Cardiological symptoms

A summary of the symptoms you may have when you come to the Cardiology department:

  • Chest pain or pressure

Chest pain or pressure is a common symptom. In some cases this is due to a lack of oxygen supply to the heart muscle. This symptom can occur either at rest or during exercise. If the symptom is new and persists, you should seek urgent medical advice to exclude a heart attack.

  • Shortness of breath and reduced ability to exercise

There are many possible causes of shortness of breath: lung problems, obesity, anaemia, iron deficiency, etc. If the heart muscle is weakened or heart valves are not working properly, the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood round the body and this also causes shortness of breath and reduced ability to exercise.

  • Swollen legs and feet

Swollen legs and feet can occur as a result of warm weather, varicose veins, inflammation or a blood clot (phlebitis). This symptom can also occur due to certain liver and kidney problems. Swelling in both feet or legs may, however, also point to fluid accumulation due to heart failure, so medical tests are needed.

  • Palpitations

When the normal regular heart rhythm is interrupted by extrasystolic beats (missing a beat) or the pulse is inappropriately fast all the time, this can cause a feeling of palpitations in the chest. The palpitations may also radiate to the neck, head and abdomen.

  • Fainting (syncope)

An inadequate blood supply to the brain can result in a sudden and complete loss of consciousness. This may be due to various causes such as low blood pressure or ‘feeling faint’. It may also be a sign of a heart problem, such as a narrowed heart valve or rhythm problems, so additional tests are needed.

  • Heart murmur

The doctor may also notice a heart murmur during your examination. This may be due to the heart valves not working normally. The exact cause can usually be identified in a cardiology outpatient consultation with the help of an echocardiogram.

  • High blood pressure

The heart specialist can also advise your GP on monitoring and treatment of high blood pressure.

  • High cholesterol

The heart specialist may offer advice on the treatment of high cholesterol. Please bring the results of a recent blood test to the outpatient clinic.

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