Heart Health

Heart Health

Heart Health
Treat your heart right by eating healthy, staying active and managing your stress. Although some heart conditions are heredity, you can reduce your risk by keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels, avoiding tobacco products and losing some pounds if you are obese or overweight. A diet high in fiber, veggies and fruits is essential for a healthy heart. Vitamins and supplements, such as fish oil, may help reduce your cholesterol, which if too high can cause blockage in your arteries and lead to a heart attack. If you arteries are blocked, you may need a stent or cardiac angioplasty device to open your blood vessels, which can help prevent a heart attack. Because heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the U.S., taking care of your heart is essential for a long life. If you have a family history of heart disease, it is especially important for you to manage your hearts health.

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    A Family Medicine, answered on behalf of
    Family doctors are experts in general medicine, a broad specialty that includes issues related to the heart. Your family doctor can give you guidelines for keeping your heart healthy by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, stress reduction and other strategies.
    Monitoring your cholesterol levels and blood pressure and ordering blood tests when appropriate are other ways your family doctor can help you keep your heart healthy.
    Your family doctor may also be able to diagnose a heart problem should one arise and refer you to a specialist, such as a cardiologist, if necessary. Family doctors and specialists often work together to meet all of their patients' healthcare needs.
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    A resting radionuclide angiogram (RNA) is a type of nuclear medicine procedure that evaluates the heart's chambers in motion. Before the procedure:
    • Your physician will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
    • You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the test. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.
    • Generally, no prior preparation, such as fasting or sedation, is required. In some cases, smoking cigarettes may be restricted two or three hours before testing.
    • If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your physician.
    • Notify your physician of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements that you are taking.
    • Notify the technologist or physician if you are allergic to or sensitive to medications, local anesthesia, contrast dyes, iodine, or latex.
    • Notify your physician if you have a pacemaker.
    • Based upon your medical condition, your physician may request other specific preparation.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    New research has found that regular exposure to sound above 65 decibels (that's merely a loud conversation) can up the risk of a heart attack by 10%. Chronic exposure to louder noise -- from a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner, for example -- bumps heart attack risk by 20%, and constantly being around anything on par with a garbage disposal (common in many factories) increases the risk by 50%.

    What's the link between loud noise and heart damage? Relentless racket activates your nervous system and increases stress levels, which throws off your heart rate, blood pressure, bad cholesterol and blood sugar, increasing heart attack risk. Constant clatter has also been linked to cognitive impairment, sleep problems and tinnitus (persistent ringing in your ears).

    So, if silence makes only a rare golden appearance in your day-to-day life, find ways to turn down the volume. Simple $2 ear plugs can help if the noise isn't that bad. If it is, invest in ear- and heart-protecting noise-cancellation headphones. They make a huge difference. Wear them on airplanes, when using power tools and possibly at weddings, bar mitzvahs and family reunions.
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    Strenuous physical exertion could certainly increase the demands of the heart muscle for oxygen -- one way in which angina attacks occur. Rises in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as the force of heart action with extreme effort or emotion, might also promote rupture of atherosclerotic plaques, considered a common cause of heart attacks. With respect to stent thrombosis, some hormones that are elevated during physical and other stresses may make blood platelets more "sticky," potentially precipitating blood clot formation in stents.
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    A answered

    The scaly skin of psoriasis, the fatigue of lupus, and the joint pain of rheumatoid arthritis may seem worlds away from your heart, but these are all inflammatory diseases, and inflammation packs plaque into your arteries. Psoriasis increases heart disease risk by nearly 80%, lupus doubles it, and rheumatoid arthritis raises heart attack risk by 60%. Get serious about keeping your blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and inflammation levels down. (Did you floss today? Gum disease fires up internal inflammation.) Remember to pamper your ticker with healthy meals, daily 30-minute walks, and a stress soother.

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    When you are having a heart attack, it is like having an overturned tractor trailer parked in your coronary arteries - which are just like highways that wrap around your heart, similar to a crown, and supply blood to different parts of the heart muscle.

    Only, in the case of a heart attack --- it is not a truck that is stuck there, it's a piece of plaque - which is a buildup of cholesterol and fatty material that is lodged within your coronary artery. When the plaque gets pushed around and nicked, blood platelets rush to rescue - forming a clot that blocks the flow of blood.

    The blood that is trying to flow through instead gets backed up and begins looking for alternative routes.

    In the meantime, the heart muscle may be dying. The longer it takes to get to the hospital, the more damage that will occur.

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    A Internal Medicine, answered on behalf of
    How Long Is Surgery for an Outpatient Angioplasty Procedure?
    Most patients are put under moderate sedation and wake up within an hour of an outpatient angioplasty procedure. In this video, Sam Kalioundji, MD, of West Hills Hospital, discusses what might happen after the operation.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    “Palpitations” is a generic term that refers to a symptom. It usually, but not always, means that the heart is out of rhythm. The majority of palpitations are benign, but they occasionally can herald something more serious like atrial fibrillation. If you experience heart palpitations, it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Two simple physical tests can tell you a lot about the health of your heart. Both of them involve how your heart deals with vigorous exercise-how hard you can work out, and how quickly you recover. Each of these tests independently can predict your risk of death or disability in the next 10 years, from all causes, not just heart disease or arterial aging.

    Here's how to carry out your own personal exercise stress test (only do these to the maximum exercise level you normally do, or if your doctor says you can do them). You will need to have a method of measuring your heart rate, such as a device that is built into the handles of an exercise machine or a heart-rate monitor that straps on your wrist.

    Maximum Heart Rate: After exercising as hard as you can for three minutes, check your heart rate: How close does it come to 80 or 90 percent of the maximum for your age? (Calculate the maximum by subtracting your calendar age from 220: If you're 40 years old, your maximum heart rate should be about 180 beats per minute-80 percent would be 144; 90 percent would be 162.)

    Recovery Time: Right at the end of the most strenuous workout you do, note your heart rate. Then stop all exercise (just this once, don't cool down), and check your heart rate two minutes later.

    If you achieved at least 80 percent or greater of your maximum heart rate, or if your heart rate declined by 66 or more beats in the two minutes after you stopped, your RealAge is at least five years younger than your calendar age.
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    A Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, answered on behalf of
    What medical procedures test heart function?
    The most common medical procedure to test heart function is an echocardiogram. In this video, Ravi K. Sureddi, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Riverside Community Hospital, describes other procedures to test patients with heart rhythm problems.
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