A heart attack can happen when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. Some signs of a heart attack include chest pain or tightness and fatigue. Men and women can experience different symptoms of a heart attack. That can make it difficult to recognize the signs of a heart attack if you are not familiar with them. Dr. Ahmet Sayan, the skilled doctor at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix, and St. Thomas, can develop an individualized plan to help you reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attacks.
Reducing Your Risk for Heart Disease
Individuals with any type of heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, have an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack. Examples of heart disease include coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrest, and arrhythmia. Cardiovascular problems can also lead to a stroke.
There are many different ways to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or suffering from a heart attack. The knowledgeable doctors at our offices in St. Croix, and St. Thomas, can assess your risk and recommend specific steps you can take to reduce it. Reducing your risk for heart problems can include:
- Making dietary changes (e.g., eating leaner meats)
- Exercising regularly (e.g., walking 30 minutes per day)
- Quitting smoking (smoking increases your risk for heart disease)
- Monitoring and managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting consumption of alcohol
- Managing and reducing stress
Heart Attack Symptoms in Men
Heart disease is the number one cause of death among men in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Taking steps to reduce your risk for heart disease can help prevent heart attacks, but it is still important to recognize the signs of one. Symptoms of a heart attack in men include:
- Shortness of breath not due to physical exertion
- Squeezing pain or pressure in the chest
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body (back, neck, or jaw)
- Pain in one or both arms
- Nausea or vomiting
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
The CDC reports that heart disease is also the leading cause of death among women in the U.S. Women experience many of the same symptoms as men, but are also likely to develop additional symptoms. Signs of a heart attack in women include:
- Shortness of breath not due to physical exertion
- Pain in the lower chest/upper abdomen
- Pain or discomfort in the upper body (jaw, neck, or back)
- Pain in one or both arms
- Nausea, vomiting, or indigestion
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
- Lightheadedness or fainting
It is essential that you recognize the signs of a heart attack in men versus women since the symptoms are not always the same. Schedule a cardiovascular screening with Dr. Sayan by calling Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix, or St. Thomas, at (340) 692-5000, or (340) 714-2845.
Exercising regularly and consuming a healthy diet can both contribute to better cardiovascular health. However, it is still possible to develop a heart condition, such as arrhythmia, even when you have taken steps to improve cardiovascular health. If you have an irregular heartbeat or your heart is not functioning efficiently, you might need a pacemaker. Dr. Ahmet Sayan, the experienced doctor at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix, and St. Thomas, can provide guidance for adjusting to life with a pacemaker.
What Are Pacemakers?
Pacemakers are small devices that are implanted in the chest to help regulate the heartbeat. They work by sending electrical pulses or signals to the heart that regulate the rate at which the heart beats. There are several types of pacemakers and each works slightly differently. Some pacemakers send pulses to both the right and left ventricles of the heart. Others only send pulses to the right ventricle, while another type sends pulses to the right ventricle and the right atrium.
In some cases, a pacemaker is only needed temporarily. For instance, a medication overdose, a heart attack, or surgery can all cause the heartbeat to slow down. A pacemaker can be used temporarily to help the heart start beating at a more efficient pace. When a slow or irregular heartbeat is an ongoing problem, then a pacemaker might be needed permanently. The knowledgeable doctors at our offices in St. Croix, and St. Thomas, can determine if you need a pacemaker temporarily or permanently.
Signs You Need A Pacemaker
There are several signs that the heart is beating irregularly or working inefficiently by beating too rapidly or too slowly. Symptoms associated with the need for a pacemaker include:
- Experiencing chest pains
- Regularly feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Palpitations or a pounding in your chest
- A diagnosis of bradycardia, which is a slow heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing not due to asthma or another condition
- Easily becoming extremely fatigued
- Fainting with no specific cause
Living With A Pacemaker
There are several things to know about living with a pacemaker. You can still be physically active, but need to avoid over-exerting yourself. Low impact activities, such as taking walks, are an excellent way to improve blood circulation without overdoing it physically. Something else to know is that it is perfectly fine to swim, shower or bathe as you normally do. The pacemaker will not get wet. You do need to avoid being near magnets or other devices that can interfere with the pacemaker.
Another thing to know about adjusting to life with a pacemaker is that your doctor might recommend you check your pulse regularly. Doing so lets you know if your pacemaker is working properly. Let your doctor know if your heart rate suddenly increases or drops too low. You should also contact the doctor if you experience dizzy spells, fainting, difficulty breathing, or your ankles and legs swell. The doctor might need to adjust your medications or check the pacemaker’s battery.
A pacemaker helps regulate your heartbeat and can reduce many of the symptoms that often accompany an irregular, slow, or rapid heartbeat. To learn more about pacemakers and adjusting to life with one, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sayan by calling Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Croix, or St. Thomas, at (340) 692-5000, or (340) 714-2845.
Your doctors in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, can help you heal.
