Posts for category: Cardiology
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.
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.