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Treatment of Chest Pain
Treatment of Shortness of Breath
Treatment of Fluid in the chest
Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias
Treatment of Breathing Problems
Treatment of Left Chest Pain
Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism
Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension
Treatment of Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Treatment of Rheumatic Fever
Treatment of Rheumatic Heart Disease
Treatment of Pericarditis
Management of Bicuspid Aortic Valve
Treatment of Pulmonary Edema
Treatment of Aortic Valve Disease
Treatment of Cardiovascular Emergencies
Treatment of Viral Myocarditis
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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
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.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
The human spine is endowed with tremendous strength and flexibility, but it is also prone to severe injuries. Due to the presence of a vast network of nerves in the spinal cord, particularly in the lower region, injuries can become gravely complicated with a large scope for permanent damage. Heavy lifting, sudden movements and twisting can lead to spinal injuries and must be avoided while working out in the gym.
There are simple precautions that you can take to protect your spine from accidents and injuries while doing heavy lifts in the gym. Not only will these precautions ensure that your spine is protected from any harm, but they also yield a range of health benefits in the long run.
Following are a few precautions that can be taken from spinal protection:
- Check the object before lifting: It is important that you check the weight of the object before performing the lift. Test it out by pushing it with your hands or your feet very lightly to see how heavy it is and determine whether or not you should be lifting it.
- Perform a warm up exercise: This is one of the most essential factors for preventing exercise-related injuries. Pace around and stretch all your muscles before you start lifting. This will keep your muscles from suddenly stiffening or locking while you do the lift.
- Ensure that the weight is well balanced: Unbalanced weights greatly increase the risk of injury. You should always make sure that the weight you are lifting is evenly balanced on all sides and that the packing is proper so that it does not move around when you lift or have pieces falling off it.
- Maintain proper posture: One of the most important aspects of lifting in the right manner is to maintain proper body posture. You must always avoid arching your back or reaching out while you lift as that will surely lead to injury.
- Move slowly: Sudden jerks and movements are sure to lead to injury when lifting weights in the gym. Slow and smooth movements are recommended as they keep you from straining your muscles. There is no need to rush through your workout. Always avoid twisting while performing a lift.
- Create enough space: There has to be enough room all around you while you are lifting. This will ensure your safety while you are working out.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Osteoporosis is a condition wherein the bones become brittle and weak; so much so that even mildly stressful activities such as coughing, bending over or even a slight fall (such as the one from a high rise chair) can result in fractures. Osteoporosis-related fractures commonly occur in the spine, hip or the wrist. The human body has a continuous mechanism of bone absorption and removal. In case of osteoporosis, the creation of new bones doesn’t happen in accordance with the removal of old bones.
The bones of the spine get extremely vulnerable to breakage and even cracking open. The fractures in the spine, also known as vertebral compression fractures can cause a sharp stinging pain in the back that may make sitting, standing, or even walking a very tardy task.
Abnormally less or high body weight
Menopause or low levels of sex hormones
Gender: This disorder is more likely to affect women as compared to men. Also women, who are above 50 are more likely to suffer from this debilitating disorder.
Race is a significant risk factor of osteoporosis. If you are of Asian descent, you are more likely to be affected by it.
Having a family history of osteoporosis will put you at a greater risk of this disorder.
Fractured or collapsed vertebra causing back pain
A stooped posture
A shrunken appearance (as if one has had loss of height)
Very fragile bones, thus increasing risks of fractures
Severe and sudden pain in the back
Difficulty in twisting or bending the body
Lower spine fractures are way more troublesome as compared to fractures in the upper spine. Fracturing more than a bone in the spine also remains a huge possibility.
Diagnosis and Treatment:
Firstly, an X-ray or a computerized tomography (CT scan) will be done to have a closer look at the bones. A bone density test is another commonly used method of diagnosing osteoporosis.
Steroids and medications: Some medications may be used to prevent or combat osteoporosis. These include alendronate, ibandronate, risedronate and zoledronic acid.
Physical therapy: Just like muscles, bones get stronger too when you exercise. Weight-bearing and muscle- strengthening exercises are the most helpful in this regard and are considered best for the treatment of osteoporosis. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging or even swimming can prove to be immensely beneficial.
