Doctor in Maxcure Hospitals
Cholesterol is one of those terminologies that need a clear and fresh understanding, right from scratch. It is nothing but obvious and common for you to primarily know about the ill effects of cholesterol and what it does to your body; from increasing the risks of cardio-vascular diseases to adding to your waistline. However, it is time we all got a fresh perspective on what cholesterol is.
So, to start off, what is actually cholesterol?
It is waxy substance produced by the liver which plays an important role in the proper functioning of the cells, digestive process and synthesis of Vitamin D in the body. As cholesterol is a fat based substance that does not dissolve in blood, it is transported, throughout the body, by a protein called the ‘lipoprotein’. The lipoproteins that carry cholesterol are of two types: Low-Density
Lipoprotein (LDL) and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
Why is LDL ‘bad’?
LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol as it is responsible for plaque formation that reduces flexibility of the arteries and tends to clog them.
Why is HDL ‘good’?
HDL is known as the ‘good’ cholesterol because it gets rid of excessive LDL from the arteries and transports them to the liver where they can be broken down. Too much of bad cholesterol in the body can lead to clogged arteries that may result in stroke or a heart attack. Now that you know that too much LDL cholesterol is bad for you, you need to keep it under control while raising the good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
In order to do that, you need to make certain modifications in your lifestyle.
Some of them can be:
- Eat foods that are good for the heart: Avoid eating saturated fats and trans-fats as they raise LDL levels in the body. Instead, choose foods that are rich in the heart healthy monounsaturated fats such as almonds and olive oil. Also, include foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil; these fatty acids increase HDL levels in the blood.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise not only helps you to lose calories but also increases the good cholesterol levels in the body. Aim for 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular exercises in the form of brisk walking, running or cycling to keep your heart muscles healthy.
- Stop smoking: Smoking can cause the blood vessels to narrow down, thus increasing blood pressure, owing to the constriction of the blood vessels. Quit smoking right away and your ticker will thank you for it. Remember to limit alcohol consumption as well.
- Maintain optimal weight levels: It’s time to get rid of all the excess fat from the body, especially the visceral fat (abdominal fat). Obesity increases the risk of heart diseases and also has a negative effect on the cholesterol levels.
A heart transplant is an operation in which a failing, diseased heart is replaced with a healthier, donor heart. Heart transplant is a treatment that's usually reserved for people who have tried medications or other surgeries, but their conditions haven't sufficiently improved.
While a heart transplant is a major operation, your chance of survival is good, with appropriate follow-up care.
When faced with a decision about having a heart transplant, know what to expect of the heart transplant process, the surgery itself, potential risks and follow-up care.
Why it's done
Heart transplants are performed when other treatments for heart problems haven't worked, leading to heart failure. In adults, heart failure can be caused by several conditions, including:
- A weakening of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart valve disease
- A heart problem you're born with (congenital heart defect)
- Dangerous recurring abnormal heart rhythms (ventricular arrhythmias) not controlled by other treatments
- Failure of a previous heart transplant
- In children, heart failure is most often caused by either a congenital heart defect or a cardiomyopathy.
Another organ transplant may be performed at the same time as a heart transplant (multiorgan transplant) in people with certain conditions at select medical centers. Multiorgan transplants include:
- Heart-kidney transplant. This procedure may be an option for some people with kidney failure in addition to heart failure.
- Heart-liver transplant. This procedure may be an option for people with certain liver and heart conditions.
- Heart-lung transplant. Rarely, doctors may suggest this procedure for some people with severe lung and heart diseases, if the conditions aren't able to be treated by only a heart transplant or lung transplant.
Factors that may affect your eligibility for a heart transplant
A heart transplant isn't the right treatment for everyone. Certain factors may mean you're not a good candidate for a heart transplant. While each case is considered individually by a transplant center, a heart transplant may not be appropriate if you:
- Are an advanced age that would interfere with the ability to recover from transplant surgery
- Have another medical condition that could shorten your life, regardless of receiving a donor heart, such as a serious kidney, liver or lung disease
- Have an active infection
- Have a recent personal medical history of cancer
- Are unwilling or unable to make lifestyle changes necessary to keep your donor heart healthy, such as not drinking alcohol or not smoking
What happens after the transplant?
Most people leave hospital within about four weeks of the operation, but depending on your condition, you may need to stay in hospital for longer.
In the first few months after your surgery you will need to spend a lot of time visiting the hospital – you might even need to stay near the transplant centre. Your transplant team will talk to you about practical arrangements for after your surgery.
