Heart disease is a complex topic because it includes several heart conditions. If you are concerned about heart disease, you need to know the facts. These are just a few frequently asked questions and answers about heart disease:
What Causes Heart Disease?
Heart disease can be caused by a few factors, including uncontrolled high blood pressure, chronic high cholesterol, genetics, tuberculosis, and viruses and infections affecting the heart.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Disease?
Signs and symptoms of heart disease may be so mild you may not notice them, like occasional breathing difficulties. They may also be severe and can include fainting, frequent chest pain, shortness of breath, racing heartbeat, slow or irregular heartbeat, leg and ankle swelling, or pain and numbness in your extremities.
What Are the Heart Conditions Which Contribute to Heart Disease?
Some of the different heart conditions which are part of heart disease include:
A heart attack, also known as a myocardial infarction or MI; an MI is a life-threatening condition which can be caused by blockage of an artery. A heart attack can result in permanent heart damage.
Coronary artery disease, also known as CAD; CAD is caused by chronic high cholesterol resulting in a plaque buildup on the artery walls. CAD can lead to a heart attack.
Congestive heart failure, also known as CHF; CHF is caused by a weakened heart which has difficulty pumping adequate blood. The condition can be caused by valve problems, an infection or virus affecting your heart, and other causes. Blood pumps too slowly, causing congestion.
How Can a Doctor Help With Heart Disease?
A doctor or heart specialist, known as a cardiologist, may recommend testing to determine how well your heart is working. These tests may include a cardiac stress test, echocardiogram, and imaging studies.
What Are the Treatments for Heart Disease?
Depending on the cause of disease, your doctor will determine the appropriate treatment for you. Treatments may include medications to increase heart function, lifestyle modification including diet and exercise, quitting smoking and other harmful habits.
How Can I Help Prevent Heart Disease?
You can do a lot to help maintain a healthy heart. Remember to eat a healthy diet low in fat and salt, exercise regularly, and visit your doctor to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Your doctor can help you and your heart stay healthy throughout your life. To find out more about heart disease prevention and treatment, call your doctor today.