A sensation in which a person is aware of an irregular, hard, or rapid heartbeat. It can appear to skip beats, beat rapidly, beat irregularly, or thump in the chest.  Palpitations can be caused by anxiety, arrhythmias, caffeine, certain medications, cocaine and other amphetamines, emotional stress, overeating, panic, somatization, and vigorous exercise. Dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain may be signs of more severe arrhythmias.

Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity are both labels for ranges of weight that are greater than what is generally considered healthy for a given height. For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the "body mass index" (BMI).

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. The most noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring. Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea, although it most commonly affects middle-aged and older adults and people who are overweight. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment may involve using a device to keep your airway open or using a mouthpiece to thrust your jaw forward during sleep. Some may undergo a surgical procedure.


A murmur is a sound which can be heard through a stethoscope while listening to the heart. The sound is usually created by blood moving through heart valves. Most murmurs do not indicate a serious problem. In some cases, significant heart valve abnormalities or congenital heart defects may first be detected because of a heart murmur.


Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when the valve between your heart's left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn't close properly. During mitral valve prolapse, the mitral valve bulges (prolapses) upward, or back into the atrium. MVP sometimes leads to blood leaking backward into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation. Symptoms may include palpitations, dizziness or lightheadedness, shortness of breath, chest pain or fatigue. This condition is typically diagnosed with an echocardiogram.

Metabolic syndrome

The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have any three out of these five heart disease risk factors: a large waistline, a higher than normal triglyceride level, a lower than normal level of HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), higher than normal blood pressure, and higher than normal fasting blood sugar (glucose). Having metabolic syndrome increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome is lifestyle changes, including weight loss, increased physical activity, and a healthy diet.

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. The more blood your heart pumps and the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure. Blood pressure numbers include systolic and diastolic pressures. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart beats while pumping blood. Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when the heart is relaxing between beats. You can have high blood pressure (hypertension) for years without any symptoms.

Heart attack

A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when one or more coronary arteries become suddenly blocked, resulting in heart muscle death. Myocardial infarction results from coronary artery disease (CAD), which is an accumulation of plaque inside the coronary blood vessels. When one of these plaques rupture, a clot forms rapidly at the site and causes a sudden obstruction of blood flow in the coronary artery.  Typical symptoms of a myocardial infarction include chest pressure or pain, shortness of breath, profound sweating, nausea, vomiting, and/or fainting.


Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged heart valves. It can involve other areas of the heart too, as well as implanted cardiac devices such as artificial heart valves, pacemakers, or implantable defibrillators. Untreated, endocarditis can cause permanent valve damage, result in congestive heart failure, cause strokes, or spread to affect other organ systems, such as the musculoskeletal system or kidneys.

Dyspnea (shortness of breath)

Dyspnea is often described as a tightening in the chest or feeling of suffocation. You may experience shortness of breath just once or have recurring episodes that could become constant. Typical causes are lung problems (asthma, bronchitis, COPD/emphysema, pneumonia) or heart problems (cardiomyopathy, heart failure, coronary artery disease, pulmonary hypertension). Other common causes include anemia or obesity.


Subscribe to RSS - Conditions

Dr. Rajen Chetty, M.D. F.R.C.P. (C) Cardiologist
250 Patillo Road, Tecumseh, ON | N8N 2L9 | 519-727-5500

© Copyright 2013 Dr. R Chetty Medicine Professional Corp. All Rights Reserved.