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Forum Name: Cardiology Diagnostics

Question: Primary Dr. referred me to Cardiologist for Friday, Question


 laurag - Tue Apr 19, 2005 8:49 pm

To make a long story short. I have Familial Hypercholesterolemia and was diagnosed in '95 and at that time was well into the 400's on my lipid panel. I have been on low Sat fat/Cholesterol diet since that time. I was taking Lipitor for about six months, until I lost my insurance. I also have jogged/run regularly up until about a year ago, when I started experiencing some uncomfortable symptoms when I would get my heart rate that high. I thought I was doing all I could to lower my cholesterol so I really didn't worry much about it.

As of 3/2005 my lipid test results as follows;
Triglycerides 209mg
Total Cholesterol 394
HDL 36mg
LDL 316mg

My Primary Dr. has referred me to a Cardiologist for stress test etc. He placed me on a restricted diet. Chol: under 50 mg per day, Sat. Fat: under 5 mg per day, which I am following faithfully. He has also requested I not run/jog and I'm to limit any walking which may raise my heart rate, until the Cardiologist sees me this Friday. I am currently taking 40mg Lipitor daily.

I'm scared and I believe I am frightening myself. These past few weeks since my last visit to my PF, I have suffered numerous dizzy spells where all the color drains from my face, my hands sweat and I feel like I'm going to pass out and I have to sit down quickly. I also feel tightness in my chest. I often wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night. Am I simply in panic mode because of my recent test results and Dr.'s concern?

Also, what can I expect from a stress test/ Cardiologist visit? Should I fast? The nurse who scheduled the appointment didn't give me any information on this. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give me. Sorry this was so long.
 Dr. Wafaa Abdel-Hadi - Mon Apr 25, 2005 3:26 pm

Dear Laura,


Well, a stress test is simply...ECG (monitoring your Heart's electrical activity) while increasing your activity (walking then jogging on a treadmill).....it can give you an idea if the heart's muscles are getting enough blood supply(Oxygen) as it should while exercising. I think you should be fasting may be 4 hours before the test , so you won't get nauseous....you won't run for a mile don't worry..!!

those dizzy spells you get might be from uncontrolled blood pressure while tightness of chest and gasping for air in the middle of the night this sounds like something called cardiac dyspnea/asthma...due to lung congestion and low cardiac output.

These are just hypothesis... that cannot be answered except after visiting your cardiologist and having all the appropriate investigatoins . If they find that the stress test is abnormal , they might want to do an echocardiography to check for your heart's valves and wall status and your heart's contraction power.

a simple Chest X-ray would be useful as well.

Best regards,

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