Heart disease is a strange animal indeed. Our very first symptoms can range from mild shortness of breath on exertion to sudden death – and almost every possible symptom in between. My own were those of the textbook Hollywood Heart Attack (crushing central chest pain, nausea, sweating, and pain down my left arm) – yet I was sent home by Emergency Department staff with a misdiagnosis of indigestion – feeling very, very embarrassed for having made such a fuss over nothing. It took two weeks to be finally correctly diagnosed with myocardial infarction (heart attack) caused by a 95% blockage of my Left Anterior Descending Coronary artery. And it took several more months – and another trip back to hospital – to figure out what was causing ongoing distressing symptoms that were ultimately diagnosed as Inoperable Coronary Microvascular Disease (MVD) or dysfunction of the smaller coronary arteries.
But MVD is very tricky to diagnose because most standard coronary artery disease diagnostic tests – the kind that work so well at identifying big fat blockages in our larger arteries – may not be capable of catching it. Continue reading “When routine tasks trigger heart symptoms”