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Question
Posted by: Robert | 2011-09-20

Heart Test

My younger sister has been having ''asthma attacks'' for the past 3 months now. She is 21yrs old. She has been admitted in hospital 3times so far. The doctor says its not asthma and we should have her heart checked.

She is coming into Johannesburg end of October. Where should I take her for the test?

I really need your help.

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi Robert,

True asthma is a lung condition due to temporary narrowing of the airways which causes sudden shortness of breath. However sudden shortness of breath may also be due to what some people call “cardiac asthma”, which can be due to a variety of heart conditions including leaking or blocked valves or a weak heart muscle. A third cause of sudden shortness of breath may be extreme anxiety.

It is usually quite easy to distinguish between these three very different causes of shortness of breath and I would suggest taking your sister to a good general physician or alternatively to a cardiologist. Your own doctor in Johannesburg should be able to give you good advice about where to take her. Alternatively, the doctor who has been treating your sister should also be able to advise her where to go and who to see.

I hope the problem is quickly and simply resolved.

Best wishes, JT.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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