Ask a Cardiologist (Heart Doctor)

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Who is a Heart doctor?

Cardiologist is a heart specialist doctor who has experience & training in preventing & treating diseases pertaining to heart & blood vessels. Sometimes symptoms like shortness of breath, dizzy spells, chest pains requires testing from a cardiologist. Also, heart murmurs (measured by Stethoscope) or ECG abnormalities need evaluation from a cardiologist.

What is Angina Pectoris?

A type of chest pain which appears to be of cardiac origin, but may or may not be is described as an angina pain.

Stats:

One in every 4 people have suffered from angina at-least once in their lifetime.

Symptoms:

A pain that starts anywhere between the jawline and the upper limbs (arms) including, neck, back, chest and shoulder can be angina pain. A family history of angina predisposes the diagnosis of angina but maybe misleading in case of serious cardiac issues. A detailed examination and timeline of the events will be taken by the cardiologist including related symptoms like sweating, palpitations, feeling of doom, jitters or fainting.

Treatment:

A cardiologist will evaluate and prescribe necessary medications safe for the heart to reduce the pain. A thorough past medical history will be taken and checked if the pain has occurred before.

Prognosis:

Angina may progress to a better or worse outcome depending on the severity and location. Hence proper medical monitoring is necessary to rule out and prevent acute myocardial infarction or heart attacks.

What is Cardiac Abnormalities?

Abnormalities in relation to cardiac rhythm, electrical activity or anatomic variations can present with problems.

Stats:

One in every 40 people will have some cardiac abnormality at least once in their lifetime.

Symptoms:

Cardiac abnormality may have no symptoms, but when patients do feel symptoms, it may be described as a headache or lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, lethargy and trouble walking or carrying out daily activities.

Treatment:

Cardioprotective medicines are prescribed to lower the risk of any adverse event. Proper health check-ups with blood tests are required to make sure blood and other parameters are controlled since this can affect other organs of the body as well. Also you will be required to get an ECG and maybe even an Echocardiogram to detect and monitor the abnormality. A surgery maybe required in certain cases, while others may only need a pacemaker application.

Prognosis:

Most cases improve with therapy and few that require surgery also may not require any further intervention other than monitoring. Medications are usually prescribed for lifelong and improvement is felt soon. However, adverse outcomes may result due to the effect on body’s other organs and parts, most commonly the brain and heart.

What is Chronic Myocardial Infarction?

After suffering from an acute myocardial infarct(AMI), the damage to the heart is certain and after a while becomes chronic myocardial infarct(CMI).

Stats:

One in every 2 individuals above 65 years of age have suffered from a previous MI.

Symptoms:

Usually patients are asymptomatic, only on medications following the previous event and for cardiac protection. Others may also have Hypertension and Diabetes along with it, which also require a cardiologist’s opinion. A number of conditions put you at risk of developing another MI event and hence proper follow up is generally a must.

Treatment:

Often post AMI, patients are on blood thinners like aspirin, cardio-protectors &/ anti-hypertensives to regulate blood flow and anti-lipidemics to keep cholesterol in check. Proper health check-ups with blood tests at least bi-annually are required to make sure parameters are controlled.

Prognosis:

Patients usually survive many years even after an event of cardiac arrest, if follow-ups are done and medications are taken in a timely manner.

What is Hypertension?

Usually hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.

Stats:

One in every 5 individuals above the age of 55 years suffers from Hypertension.

Symptoms:

Usually high blood pressure has no symptoms, but when patients do feel symptoms, it may be described as a headache or lightheadedness.

Treatment:

Anti-hypertensives are prescribed to lower the blood pressure either as single medication or in combination. Proper health check-ups with blood tests at least bi-annually are required to make sure blood and other parameters are controlled since this can affect other organs of the body as well.

Prognosis:

Most cases are controlled and improve with treatment. Medications are usually prescribed for lifelong and improvement is felt soon. However, adverse outcomes may result due to the effect on body’s other organs and parts, most commonly the brain and heart.

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