Diet: Make a diet chart that includes high-calcium food items, dairy products such as yogurt, cheese, and low-fat milk, tofu, green vegetables such as collard greens and broccoli, sea fish such as salmon and sardines.
Salt: Limit salt intake
Therapy: Hormone replacement therapy (treatment method consisting of estrogens to alleviate and treat symptoms of osteoporosis) is another method of treatment that can be recommended by the doctor. Consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A heart attack does not always have obvious symptoms, such as pain in your chest, shortness of breath and cold sweats. In fact, a heart attack can actually happen without a person knowing it. This condition is known as a ‘silent heart attack’, medically known as ‘silent ischemia’, occurring due to the shortage of oxygen supply to the heart muscle. The causes of a silent heart attack are similar to that of a heart attack.
- Conditions like:
- Lack of exercise
- Age, usually above 65
- Consumption of tobacco or smoking
- High consumption of alcohol
A silent heart attack makes one more vulnerable to another heart attack that could be fatal.
Diagnosis: The only method to diagnose if you had a silent heart attack is through imaging tests, such as echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, Holter Monitoring or others. These tests can show certain changes which might be indicative of a heart attack. An analysis of one’s overall health and the symptoms can aid in deciding whether few more tests are required.
How would you prevent a silent heart attack?
1. Get your cholesterol and blood pressure count tested regularly.
2. Refrain from smoking.
3. Get your VO2 max checked regularly.
4. Live a healthy lifestyle: Refrain from smoking and excessive alcohol consumption; exercise daily, eat healthy.
5. Control high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes
6. Be aware of your body and call on a doctor if you feel there’s anything which is bothering you.
Ever wondered why you needed to share your family’s health history at a doctor’s clinic? Specific questions regarding health issues of your immediate family or close blood relatives give your doctor an insight into various health risks you might have now or in future. Those are medical conditions inherited by parents or grandparents through genes. Genes are passed from parents to children in DNA of eggs or sperms. Even a single mutation (fault) in gene can influence body systems and may lead to disorders. If any of the parents have a faulty gene, there are 50:50 chances of the child inheriting it.
Hereditary heart diseases are also a result of mutation in one or more genes and tend to run in families. Genes control almost all aspects of cardiovascular system including strengthening blood vessels, pumping capacity or communication of cells in the heart. A single genetic variation is enough to alter cardiovascular processes increasing the risk of developing a heart disease, attack or a stroke. Some of the most common hereditary cardiac disorders include; Arrhythmias, congenital heart diseases and cardiomyopathy. A family history of heart attack or stroke is also an established high-risk factor for the family members. High blood cholesterol, medically known as familial hypercholesterolemia also tends to run in families.
Unfortunately, many of these conditions cannot be prevented since they are acquired through genes. But there are many ways in which these could be managed before they become complicated or fatal.
Let’s look at some ways by which we can deal with hereditary heart diseases and increase a patient’s chances of survival:
Early Diagnosis And Treatment: When one person in the family is diagnosed with a heart disease, it is strongly advisable for other family members to go in for screening. An early diagnosis can help in better treatment and management of the disease and impacts positively on patients’ life. Medical screening of siblings is highly recommended in case a person suffers a sudden cardiac death especially at a young age.
Watch out for these symptoms at a young age: Abnormal heart rhythm, asthma that does not get better with inhaler, seizures that do not improve with medication, extreme fatigue or shortness of breath are warning signals and need immediate medical attention.
Genetic Testing: Family members may opt for genetic testing to check if they carried genes of an inherited disorder.
Genetic Counselling: Genetic counselling deals with problems like anxieties and fear of attacks, confusion over disease and emotional difficulties in accepting the situation.
We may not be able to change the family history but we can surely change our environment, lifestyle and habits. Eating healthy and following an active lifestyle does help in prevention and management of such diseases. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.
Are you experiencing irregular and fluctuating heartbeats? Is your heartbeat too fast or too slow? If yes, then it signifies that you are suffering from arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythms. This is a disorder which affects the heart rate or heart rhythm and the heartbeat becomes irregular.
