by Julia Hendon
The main symptoms that may mean you need to see a cardiologist
For many people finding the time to seek medical attention when they are feeling under the weather can be difficult. For many, it is something that they put off, believing that over time they will feel better and a trip to the GP is just a waste of everyone’s time. There are however some occasions when it is very important to seek medical attention and not put off making that appointment.
Over the last few years, incidents of heart-related health issues have been on the increase. According to statistics from the National Office of Statistics for the period between December 2016 and March 2017, there were an extra 7,400 winter deaths from heart disease and strokes, this number was up 1,600 on the previous year. Of course, not all death related to heart issues are as a result of the colder temperatures, so it is important that you know and understand what important signs to look out for that might mean you need to see a cardiologist.
Experiencing chest discomfort
Chest discomfort can fall into two categories – chest tightness and chest pains – and whilst many people use these interchangeably they do in fact mean two very different things. In general, chest tightness refers to a heaviness or ache that can occur in the chest region. In many ways like something is being tightened around the chest. Pain, on the other hand, can be more of a stabbing type of occurrence. Whilst there are many reasons that you could suffer from chest pain, such as heartburn or pulled muscles it is always a good idea to get discomfort of this type checked in order to rule out heart-related issues.
Typically, symptoms to look out for are:
- When the chest tightness occurs as a result of everting oneself – for example following a workout
- Chest pains or tightening that is worse than those you have previously experienced
- Chest tightness that occurs following an increased level of activity
- Other symptoms occurring at the same time as the tightness such as dizziness or passing out, sold sweats or nausea
There are also a number of medical conditions that place someone in a category at greater risk of heart issues, with these is can be a good idea to see a cardiologist to assess the health of your heart.
These conditions include, but are not limited to, high blood pressure, Diabetes, high cholesterol, unexplained swelling in the legs or feet that could be as a result of peripheral artery disease.
Other reasons to see a cardiologist
If you have a family history of heart disease, then you may be worried about your own heart health. Under these circumstances you might want to put your mind at rest and take the necessary steps to improve the health of your heart, so seeing a cardiologist can be a good idea.
For any medical complaint, your normal port of call would be your family GP who would examine you and discuss your symptoms before deciding on a course of treatment. In some instances, this might mean referring you to a specialist for further tests and treatment. Unfortunately, even urgent referrals can take time. If you are concerned about potential heart issues and want the reassurance of being seen as quickly as possible then choosing to see a private cardiologist rather than relying on the NHS can ensure that you are provided with the answers you need much sooner, meaning that you will not be worrying for too long.