I have been under tremendous stress for the past five years and I am worried about my heart. I have been having consistent early warning signs of a heart attack such as shortness of breath, nausea/indigestion, heartburn, pain in my upper abdomen, pain in my neck/jaw and pressure/tightness in my chest. I typically only experience these signs during the week when I am at work and not so much on the weekends when I am home relaxing. I have never been in a situation like this so I figured I would ask you as to how I should treat this? Should I get tests done and if so, what tests?
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Firstly, considering your age, probability of heart disease is low. All these symptoms are probably related to gastritis and reflux disease rather than heart problem. But, symptoms of heart disease and reflux overlap, so I would recommend you get yourself tested. You will need ECG, followed by echo and TMT if necessary based on ECG and echo reports.
Stress tend to worsen gastritis and reflux problems which may worsen your symptoms. Since you are having such symptoms frequently and one cannot have such heart attacks frequently, these episodes are unlikely to be cardiac. Also, try to relax yourself with relaxation techniques. Regular exercises also helps to relieve stress. Also, avoid fatty oily and spicy food. Avoid smoking and alcohol, if any. Avoid heavy meals and have some walk after meals rather than resting immediately. Have some antacids like Pantoprazole or Rabeprazole is available with you. Hope this helps you and get back if you have any doubts.
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Great. Thank you so much for the reply. Just so we are clear I want to make sure the following tests can be described as the following:
ECG test- An electrocardiogram or ECG is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat. With each beat, an electrical impulse (or “wave”) travels through the heart. This wave causes the muscle to squeeze and pump blood from the heart.
Echo test- An echocardiogram (echo) is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During an echo test, ultrasound (high-frequency sound waves) from a hand-held wand placed on your chest provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart.
TMT Test- An exercise stress test is used to determine how well your heart responds during times when it is working its hardest. During the test, you will be asked to exercise, typically on a treadmill, while you are hooked up to an electrocardiogram (EKG) machine. This allows your doctor to monitor your heart rate.
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Yes, these are the tests which are done to determine wellness of heart. If normal, rules out significant cardiac abnormalities. All the best.
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