Shortness of breath, chest pains, tachycardia and palpitations

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Submitted by Dr T on June 9, 2011 – 7:47am

Hi Dr T,
I was just wondering about a recent 24 hour ecg I had. I walked up a hill whilst wearing one and I got chest pains which felt like pressure and breathlessness, but the ecg only came back with tachycardia at that time?
Now would the ecg if it was angina I was experiencing? Can that now be ruled out? Can pulmonary hypertension be revealed on a echocardiogram? I am being sent for one this week and they have mentioned this to me before but not sure if that would be the test to find that? The pains I experience come on when eg. Walking up stairs, climbing a hill or standing up in the mornings from lying, but say if I get them walking up the stairs by the time I’m at the top the pains have completely disappeared? Could this be tachycardia? The outline of my lips sometimes turn a blueish color too.. I do have a hole in my heart but have been told its too small to cause any major problems like what I have been experiencing. Sorry for all the questions my cardiologist doesn’t explain things very well to me and don’t have a lot of time in his office to discuss anything. Thanks for your time.

A 24 hour EKG (Holter monitor test) looks for abnormal rhythms:
Testing for insufficient blood supply causing angina is best done with a stress test, that would also look that hole in your heart is now causing problems or whether you have pulmonary hypertension:
You may be at risk for heart disease. You can check that here:
I agree with you that your symptoms seem cardiac in origin, so stick to your guns and ask for adequate time to discuss and investigate your problems. Your cardiologist is obligated to give you a satisfactory explanation!
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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