Heart Problems With Hepatitis C: Symptoms and How to Test
One symptom of hepatitis C that can be hard to diagnose is heart problems. I will admit that the complaints about heart problems to my doctor might have seemed a little vague. It took a lot of sleuth work to find out what was wrong. Some of the symptoms were heart related, others were not. Once we pinned down the reason, treatment options opened up for me. It’s time to pin down those nagging heart problems with hepatitis C that are bothering you.
You might experiencing these symptoms:
- Rapid Pulse
- Heaviness in your chest
- Heart skipping beats
- Shortness of breath
I had all of these problems at one time or another. I kept pressuring my doctor and had several tests done over the years. If I saw those records today, I have a hunch that they would state that my diagnosis was hypochondriac. I was prescribed tranquilizers and anti-anxiety pills. Then they thought it was a heart murmur, leaky valve, or mitral valve prolapse. Finally one doctor gave me a beta blocker. Even though he thought it was just stress, he probably saved my life by preventing my varices from bleeding out.
I kept asking for tests and encourage you to do the same. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor for these tests:
EKG: It records what is going on with your heart during a short period of time. If it is done while you are having an episode, it can record exactly what is happening. A major heart problem will be identified easily. Too often it is hard to catch a minor problem.
Take home heart monitor: Your doctor may ask you to wear a device at home if they are unable to catch any irregularities during an EKC. You wear leads on your heart and have a monitor on a strap around your neck. It collects your information and sends it directly to a database. Your results will be constantly monitored over a period of time. It can detect any abnormalities in your heart beat.
Doppler sonography: It can be done to show the how well your blood flows into and out of your heart. It can detect a lot of problems.
Blood tests: They can measure levels of proteins and other chemicals in your blood. This can give clues to your doctor if you have recently had a stroke, heart attack, or inflammation.
One test may not tell the whole story. Be sure and talk to your doctor or medical care provider. If only I had more information, my story might have been different. My EKG always came back normal. The take home monitor finally proved that the skipping beat episodes were real. This is when I got the beta blocker. When I received a complete cardiac workup for the liver transplant, my heart was strong. All of the symptoms through the years were from hepatitis C.
Don’t be in the dark about your cardiovascular health, especially if experiencing heart problems with hepatitis C. Listen to your body. Write down the symptoms. Discuss these and other possible tests and treatments with your doctor.
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