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A Patient’s Quick Guide to Heart Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
Heart disease is nothing to take lightly. This deadly condition kills more people than anything else. Though certain people are more at risk of developing the disease, it is important to be aware of what leads to it and what you can do to prevent it. Even if your doctor diagnoses you with it, you can take steps to control it.
A definition of heart disease
Heart disease kills more than 600,000 people per year in the United States alone. There are many forms of this condition, though most are preventable and treatable. It includes blood vessel disease, coronary artery disease, arrhythmias and heart defects. Generally, the cardiovascular disease occurs when plaque buildup or clots block a person’s blood vessels. This can lead to strokes, heart attacks or chest pain. Another form of the disease, congenital heart disease, affects people from birth.
Cardiovascular disease signs and symptoms
A person will usually have a clue that they have heart disease. Some signals can be strong and unmistakable. Many people will first feel chest pain or experience shortness of breath when climbing stairs or doing something minimally physical. The individual’s jaw or neck may even hurt. An abnormal heartbeat is characterized by a fluttering sensation, lightheadedness, dizziness or a racing heartbeat. Fainting is another sign that the person could have any number of forms of heart disease.
Seeing the doctor
An individual who experiences any of these symptoms regularly should visit their doctor right away. After the person explains their condition, the doctor will perform a variety of tests to properly diagnose the patient. Along with blood tests and a chest X-ray, the doctor may order an electrocardiogram. The ECG measures the electric signals in the person’s chest to identify problems with the heart rhythm. An echocardiogram, meanwhile, is a chest ultrasound and displays the heart’s structure.
The doctor may perform a CT scan, stress test or cardiac catheterization. In the latter case, the doctor places a small hollow tube into the patient’s arm or leg. The doctor then sends the tube to the person’s heart, injecting dye and monitoring it with X-rays. This shows how effectively blood is flowing to and from the heart.
If the doctor determines that the patient has heart disease of some type, immediate treatment is vital. In the most severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair valves or muscle or to remove the blockage. Medication can also be effective to lower cholesterol or regulate blood pressure. Some patients may even see positive results by changing their daily habits. A healthy diet, regular exercise and giving up tobacco can help turn back heart disease.
You can beat this
No one wants to receive a heart disease diagnosis. Though it can be scary, this does not have to be a death sentence. With healthy living, a doctor’s intervention and the right treatment, you can regain your wellness and add years to your life. It is important to call your doctor today if you believe your heart is not functioning properly.
Get more information about Florida Premier Cardiology in Delray Beach at https://floridapremiercardio.com.
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