Your shoulder performs a lot of hard work. If your shoulder hurts, it can really impact your life. All of a sudden, you can’t lift, pull, or do other common functions. You could have a rotator cuff injury. The good news is, your orthopaedic specialists are experts at treating rotator cuff injuries, so you can get back to your life.
Dr. Jeffrey Chase at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists offers a wide range of orthopaedic and medical services, including treatment for rotator cuffs and other shoulder injuries. They have two convenient office locations in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, to help you heal.
So, what is a rotator cuff? It’s a combination of tendons and muscles around your shoulder joint. The rotator cuff functions to keep your upper arm in the socket in your shoulder.
Rotator cuff injuries are much more common as you get older. They are also a common problem for people who do a lot of motions overhead, like carpenters, painters, and other construction workers.
You may have a rotator cuff injury if you:
- Experience a dull ache deep in your shoulder
- You can’t sleep because of shoulder pain
- You can’t do common tasks like combing your hair
- Your arm feels like it has lost strength and mobility
For mild shoulder pain, you may be able to get relief if you:
- Place ice on your shoulder several times each day
- Place warm, moist heat on your shoulder several times each day
- Take over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medication
- Rest your shoulder or wear a sling for a period of time
For moderate to severe shoulder pain, you need to see your orthopaedic specialist. Rotator cuff injuries can be serious. A torn rotator cuff is often treated with a combination of:
- Steroid injections into your shoulder joint
- Surgical repair, to re-attach torn ligaments and tendons, and re-align bones
- Physical therapy, to restore range-of-motion, mobility, and strength
To find out more about the causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment of rotator cuff injuries and how your orthopaedic specialists can help, call Dr. Chase at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. You can reach us in St. Thomas, at (340) 714-2845, or at their office in St. Croix, at (340) 692-5000, so call today!
Your doctors in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, can help with high blood pressure.
Do you have high blood pressure? The truth is, you may have high blood pressure and not even know it, because quite often, there are no signs or symptoms associated with it. That’s why high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer.” Regular visits to your doctor can help you find out if you have high blood pressure.
Dr. Ahmet Sayan at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists offer a wide range of medical services, including treatment for high blood pressure. They have two convenient office locations in St. Thomas, and St. Croix, to help manage your high blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, often goes untreated. Unfortunately, untreated high blood pressure can lead to a stroke, heart attack, or it can kill you.
When your doctor takes your blood pressure, they measure the blood flowing through your arteries. When your blood comes up against fatty plaque on the walls of your arteries, your blood pressure will be high.
You may have high blood pressure due to genetics, however, it’s often caused by a diet high in fats and salt. Diet modification is one of the most important ways you can manage your blood pressure. To help manage your blood pressure, remember to:
- Eat a diet lower in salt and fatty foods
- Eat more poultry and fish, and less red meat
- Eat lots of vegetables and fruits
- Try to maintain a healthy weight
- Lower your alcohol intake and don’t smoke
- Exercise regularly to keep your heart healthy
To adequately manage your high blood pressure, you need help from your doctor. Medication therapy is a common way to keep your blood pressure within normal limits. Your doctor may recommend:
- Diuretics, to eliminate excess fluid
- ACE inhibitors, to relax blood vessels
- Beta Blockers, to lower how hard your heart needs to work
- Calcium channel blockers, to slow down your heart rate
High blood pressure is serious, but you can get help with just a simple phone call. To find out more about how to manage your high blood pressure, and how your doctors can help, call Dr. Sayan at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. You can reach them in St. Thomas at (340) 714-2845, or in their office in St. Croix at (340) 692-5000, so call now!
Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in St. Thomas and St. Croix is here to help you manage your health and wellness. Read about heart health and call your doctor if you're concerned about your heart.
Our hearts are always working hard to pump blood and supply our bodies with oxygen and nutrients. A healthy heart vital, and a cardiologist can be an important lifeline if you have a heart condition or have had a heart attack. A cardiologist specializes in treating the vascular system and has had at least three years of specialized training in cardiology. If there is a history of heart problems in your family or you are having symptoms of a heart problem you should see a cardiologist. The following symptoms can be signs of a heart problem:
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in heart rate or rhythm
- High blood pressure
If you are having any of these symptoms, it's important to see a cardiologist. Even if you are not having symptoms, you may want to see a cardiologist if you have been a heavy smoker, if you have diabetes, or if your family has a history of heart disease or high cholesterol.
At the first visit with a cardiologist you will discuss your medical and family history, so come to the appointment with as much information as you can. You'll also have a physical exam, and depending on the reason for your appointment, your cardiologist can order and analyze different tests to diagnose you. These could include blood tests, urine analysis, a stress test, and an echocardiogram or angiogram (different ways of looking at your heart).
A heart specialist can help manage heart conditions and advise you on how to prevent heart disease. The professionals at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine want you to have a healthy heart! Contact us in St. Thomas at (340) 714-2845, and in St. Croix at (340) 692-5000.
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