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Posts for category: Cardiology

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
July 20, 2020
Category: Cardiology

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:

Quit smoking

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.

Exercise

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.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
July 13, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Heart Attack  

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:

  1. Pressure in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
  2. Shooting pain in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
  3. Breaking out in a cold sweat
  4. Lightheadedness


"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
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • 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.

By Virgin Islands Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists
May 07, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Heart Disease  

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.

Get Active

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.

Quit Smoking

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.

By Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists
March 26, 2020
Category: Cardiology

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

  • Smoking
  • An unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Unregulated cholesterol levels: low HDL or elevated LDL

Non-Modifiable Risks Factors for Cardiovascular Disease

  • Age
  • A history of cardiovascular disease in the family
  • Ethnicity
  • Sex

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.

By Virgin Island Orthopaedics and Medical Specialists
February 24, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Pacemaker  

How a pacemaker from your doctors in Saint Thomas and St. Croix, Virgin Islands can save your life

A pacemaker is a small device placed under the skin to regulate your heartbeat, allowing it to save your life in the event of a heart attack. A pacemaker is typically recommended if you have an irregular heartbeat, known as an arrhythmia.

Here at Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists, Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan can help if you need a pacemaker. With two convenient office locations in St. Thomas and St. Croix, read on to learn how their pacemakers can benefit you.

More about Pacemakers

There are three types of pacemakers:

  • A single chamber pacemaker, which routes electrical impulses to the right ventricle of your heart
  • A dual-chamber pacemaker, which routes electrical impulses to the right ventricle and right atrium of your heart; this type of pacemaker helps control the timing of contractions between the heart chambers.
  • A bi-ventricular pacemaker, which is recommended for people with heart failure and abnormal electrical systems; the bi-ventricular pacemaker stimulates the lower chambers of the heart to beat more regularly.

Your doctor may recommend a pacemaker to control your heartbeat. The pacemaker may be temporarily implanted because of a heart attack or surgery. The pacemaker may also be implanted permanently to regulate a slow or irregular heartbeat, or to treat heart failure.

Once installed, the pacemaker acts in place of your natural electrical system when your electrical system malfunctions. The pacemaker will work to speed up your heartbeat if your heart is beating too slowly, a condition known as bradycardia. Newer pacemakers can also detect increased body motion or increased breathing rate during exercise, so a signal is sent to speed up the heart rate.

Call Us

A pacemaker is an important cardiological advancement that can keep your heart beating in the proper rhythm. It can help you lead a normal, productive, active life if your heart is compromised. To learn more about pacemakers and how a pacemaker can help you, talk with the experts. Call Dr. Jeffrey Chase and Dr. Ahmet Sayan of Virgin Islands Orthopaedics & Medical Specialists, in St.Thomas at (340) 714-2845 or at their office in St. Croix at (340) 692-5000. Call now!