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Does having black outs mean a 'heart problem'?

Q: I am a 24 years old software engineer. I have a tendency to pass out when I try too hard to do some physical activity. For example, if I push myself a bit more to run an extra mile while jogging, my heartbeat increases and I get a black out but I am alright in a minute again. I feel my physical abilities do permit me but my heart doesn't allow for too much load. This has also happened when I try to rush things without having breakfast. Since the age of 16 years, this has happened around 8-9 times. Is there any problem with my heart?

A:I don't think it is possible for me to comment based on the report that you have submitted. I think you need to contact your physician, and may be a cardiology check up is warranted, as there are a number of causes, which can explain the symptoms you are having. You could be totally normal but by the same token, you could be having certain irregular rhythms of the heart, which are precipitated on exercise, or excess growth of muscle in the pumping chamber of the heart (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). So these are the two extremes that I have mentioned and then we have a full range of ailments in between. I therefore, suggest that you must consult a cardiologist and get an echocardiography of the heart to rule out any structural deformity and a Holter monitoring to rule out any irregular rhythms of the heart - these would answer the question if you are suffering from any heart disease at all. Lot of times a normal person may gets such symptoms and may not be anything to be worried about. However, I would leave that decision to an expert who examines you.


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