Causes of abnormal heart rhythms
Arrhythmias occurs due to problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart. In this case, abnormal signals might occur; the electrical signals might get blocked or slowed down, or the electric signals may travel in different paths throughout the heart. Abnormal heartbeats are commonly caused by the following:
- Abnormal potassium levels in the body
- Heart attacks or due to a damaged heart muscle, owing to a previous heart attack
- Inborn heart diseases
- Cases of an enlarged heart and heart failure
- Overreaction of the thyroid gland
- Several other substances or medicines may lead to arrhythmias, such as alcohol, stimulant drugs, caffeine, nicotine, and antidepressant medicines or blood pressure medicines.
Diagnosis of abnormal heart rhythms
For the diagnosis of arrhythmias, your doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat. Several health monitoring devices are used to detect abnormal heart rhythms. These include the Holter monitor and the event monitor, or a loop recorder.
Other diagnosis tests which are required to be carried out include coronary angiography, ECG or electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram. A test known as an electrophysiology can be undertaken for getting a closer look at the electrical system of the heart.
Treatment for abnormal heart rhythms
When a case of arrhythmias is severe, urgent treatment is required for restoring the heart’s rhythm to normal. The different forms of treatment are as follows:
- Electrical shock therapy such as defibrillation or cardioversion
- Implanting of a heart pacemaker for a short term
- Certain medications which are given through the veins or orally
- A group of medicines known as anti-arrhythmic drugs is used for the prevention of recurrence of the condition and to keep the heart rate from fluctuating continually.
- Cardiac ablation may be carried out for destroying some areas in the heart from where the rhythm problems are caused.
- An implantable cardiac defibrillator is used in people who are at a risk of facing cardiac death.
In case you experience abnormal heart rhythm, you must consult a doctor immediately. You should only start taking medicines and follow a treatment after it has been recommended by a doctor.
Most people associate fibre to be good for the digestive system. It helps to add roughage and therefore helps in avoiding constipation. When we dig deeper, the fibre seems to do good not just to the stomach but to the heart as well. Those who are prone to develop heart disease should make an attempt to include more fibre in their diet and reap the rich benefits it offers.
There are two classifications of fibres
Dietary are found in diet products and functional being added fibre through various food supplements. Soluble and insoluble fibre, 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. Both types have cardiac benefits.
Read on to know some of the cardiac benefits of fibres.
- Reduces cholesterol: There is good cholesterol which is essential for the body, and there is bad cholesterol causes heart disease. What fibres do is reduce the amount of bad and overall cholesterol in circulation. The fibre binds to the cholesterol and removes it from the body, which otherwise would get into circulation and lead to plaque formation and heart disease.
- Reduces blood pressure: Because the cholesterol does not circulate in the blood stream, the blood is not as viscous and therefore the vessels exert much less pressure to allow for free flow. A diet change to whole grains can show a marked difference in people with hypertension.
- Weight management: Eating fibre 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 preexisting 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 blood stream, 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, fibre reduces the incidence of stroke and heart attacks.
- Management of diabetes: Blood pressure, increased weight, and heart disease 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.
Cardiomyopathy includes diseases involving the heart muscle. These diseases have various causes, types, symptoms and modes of treatment.
The heart muscle gets enlarged, thick or rigid. In several cases, the heart muscle tissue is replaced with a scar tissue. As this condition worsens, the heart gets weaker and the ability to pump blood is disrupted, which can cause heart failure or irregular beating of the heart. The weakened state of the heart can lead to valvar diseases.
The different types of cardiomyopathy are:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a common form and affects people of all ages. Men and women are affected equally. This condition arises due to the enlargement and thickening of the heart muscle. The ventricles, the septum and the lower heart chamber usually thicken, which causes obstruction in pumping of blood by the heart. This disease also causes stiffness in the ventricles, and cellular changes in the tissue.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy: This form of cardiomyopathy develops due to the enlargement and weakening of the ventricles. The issue arises from the left ventricle and develops over time. It may even affect the right ventricle. More effort is put in by the heart muscles for pumping blood and slowly the heart is unable to pump blood effectively. This condition may lead to heart failure, valve diseases or blood clots in the heart.
- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy: This disease occurs due to the stiffening of the ventricles, without thickening of the walls of the heart. The ventricles are not allowed to relax and do not receive a sufficient volume of blood supply. This condition causes heart failure and valvar problems over time.
- Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia: This rare form of cardiomyopathy occurs when fat or fibrous tissues replace the muscle tissue of the right ventricle. This causes arrhythmias and disruption in the electrical signals of the heart. It generally affects teens and may cause cardiac arrest in athletes.
