Los Angeles – Dr. Ernst von Schwarz says that women often experience unique warning signs of heart disease that can be mistaken for other health issues or disregarded by their doctors. “This is especially dangerous in younger women who may not realize that they are at risk. Women of all ages should familiarize themselves with symptoms that are unique to females so they may become better advocates for their own healthcare when seeking medical advice.”
Dr. von Schwarz appeared in this interview on ABC 7 News in Los Angeles with his patient Tara to show how heart disease in women is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed. “This is largely because women often experience symptoms that differ from those typically reported by male patients,” says Dr. von Schwarz.
A Surprising Diagnosis
Tara, now 41, first learned that she had heart disease at 29 after going misdiagnosed for several years, even though she was experiencing chest pains and arrhythmia. Tara was advised by doctors that she was just “too stressed” or was “drinking too much coffee.” Eventually she found herself in a hospital emergency room, in shock from an adverse reaction to a pain medication she had used for the first time. In the emergency room, Tara’s heart function was found to be “extremely low” and Dr. von Schwarz was called in to assess her condition. Tara ultimately underwent several procedures including having a pacemaker implanted and a later surgery to repair a damaged heart valve.
About a year after her heart valve surgery Tara learned that she was pregnant. She was advised by her primary care physicians that her pregnancy would present a serious risk to her health, Tara was determined to have at least one child with her husband. When her doctors were reluctant to care for her during her pregnancy she turned to Dr. von Schwarz who saw her through to term. Tara beat the odds, ultimately giving birth to healthy twin boys who are now 9 years old.
Dr. von Schwarz practices in Los Angeles, Culver City and Murrieta / Temecula, CA. Visit http://www.drvonschwarz.com
This story is part of the Ask Dr. von Schwarz series of news stories, expert comments and health & medical updates.