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Heart and soul of cardiology

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A cardiologist is a physician who specialises in finding, treating, and preventing diseases that affect the heart, arteries, and veins.
These medical specialists research, diagnose and treat conditions such as blockages, heart injuries, and diseases, and also keep their eyes on other factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
If your general medical doctor feels that a patient might have a significant heart or related condition, he will often call on a cardiologist for help. Symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pains, or dizzy spells often require special testing that a cardiologist can provide.
Cardiologists help victims of heart disease return to a full and useful life and also counsel patients about the risks and prevention of heart disease.
Most importantly, cardiologists are involved in the treatment of heart attacks, heart failure and serious heart rhythm disturbances.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, the following symptoms may be signs of a heart attack, although symptoms may differ from person to person.
Symptoms of a heart attack
Heavy pressure, tightness, crushing pain or unusual discomfort in the centre of the chest
This may feel like indigestion, spread to shoulders, arms, neck or jaw and/or last for more than 15 minutes. It may stop or weaken and then return
Sweating, sickness, faintness or shortness of breath may be experienced
There may be a rapid, weak pulse
Sharp stabbing pain in the left side of the chest is usually not heart pain