Posts for category: Cardiology
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.
The leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is not a condition to be taken likely. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a heart attack. Lifestyle adjustments and habits can have a powerful impact on the health of your heart, and at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix we are dedicated to helping you lead a heart-smart lifestyle. Here are some ways you can reduce your risk and achieve your best health:
Smoking, and even exposure to second-hand smoke, increases your risk of suffering a heart attack, as well as slowing the recovery process. Ask your provider about programs and aids to help you quit smoking if you are struggling to give up nicotine.
Physical activity is an important component of heart health. Any activity that raises your heart rate counts, from vigorous exercise like running to more low impact activities like biking. Even performing chores and playing at the park can help strengthen your heart.
Eat a nutritious diet
While it's okay to have treats on occasion, make sure the majority of your caloric intake comes from unprocessed, vitamin, and mineral-rich foods. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats and dairy, whole grains, and healthy fats like nuts and olive oil are great choices. Remember to include plenty of fiber in your diet, and limit saturated and trans fats. If you're having a problem creating a healthy meal plan, talk to your St. Thomas and St. Croix providers.
Watch your cholesterol
"Bad" cholesterol, or LDL, should be kept at a low level to reduce the risk of a heart attack, while "good" cholesterol, or HDL, should be a higher number. Diet and fitness may be enough to get your cholesterol on track, or your provider may prescribe medication.
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity, or being underweight, can put a strain on your heart. Because body mass index measurements don't take into account factors like muscle percentage, age, and fitness level, ask your provider to help identify your ideal weight range, and adjust your diet and fitness as necessary to achieve that weight.
Keep your stress low
A high-stress lifestyle can do a number on your heart, so it is important to find a balance between work, leisure, and sleep. Try mediation, breathing exercises, or talking to a friend if you find your stress levels are peaking.
Reach out to the experts at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists today for more tips on reducing your risk of a heart attack. Call our St. Thomas office at 340-714-2845 or reach our St. Croix location at 340-692-5000.
We usually hear more about men's susceptibility or risk of heart attacks but what women go through is underreported. Truth is, "about 1 in 16 women age 20 and older have coronary heart disease," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You should call 911 and rush to the hospital if someone has a heart attack, and notify your Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is when arteries supplying the heart with oxygenated blood narrow because of plaque buildup. Very little oxygen or none at all reaches the heart, causing a heart attack. Here's an animation of a heart attack to give you a better idea of what happened.
Heart Disease and Heart Attacks: Men vs. Women
Heart disease in men is usually due to coronary artery blockages, obstructive coronary artery disease. Women develop heart disease in the smaller arteries.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
Women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain, just like men, but women are more likely to suffer from other symptoms, like shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. It's important to know the difference so you can seek proper treatment from your providers in St. Croix and St. Thomas.
Other symptoms include:
- Pressure in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
- Shooting pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Breaking out in a cold sweat
"Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women often underplay symptoms and assume they have the flu or acid reflux.
Angina in Women
Angina is a precursor to a heart attack. You may feel tightness, pressure, or discomfort in your chest while exercising or stressed. If you suffer from angina, you need to speak with your doctor in St. Thomas or St. Croix. Symptoms in women include:
- Feeling out of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Sharp chest pain
Need a consultation?
If you need to speak with a doctor, contact Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists in St. Thomas and St. Croix at either location: (340) 714-2845 for St. Thomas or (340) 692-5000 for St. Croix.
It’s never too late to invest in your heart health.
Heart disease is the number one killer of American men and women; however, it’s comforting to know that just by improving your lifestyle, you can drastically improve the health of your heart. From our offices in St. Thomas and St. Croix, Dr. Jeffrey Chase, and cardiologist, Dr. Ahmet Sayan, can help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.
If you don’t already get regular aerobic exercise each week, then it’s time to start incorporating physical fitness into your lifestyle. This translates to about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of intense exercise. If you already work out regularly, try upping the intensity of your current routine to gain even more benefits. If you are just starting your fitness journey, your cardiologist can discuss ways to begin working out safely.
Choose a Healthy, Balanced Diet
What you eat has a profound impact on your health. Your diet should consist of mainly whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, nuts, and plant-based proteins, as well as lean animal protein such as chicken or fish. Avoid refined sugar and starches such as cakes, cookies, white bread, and pasta. Always check the nutrition labels and avoid most packaged foods, as they are chock full of sodium, sugar, and other preservatives.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It’s also incredibly important to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). If you are overweight, it’s important to consult with your cardiologist to determine the best strategies to help you lose weight safely. Eating healthy and regularly exercising are two of the biggest habits you can adopt to help lose excess weight and maintain your ideal BMI.
If you use tobacco products or you smoke, it’s time to ditch the habit. Smoking causes a lot of serious health problems including an elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, and an irregular heartbeat. If you are having trouble quitting, your cardiologist can help you find successful ways to ditch the habit for good. It’s also important to avoid secondhand smoke, which can also have detrimental effects on your health.
Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists deeply cares about the health of its patients, especially during the pandemic. This is why we are offering telemedicine appointments for patients dealing with minor issues or currently undergoing physical therapy; however, our medical team is still caring for patients dealing with cardiac and musculoskeletal problems. For walk-in emergency care, please give us a call first at our St. Thomas office at (340) 714-2845 or our St. Croix office at (340) 692-5000.
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term used for describing conditions that negatively impact the circulatory system and the heart, including heart attack, stroke, and heart disease.
During an appointment here at Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists, your physicians, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan, can assess your risk for cardiovascular disease in either our St. Thomas or St. Croix locations, and make suggestions on how you can reduce it.
What are Non-Modifiable and Modifiable Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease?
Risk factors for cardiovascular disease could be divided into two categories: modifiable and non-modifiable. Modifiable risk factors are basically those that you can control or minimize with certain lifestyle adjustments, while non-modifiable risk factors are those that you can’t change.
While having one or several risk factors could increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop cardiovascular disease. There is, however, a higher chance that you might. This is why getting an accurate assessment of your risk for the disease is extremely vital.
Modifiable Risks Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
- An unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Unregulated cholesterol levels: low HDL or elevated LDL
Non-Modifiable Risks Factors for Cardiovascular Disease
- A history of cardiovascular disease in the family
Reducing Your Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Disease
To try and minimize your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, you should eat a healthy diet with lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy oils. You should likewise exercise at least five days per week, limit your intake of alcoholic drinks, and stop smoking right now. It’s also crucial to note that stress could significantly influence plenty of cardiovascular disease risk factors, which include excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and high blood pressure.
Furthermore, a poor work-to-personal-life balance can lead to stress and contributes to an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease. This means that you should prioritize stress management and find effective ways to de-stress. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight and managing health problems like diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, with help from your doctor, is immensely vital.
Know Your Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease Now
Schedule an assessment with one of our doctors, Dr. Jeffrey Chase or Dr. Ahmet Sayan here at the Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists. Call (340) 714-2845 for our St. Thomas office, or (340) 692-5000 for our St. Croix office.