Cardiology

Cardiology deals with a range of conditions affecting the heart. Cardiovascular disease affects the structure and functioning of the heart. Blood vessels and heart disorder include cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, heart infection, heart valve disease, congenital disease, coronary heart disease and strokes.

Risk factors

Risk factors for developing heart diseases include unhealthy diet, tobacco consumption, physical inactivity, family history, narrowed and weakened arteries, gender, intake of nicotine through smoking, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and unrelieved stress.

Symptoms

Symptoms of heart disease depend on the type and cause of heart problems. Heart diseases can be easily treated if detected in the early stages. Chances for developing heart disease is higher in a person who has a family history of heart disease. Seek immediate medical care in case you witness the following signs and symptoms.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue, pain, numbness
  • Chest pain, chest tightness and pressure
  • Fluttering in chest
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, upper abdomen or back
  • Racing or slow heartbeat
  • In infants, shortness of breath while feeding
  • Swelling in hands, ankles or feet

Causes

There are different types of heart diseases and the cause may vary for each disease.

  • Heart arrhythmia is less likely to develop in a healthy person without any outside trigger like illegal drugs and electric shocks. Diabetes, coronary artery disease, drug abuse, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol or caffeine, stress and valvular heart disease can cause heart arrhythmia.
  • Coronary artery disease is caused due to the build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries. Poor diet, lack of exercise, overweight and smoking can contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis.
  • Congenital heart defects generally happen in an unborn baby during the development of the heart and in adults with age and structural change of heart. Some medications and genes usually play a major role in causing congenital heart defects.
  • Heart infection such as endocarditis is caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites when they reach the cardiac muscles.
  • Valvar heart disease can be caused by rheumatic fever, connective tissue disorder or infection in valves.
  • Cardiomyopathy develops due to the thickening and enlarging of heart muscles.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your family history, medical history and perform some physical tests. These tests will help in diagnosing the heart condition and disease. Several tests such as X-ray, Echocardiogram, Stress test, Holter monitoring, Blood tests, Cardiac catheterization, CT-scan, and MRI are performed depending upon the severity and symptoms of the patient.

Treatment

The type of treatment depends on the symptoms and type of heart disease. Depending upon the severity of the case the doctors will suggest the treatment

  • Medication : The doctor may prescribe medication for treating heart diseases depending upon the type of heart disease.
  • Lifestyle changes: The risk of heart disease can be lowered by making lifestyle changes. Eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and regular exercising can help in lowering the risk of heart diseases.
  • Surgery: In severe conditions, surgical procedures are recommended by doctors. The type of surgery depends on the heart disease and the extent of heart damage.

Sports cardiology

In addition to cardiology, doctors in sports cardiology require a special understanding of the competitive sports and psychology of athletes. Sports cardiologists have experience with athletic participation and have extensive experience in treating athletes with cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular diseases if left untreated can cause potential harm to the athlete. The multidisciplinary team of Adam Vital provides integrated treatment for all kind of cardiology and sports injuries.

Prevention

Certain kind of heart disease can be prevented if healthy changes are made in the life routine of a person. The following measure can be taken for decreasing the chances of heart disease development :

  • Keeping a check on cholesterol level and blood pressure
  • Quitting smoking
  • Regular exercising
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Consuming saturated fat and low salt in the diet
  • Reduce and manage stress
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