Visiting your heart doctor for regular checkups can help keep the most important organ in your body in top shape. Research shows that the heart is the engine that keeps the body going. It pumps oxygenated blood to every part of your body. That is why having a cardiologist in your life is necessary, especially…
A Heart Doctor Discusses Common Cardiovascular Conditions
Different types of heart conditions exist, all of which require a visit to the heart doctor. The heart specialist can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. Heart diseases or cardiovascular conditions affect the ability of the heart to function efficiently.
Common cardiovascular conditions
Getting diagnosed with a heart condition can be bothersome, but the heart doctor is available to provide information and support. Knowing about the condition sometimes helps ease one’s burdens. Common heart conditions include the following.
Coronary heart disease
This is perhaps the most prevalent heart condition. It occurs when the blood vessels of the heart, or the coronary arteries, get blocked or narrowed and are unable to deliver enough blood to the heart. This may lead to a heart attack and angina.
Angina is pain around the arm, chest, neck, jaw, or stomach that occurs when the supply of blood to the heart is limited because of clogging of the arteries. The clogging is termed atheroma. Angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease and not a disease itself. Angina is how the heart shows that it is not receiving enough oxygen when the person is engaged in strenuous activity or is under stress.
If the pumping action of the heart is not functioning effectively, the heart muscles cannot meet the blood and oxygen requirements of the body. This may result in different symptoms, such as fatigue and breath shortness. This is known as heart failure, the heart’s inability to function effectively.
Also known as myocardial infarction, a heart attack occurs when the supply of blood to a part of the heart muscle gets totally blocked. This usually occurs when a piece of fat deposit breaks off and causes a blood clot within a coronary artery. This can result in damage to the area of the heart muscle that the particular coronary artery was supplying.
The valves open and close to control the flow of blood inside the heart. Disorders of the valves can overwork the heart and put a strain on the heart muscles. This condition can cause symptoms such as swollen ankles, shortness of breath, chest pain (angina or palpitations), dizziness or fainting and fatigue.
Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms)
The heart muscle has its electrical system that aids in the stimulation of heartbeats. If the electrical signals in the heart are disturbed or interrupted, the heart may beat too fast (tachycardia), too slowly (bradycardia) or in an irregular manner. This is called arrhythmia.
High blood pressure
Another common cardiovascular condition is high blood pressure or hypertension. Although hypertension is not a disease, it can increase the risk of developing serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes and coronary heart disease.
The heart doctor uses different forms of tests and screenings to diagnose heart conditions (such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, stress tests, CT scans and MRIs). When you visit the doctor’s office, the doctor will walk you through the testing process and recommended treatment or management options.
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