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Do I have a heart problem?

Q: I am a 39 years old married woman and I feel shortness of breath while climbing the staircase. Is this related to some kind of a heart problem? I have a bad marriage, living like a divorcee and am always worried about my life. Could this be the cause for heart disease? My energy levels are decreasing and I am losing interest in everything. Every morning I cry before starting the day. I get tired quickly. My weight is 65 kg and height is 154 cm. How can I improve my stamina?

A:I note that you have more than one problem and the most important one from a doctor's point of view is your shortness of breath on climbing stairs, etc. This symptom is a commonly felt one in those who have cardiac insufficiency, which means that the circulation to the heart in not adequate to tolerate the exercise. This sometimes takes the form of chest pain known as angina. After having said this an anxiety state, which you have can cause many symptoms and this could be one. Most of the heart conditions are treatable and I strongly suggest you seek a cardiologist’s opinion, if only to rule out cardiac problem. At the same time your physician would advise you about other basic blood screening tests to rule out treatable causes. Once these get excluded you should seek appropriate counselling.

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