pain rather than chest pain.
A lot of overlapping circuits may cause the brain to misread the signals, leading to nausea or left arm pain rather than chest pain.
Of course, being overcome with nausea, as a result of conditions ripe for a heart attack, can then lead to vomiting.
Vomiting was a tip-off to me that my mother might be having a heart attack, or that a heart attack was looming around the corner for her.
Aorta And Aortic Dissection
The aorta is the large blood vessel that exits the heart and delivers blood to the body. It is composed of layers of muscle that need to be strong enough to withstand the pressure generated by the beating heart. In some people, a tear can occur in one of the layers of the aortic wall, and blood can track between the wall muscles. This is called an aortic dissection, and is potentially life threatening. The type of dissection and treatment is dependent upon where in the aorta the dissection occurs. Type A dissections are located in the ascending aorta, which runs from the heart to the aortic arch where blood vessels that supply the brain and arms exit. Type B dissections are located in the descending aorta that runs through the chest and down into the abdomen.
The majority of aortic dissections occur as a long-term consequence of poorly controlled high blood pressure. Other associated conditions include:
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Angina And Heart Attack
The concern for most patients and health care professionals is that any chest pain may originate from the heart. Angina is the term given to pain that occurs because the coronary arteries narrow and decrease the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to the heart itself. This can cause the classic symptoms of chest pressure or tightness with radiation to the arm or jaw associated with shortness of breath and sweating.
Unfortunately, many people don’t present with classic symptoms, and the pain may be difficult to describe — or in some people may not even be present. Instead of angina or typical chest pressure, their anginal equivalent may be indigestion, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and malaise. Women and the elderly are at higher risk for having an atypical presentation of heart pain.
The narrowing of blood vessels or atherosclerosis is due to plaque buildup. Plaque is a soft amalgam of cholesterol and calcium that forms along the inside lining of the blood vessel and gradually decreases the diameter of the blood vessel and restricts the flow of blood. If the plaque ruptures, it can cause a blood clot to form and completely block the vessel.
When a coronary artery completely occludes , the muscle it supplies blood to is at risk of dying. This is a heart attack or myocardial infarction. In most circumstances, this pain is more intense than routine angina, but again, there are many variations in signs and symptoms.
Treatment of angina
Treatment of heart attack