Although you will be weak after the operation, recovery can be very quick. It is important to build up your level of activity gradually. You should avoid activities involving lifting and pushing until your breastbone is fully healed, which can take up to three or four months.
Once you feel fit and able, you can start doing things like light vacuuming or light gardening.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Having bradycardia implies that your heart beats very slowly. For the vast majority, a heart beats from sixty to hundred pulses a minute while very few are viewed as ordinary. In case your heart beats under sixty times each minute, it is slower than usual. A moderate heart rate can be ordinary and solid. On the other hand it could be an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework.
For a few people, moderate heart rate does not create any issues. It can be an indication of being exceptionally fit. Sound youthful grown-ups and sports persons frequently have heart rates of fewer than sixty beats a minute. In other individuals, bradycardia is an indication of an issue with the heart's electrical framework. It implies that the heart's regular pacemaker isn't working right or that the electrical pathways of the heart are disturbed.
A moderate heart rate may make you:
- Feel blurry eyed or woozy.
- Feel short of breath and feel that it’s harder to work out.
- Feel tired.
- Have neck pain or an inclination that your heart is beating or rippling (palpitations).
- Feel bewildered or experience difficulty concentrating.
- Black out, if a moderate heart rate causes a drop in pulse.
A few people do not have side effects, or their indications are mild to the point that they think they are quite recently part of getting more seasoned. You can discover how quick your heart is beating by checking your heart rate. In case your pulse is moderate or uneven, talk to a specialist.
How bradycardia is dealt with depends on what is causing it. Treatment likewise relies on symptoms. Given below are some of the symptoms:
- In case harm to the heart's electrical framework causes your heart to pulsate too quickly, you will presumably need a pacemaker. A pacemaker is a gadget put under your skin that revises the moderate heart rate. Some people might have a kind of bradycardia that requires a pacemaker.
- In case another medical issue, for example, hypothyroidism or an electrolyte irregularity, is bringing about a moderate heart rate, treating that issue may cure the bradycardia.
- In case a medicine is making your heart to pulsate too gradually, your specialist may change the dosage or recommend an alternate drug. In case you can't quit taking that medicine, you may require a pacemaker.
Bradycardia is frequently the aftereffect of another heart condition, so finding a way to carry on with a heart-solid way of life will enhance your general health. This may include:
- Showing at least a bit of restraint and dedication to a good diet routine that includes a considerable amount of organic products, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy foods.
- Being gradually on most, if not all, days of the week. Your specialist can let you know what type of exercise is okay for you.
- Getting more fit in case you have to, and maintaining a solid weight.
- Not smoking.
- Overseeing other medical issues, for example, hypertension or elevated cholesterol.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Most people associate fiber to be good for the digestive system, as it adds roughage and therefore helps in avoiding constipation. When we dig deeper, the fiber seems to do good not just to the stomach, but to the heart as well. Those who are prone to develop heart diseases should make an attempt to include more fiber in their diet and reap the rich benefits it offers.
There are two classifications of fibers
Dietary is found in diet products and functional is added fiber through various food supplements. Soluble and insoluble fiber, based on their solubility in water. Most foods contain some amounts of both. The insoluble one has more digestive benefits, as it adds to the roughage and both types have cardiac benefits.
Read on to know some of the cardiac benefits of fibers.
- Reduces cholesterol: There is good cholesterol which is essential for the body, and there is bad cholesterol that causes heart disease. Fibers reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in circulation, as it can bind to the cholesterol, in order to, remove it from the body, which otherwise would get into circulation and lead to plaque formation and heart diseases.
- Reduces blood pressure: Because the cholesterol does not circulate in the bloodstream, the blood is not as vicious and therefore the vessels do not have to exert much pressure and allows free flow. A diet changed to whole grains can show a marked difference in people with hypertension.
- Weight management: Eating fiber means more bulk and fewer calories so that a person feels full after eating smaller amounts. This is a great way to lose weight and bring pre-existing heart disease under control.
- Stroke prevention: The circulating cholesterol usually gets sluggish and settles down along the walls of the blood vessels. This attracts more cholesterol, which eventually forms, what is knowns as plaque. When this plaque attains a considerable size, it gets dislodged, circulates in the bloodstream, and can reach any of the vital organs. When it reaches the heart or brain, it can lead to heart attack or stroke. By removing the cholesterol which leads to all these complications, fiber reduces the incidence of stroke and heart attacks.
