Sanjay's Blog

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Wolff Parkinson White syndrome is an unusual heart rhythm condition in which patients can develop sudden onset of fast heart palpitations. These can be associated with light-headedness/dizziness, blackouts, chest pain and in very rare cases, sudden death. However the good news is that this is a completely curable condition. Wolff –Parkinson-White syndrome was first described by 3 physicians – Loui [...]

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM)

What is peripartum cardiomyopathy? This is also known as pregnancy associated cardiomyopathy and is a relatively uncommon condition which affects women either late during pregnancy or within 5 months of giving birth and is characterised by the development of heart muscle weakness (also called heart failure) To be diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy, 3 criteria need to be met 1) Development of [...]

Atrial Flutter?

What is atrial flutter? Atrial flutter is an abnormal heart rhythm. In atrial flutter, the atria contract at 300 beats per minute and every other impulse goes down into the ventricles and therefore the ventricles beat at 150 beats per minute. In patients who are taking medications such as beta blockers or calcium blockers the impulses reaching the ventricles may be reduced even more so the heart r [...]

A ‘pill in the pocket’ for patient with POTS

One of the subjects I have become very interested in POTS. For those who don’t know POTS, it stands for postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and is characterised by an excessive increase in heart rate when the patient is upright and this can be extremely unsettling. Along with the racing heart beat, the patient may feel tremulous and dizzy. In addition, patients with POTS have many other symp [...]

Understanding anticoagulation in AF

Anticoagulants act by delaying the ability of blood to form clots. Doctors commonly refer to them as ‘blood thinners’ however strictly speaking they don't thin the blood but merely reduce the ability for the blood to clot. Commonly used anticoagulants which can be taken orally include Warfarin and the NOACs. There is an anticoagulant which can be used as an injection called Heparin but it is impra [...]

By |August 20th, 2018|1 Comment

Understanding Angina

Angina is a fancy term for a symptom of chest discomfort (rather than necessarily pain) which comes from the heart. This means that if a patient has no symptoms then they don’t have angina. In its severest form angina can lead to a heart attack. Angina is caused because the supply of blood does not quite meet the requirements of the heart muscle and therefore the heart muscle does not get as much [...]

How to tell if your breathlessness is being caused by a heart problem

Breathlessness is a very common symptom and may be caused by underlying heart disease. Apart from heart disease, breathlessness can be caused by several other conditions. These include being unfit, being overweight, and even just getting older. Other important causes include anemia and lung disease. In this article, I will discuss how you can work out if the breathlessness could be caused by unde [...]

Why Magnesium is so good for us…and yet we have so little of it 

My most viewed video on youtube to date has been on the benefits of Magnesium on our overall health. In this blog, I summarise the most useful points from that video. 1) The majority of chronic illnesses are driven by chronic inflammation. With regards to  the heart, atherosclerosis (hardening of our blood vessels) is the process that  eventually leads to heart attacks and this is caused by chron [...]

Understanding Anticoagulation in Atrial Fibrillation

Patients who have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF) and who are above the age of 65 or have co-morbidities such as high blood pressure, Diabetes, heart failure or vascular disease have a 5-fold higher risk of suffering strokes. A significant proportion of the strokes are believed to be as a consequence of blood clots which have formed within the heart and then been dislodged and travell [...]

How to convince your GP to prescribe you a NOAC instead of Warfarin for your AF

Introduction Patients who suffer from AF and who are above the age of 65 years or have additional comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and vascular disease have a much higher risk of suffering a stroke and it is for this reason they are prescribed anticoagulants. For several years, the only available oral anticoagulant which was proven to reduce strokes in such patien [...]

Atrial fibrillation and flying

For patients with AF, flying can be a daunting prospect. Firstly, provided your AF is well controlled and you are not extremely symptomatic, there is no reason why you can’t fly. The following tips may help you have a worry-free trip. You should declare your AF to your travel insurer and consider buying specialist AF travel cover. It is important to take all the medications that you need and keep [...]

Atrial fibrillation and driving

It is always advisable to look on the DVLA website (www.direct.gov.uk/driverhealth) to get the most up to date guidance on driving if you have AF. At the time of writing this book, the guidance is as follows: If you hold an ordinary licence, and your heart rate is well controlled, then you can drive. However if you are having bad symptoms at the wheel then it is recommended that you do not drive, [...]

Atrial fibrillation and Sex

Patients with AF may experience sexual problems for 3 main reasons: Anxiety about whether they may be harming their heart or risking making their AF worse. Co-morbidities such as Diabetes, hypertension and vascular disease can cause erectile dysfunction in men Medications used in AF such as betablockers can also cause erectile dysfunction in men There is no evidence or good reason why patients wit [...]