Symptoms you may be experiencing

Heart Symptoms


There are many things we can experience that are innocent yet still cause alarm.

The difficulty is that if we ignore these symptoms we might also be ignoring something that is deeper-rooted and really does need attention. 

Patients come to me with various symptoms, many of which are often innocent. But it's great that we can rule out something potentially serious.

Please, please don't hold back if you're concerned about anything you're experiencing. I'm here to help determine what might be wrong or to reassure.

The following isn't an exhaustive list but perhaps might help if you're experiencing something similar. Ultimately, they're all worth being checked out.

Chest Pain

People experience chest pain in many ways and it is often more helpful to describe it as a discomfort rather than pain. Typically this is experienced in the centre or left of the chest and often radiates to the jaw, left shoulder and left arm. Many people however may simply feel it anywhere across the chest wall and back. The discomfort is often felt as an ache, tightness possibly like a belt tightened around the chest, pressure or crushing sensation.

There are many causes of chest pain which are not related to the heart however and performing some tests may help find the cause of this pain.

Useful Tests:

  • 12 Lead Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT)
  • Stress Echocardiogram
  • Myocardial Perfusion Scan
  • Coronary Angiogram

Breathing Difficulties

Most people find it difficult to describe breathlessness however are immediately aware of a problem. Inability to take a full breath, restricted breathing, suffocation, panting, wheezing and crackling sensations are often reported. Usually people take notice because the symptoms have come on quite suddenly, feeling quite noticeably different from a year or just a few months ago. Simple tasks or activity such as walking can become difficult, having to stop and rest more often.

Heart conditions that may cause breathlessness include weakness of the heart muscle also known as “heart failure”. Diseases of the heart valves, in particular the aortic and mitral valves, may also be associated with breathlessness. There are many other conditions that can cause breathlessness, some are less common and occasionally not related to a problem in the heart. Almost always further tests are required to identify the cause of the problem.

Useful Tests:

  • 12 Lead Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Echocardiogram
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Coronary Angiogram


Any unusual sensations in the chest which are felt to be related to the rhythm of the heart can be described as palpitations. Irregular, rapid, pounding, heavy or skipped beats are commonly felt as palpitations.

There is a wide range of reasons for palpitations and often hormonal disturbances caused by stress, anxiety, thyroid dysfunction and blood sugar imbalances may be the cause. Dehydration, anaemia, blood pressure and temperature issues, often due to illness, are also common causes along with dietary influences such as caffeine and alcohol intake or medication.

The heart also may have a rhythm disturbance occurring intermittently due to abnormal behaviour of the natural pacemaker, conduction system. Other areas of the heart may also behave like the natural pacemaker or conduction system.

Useful Tests:

  • 12 Lead Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Ambulatory ECG
  • Echocardiogram
  • Implantable Cardiac Monitor


Dizzy spells, which may also be associated with fainting, loss of consciousness, blackouts are often difficult to recall well for many people and commonly it is witnesses who describe any events more accurately. Many people often feel like they have been imbalanced or momentarily dizzy when in fact they may have nearly or completely passed out without realising. A short lived loss of vision, hearing or awareness may well be dizziness or worse and not just the more expected discombobulation and disequilibrium.

Dizziness can be commonly caused by blood sugar disturbances, middle and inner ear infections and by blood pressure issues which may be more noticeable when changing position from sitting to standing. The heart can also have transient rhythm disturbances which are more often a slowing heart or pauses between each beat, extremely rapid heart rates and structural abnormalities or valve defects may also cause dizziness.

Useful Procedures:

  • 12 Lead Resting Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Ambulatory ECG
  • Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor
  • Echocardiogram
  • Coronary Angiogram
  • Insertable Cardiac Monitor
Royal College of Physicians Logo
British cardiovascular intervention society logo
European Society of Cardiology

Please do get in touch

Phone: 0203 137 2896

Please complete this form if you would like someone to get back to you

Website design and copy by Strategic Marcomms Consultancy