Feeling ‘uneasy’ — “a subjective feeling” — can manifest in four ways, namely cardiac causes or heart-related, non-cardiac causes (could be due to pneumonia or pulmonary embolism), superficial causes, and psychological causes like anxiety or depression, said Dr Bimal Chhajer, cardiologist, former consultant at AIIMS and founder of SAAOL Heart Institute (Science and Art of Living).
“Uneasiness is usually a result of heart palpitations along with anxiety. Palpitation is the abnormal sensations of one’s heartbeat, which can also be termed increased heart rate. But decreased heart rate can also cause palpitations. In fact, a healthy individual may also experience palpitations after exercising, indulging in a new activity, consuming excess coffee, lack of iron in the body, some medications, cigarette smoking, and even thyroid medications,” explained Dr Abhishek Shrinivas Joshi, cardiac surgeon, Arihant Hospital, Unit of Dixit Healthcare, Belgaum.
But, if people with heart ailments experience palpitations, along with nervousness, sweating, and trembling, it must never be ignored, said experts. “This is because heart attacks and other cardiac ailments, once considered to be associated with the geriatric population, are affecting people in their early 20s and 30s today,” Dr Chhajer said.
Agreed Dr Tushar Tayal, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram, who said that “even though researchers are unsure about the causes of uneasiness, they believe several variables (like these symptoms) are related. While you cannot avoid uneasiness, you can take actions to minimise or reduce your symptoms.“
Adding, Dr Chhajer said that many people confuse chest pain or the feeling of uneasiness in the upper part of the stomach with gas/acidity. “Since heart attacks also mimic the same symptoms, it is advised not to ignore any new symptoms in the upper part of the stomach, or especially in the chest region,” he added.
Symptoms of palpitations
The pain is usually felt in the centre of the chest, spreads to the arms, neck, jaw and even to the stomach, and may be accompanied by palpitation and breathlessness. Symptoms usually get better by taking rest or a tablet of Sorbitrate, Dr Chhajer said.
“Heart attack (scientifically termed ‘myocardial infraction’) occurs only when there is sudden and total occlusion of any coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle,” Dr Chhajer added.
Cardiac ailments, being lifestyle-related, also need to be eradicated through lifestyle tweaks as much as possible, said Dr Tayal.
“Limiting caffeine, living a healthy lifestyle, exercise, pranayama and yoga, and seeking help are recommended. Your healthcare provider can devise the optimal treatment strategy for you in the form of counselling and medication if necessary,” said Dr Tayal.