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I am concern about my heart beat……
Do you experience frequent sensation of a ‘palpitation’, ‘irregular heart beat’ or ‘missed beat’? If the answer to any of the question(s) is a yes, or you’re unsure, then you should read this article.
What is palpitation?
It is a perceptible pulsation of the heart beat which is typically fast, or irregular. Some people may experience a missed beat without any sensation of a fast heartbeat.
Why do I experience such symptom(s)?
There are several causes such as anxiety, pain, caffeine, thyroid disease, side-effect of medication, or underlying heart condition.
What is an external heart rate monitoring device?
It is commonly known as ‘Holter’. This device monitors your heart rate over a defined period (e.g., 24 hours or longer). The duration of the study would be determined by your doctor.
What information does the external heart rate monitoring device provide?
This device measures the rate and rhythm of your heart beat over a defined period. It functions to correlate your symptom(s) to the heart beat which enables the detection of any abnormal rhythm.
How do I know if I need this test?
If you do experience any of the symptom(s) or frequent dizziness/faint, you should first speak to your doctor. It is important to identify the cause(s) that may contribute to your symptom before proceeding with any test.
Can I have a shower with an external heart rate monitoring device?
Yes. Nevertheless, you should take the necessary precautions to ensure the device is securely attached for proper monitoring.
Are there any side-effects with the external heart rate monitoring device?
The device will be secured over the chest area using an adhesive. If you are allergic to plaster, please speak to your doctor. Otherwise, it is a relatively safe test.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
What is high blood pressure?
It is also known as ‘hypertension’. In general, a BP reading of >140/90 mmHg is abnormal. There are different stages of hypertension: borderline, stage 1 and stage 2.
What does the BP reading indicate?
A single BP reading consist of 2 numbers. The top number indicates the ‘systolic BP’ and the bottom number indicates the ‘diastolic BP’. Both readings are important.
Is high blood pressure dangerous?
It can increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke (including bleed in the brain), kidney and eye damage.
How do I know if I have high blood pressure?
You should get your BP checked with your doctor. Alternatively, if you have an automated BP machine, you can measure it yourself, and consult your doctor.
What do I do if my BP exceeds 140/90 mmHg?
You should see a doctor to confirm if it is truly hypertension or a random high reading.
What symptom(s) may I have with high BP?
Common symptoms may include headache and giddiness, however most people have no symptom. This is why high BP is a silent killer. By the time you experience a symptom, it may be too late.
Apart from the standard BP measurement at the doctor’s clinic, is there any other available test to check my BP?
You can speak to your doctor about a 24- hour BP test. This test measures your BP at regular time intervals during the day and night. It provides a better assessment of your BP compared to a single BP measurement.
Will I be started on medication(s) for high BP?
This will depend on your doctor’s assessment and factors such as concomitant risk factors (e.g., diabetes), failure of lifestyle modification (e.g., reduce salt intake, weight loss), and presence of damage to other organs (e.g., thick heart muscle, protein in the urine).
I am not sure if I have high BP, what should I do?
You are advised to see a doctor.
This educational information leaflet is prepared by Dr Punitha Arasaratnam, MBChB (Hons), MRCP(UK), MSc (UK), Dip CBCCT, Dip CBNC, ASCeXAM, a Consultant Cardiologist at AsiaHealth Partners, Singapore. This leaflet is designed to provide basic information on high blood pressure. It does not represent a personalized advice or medical consult. You are advised to speak to your doctor, if you have any concern(s) or require further information on the diagnosis or management of high blood pressure.