- Management of diabetes: Blood pressure, increased weight and heart diseases all are predisposing factors and have common contributing factors as does diabetes. Controlling all these helps in prolonging the onset of diabetes and reducing its severity too.
High-fiber diet mainly reduces cholesterol which helps in multiple ways to maintain not just a healthy body but also improves the overall quality of life. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
What is Palpitation?
Palpitation is a feeling of awareness of your own heart beat.
It is usually described as heart rate being either too fast (racing), too slow or a sensation of missing a beat.
Types of palpitations?
These palpitations occur as a response to physical or mental stress like exercise, fever, pain, fear, anxiety etc.
They are harmless and settle on their own once the precipitating factors disappear. They do not require any medical treatment.
These palpitations occur due to some underlying abnormality in either the structure of heart or the beating of heart.
These can be dangerous and at times life threatening. They may or may not settle on their own and require some medical treatment.
Warning signs that suggest palpitations are abnormal?
Palpitations are abnormal if they are associated with chest heaviness, chest pain, uneasiness, sweating, weakness, giddiness, feeling of black out, fainting, nausea, vomiting, seizures.
Palpitations are more likely to be abnormal In people who have some existing heart disease and these patients should report to their doctor at the earliest.
What to do during palpitations?
Call for help. (If u are alone avoid driving, use a taxi or auto) Go to your nearest hospital/doctor and try to get an ECG during the palpitations. If you are helping someone having palpitations, if they faint, call for help, start CPR if they remain unresponsive and take them to the nearest hospita
Which doctor can treat palpitations?
Doctors who specialise in the treatment of palpitations are called Electrophysiologists.
They specialise in heart rhythm and are capable of performing a variety of complex tests to identify and treat different types of palpitations.
Which investigations are used to diagnose palpitations?
ECG - Taken during palpitations and when the patient is normal is a very helpful tool.
Holter - Externally applied recorder which continuously records heart rhythm for 24 hrs.
ELR - Extended looper recorder, is like holter, but it records rhythm for longer durations.
ILR - Internal loop recorde is attached within the body for recording rhythm for long duration.
EPS - Electrophysiology study, is the most sure shot test to diagnose, identify and treat
What is EPS?
EPS stands for Electrophysiology study. By this test a trained electro-physiologist studies the conduction and formation system of heart beat, to understand the source, cause and type of palpitation.
It is a simple and safe procedure of 2-3 hours and can be done as a day care procedure (by admitting the patient for a few hours in hospital, with discharge on same day).
It requires fasting for 4 hrs, some standard blood investigations and is done with local anaesthesia and if required it can be combined with treatment like ablation in the same sitting.
In the procedure electro-physiologist take catheters into your heart to study and stimulate the palpitations and understand them. Once found they can use various techniques to stop the palpitations, the techniques are called Ablation.
What are the treatment options available for palpitations?
There are many options depending upon the nature of palpitations and condition of the patient -
Cardioversion - where either a drug or electric shock is given to stop palpitations immediately.
Ablations using many sophisticated computer softwares
Device Therapy like ICD (Internal cardiac defibrillator)
Combination of all the above therapies.
Your Electrophysiologist and you as a team can make a choice about the options that will be best for you.
Sudden cardiac death occurs when your heart stops functioning unexpectedly and suddenly. When this happens if you experience sudden cardiac arrest and blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs. Sudden cardiac arrest usually results in death if it is not treated within minutes.
Occurring during a heart attack, the sudden cardiac arrest should not be mistaken for a heart attack. The immediate cause of sudden cardiac arrest is usually an abnormality in your heart rhythm, which is the result of a problem with your heart's electrical system. Your heart has its own electrical stimulator, which is a specialized group of cells called the sinus node located in the upper right chamber of your heart. The sinus node generates electrical impulses that flow in an orderly manner through your heart to synchronize heart rate and coordinate the pumping of blood from your heart to rest of your body.
If something goes wrong with the flow of these electric impulses through your heart, a condition known as arrhythmia occurs, causing your heart to beat too fast or too slow or in an irregular manner. Often these interruptions in rhythm are momentary and harmless. But if it is severe it can lead to a sudden stop in heart function.
Ventricular fibrillation is the most common life threatening arrhythmia which is the uncontrolled twitching or quivering of muscle fibers. It must be treated immediately to save a person's life. It can be treated by delivering a quick electric shock through the chest.
There are many risk factors that increase the risk of sudden cardiac death including the history of previous heart attacks, coronary artery disease, smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.