Should I worry about heart disease?

Monday March 16 2020

Anybody having left chest pain or discomfort

Anybody having left chest pain or discomfort (angina), pain in the neck, jaw or upper abdomen, shortness of breath, general weakness, feeling the heart pump even without exertion and easily getting fatigued after a mild effort may be having a heart problem. Shutter Image 

By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I have been experiencing some strange pulling on my heart. It feels like palpitations but lasts for less than two seconds. There is nothing particular I can say triggers it because it happens randomly and not so often. Should I be worried? Caro

Dear Caro,
The heart is usually found in the left of the chest and any strange feeling involving the left chest area will cause fear of having heart disease likely to end your life anytime soon.

Unfortunately, such worry even when one does not have a heart problem can worsen the symptoms.

Although many people who die from heart problems may have never ever had symptoms of heart disease, a good number may have had symptoms and ignored them or even mistaken them for other conditions, especially those affecting the stomach.

Anybody having left chest pain or discomfort (angina), pain in the neck, jaw or upper abdomen, shortness of breath, general weakness, feeling the heart pump even without exertion and easily getting fatigued after a mild effort may be having a heart problem.

Ugandans do not carry out annual medical checks and only visit a doctor when they are sick.

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You need to visit a doctor who may evaluate your emotional status since stress and anxiety may cause or may result in your symptoms. They will also measure your blood pressure and amounts of blood and check your thyroid gland, among others.

Chest muscle spasms due to pressure on the nerves in the neck can be mistaken for a heart problem requiring also to evaluate your neck using further history (heavy bag strap pressure or cervical vertebrae bone degenerative changes) and neck x-rays if need be.

Before you see a doctor, you should manage stress, avoid caffeine have enough sleep and eat a balanced diet, among other healthy practices.

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