- Unclassified Cardiomyopathy: Some types of cardiomyopathy of this category include left ventricular non compaction where the ventricles develop trabeculations. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is another disease where immense stress causes failure of the heart muscles.
Treatment: Many cases of cardiomyopathy come and go away on their own. Treatment for other cases depends on the severity and symptoms. The major treatment methods are:
Lifestyle changes meant for a healthier heart.
Modes of surgery for treatment of cardiomyopathy include:
- Septal myectomy
- Heart transplant
Implant devices such as Cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device, Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), Left ventricular assist device and pacemakers are fitted into the heart for better performance.
Cardiomyopathy can be of many different types, each arising from different situations and conditions. The mode of treatment depends on the severity of the complication or on the basis of symptoms. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.
Atrial fibrillation is a form of irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, which you may experience due to a problem in the electrical system of the heart. Such a problem causes the upper parts of the heart or the atria to fibrillate. Due to this quivering, the normal rhythm between the lower parts of the heart and the atria gets disrupted. The ventricles are likely to beat faster in an irregular rhythm. This is a severe condition where the blood may get collected in the atria; this could lead to the formation of blood clots. These clots can block the blood flow and lead to a stroke.
Several conditions cause strain and damage to the heart. These include the following:
- High blood pressure or hypertension
- Heart attack
- Valvular diseases
- Coronary artery disease
- Medical problems like heart failure, lung diseases, high level of thyroid or pneumonia
- Heart surgeries
- Excess consumption of alcohol
The primary symptoms of atrial fibrillation include the following:
- Light-headedness and dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling weak and fatigued
- Feeling as if the heart is pounding, fluttering or racing (known as palpitations)
- Feeling that the beating of the heart is uneven
- Chest pain and fainting
In many cases of atrial fibrillation, the symptoms may be absent.
Conducting several tests, physical examinations and an analysis of your health history is the first step towards diagnosing atrial fibrillation. An electrocardiogram (ECG) needs to be carried out for the detection of this condition. This test is performed for checking problems regarding the electrical activity of the heart. Other laboratory tests and an echocardiogram maybe required as well. An echocardiogram helps in observing the pumping function of the heart and to check whether the valves have been damaged.
The treatment options for atrial fibrillation depend on the cause, symptoms and the risks of getting a stroke. Several medicines are used for treatment along with other methods. They are as follows:
- Blood thinning medicines for the prevention of a stroke.
- Heart rate control medicines which will prevent irregular beating of the heart.
- Rhythm control medicines for restoring the heart’s rhythm to normal.
- A process known as cardioversion may be used to bring the heartbeat to a normal rhythm. This can be carried out by medicines or an electric shock therapy known as electrical cardioversion.
- In case of severe symptoms, ablation may be carried out where the affected areas of the heart are destroyed by the creation of a scar tissue.
For the best diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation, you must consult a doctor as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms of the condition. A doctor will prescribe all that you need for an effective treatment.
Coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease or CHD, is a kind of disease in which a wax-like substance called plaque, builds up in the coronary arteries.
Function of Coronary Artery
The task of coronary arteries is to supply oxygen rich blood to the heart muscles. When there is the growth of plaque in these arteries, the condition is termed as atherosclerosis. Plaque builds up over the years, and it hardens or ruptures with time. When plaque gets hardened, it narrows the coronary arteries and thus disrupts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles causing coronary heart diseases. Millions of people are diagnosed with heart diseases, nowadays.
Though it is true that living with a heart disease is not easy, it is not impossible either. Many people are successfully leading a happy life in spite of having such diseases. With some major changes in your lifestyle, food habits and with the help of exercises and a healthy diet, it is possible to enjoy a happy life, irrespective of your diseases.
Here are six ways that would help you to lead a better life, even if you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease.
- Lifestyle changes: This is the first point that needs to be kept in mind if you are a CAD patient. Lifestyle changes are essential to make for a better health and life. Smoking and drinking have to be given up completely. It is advised to avoid secondary smoke, as much as possible.
- Exercises: This is the next important activity that needs to be a part of your daily routine to lead a healthy life. Consult with your doctor about the types of exercise that would suit your conditions. Some common exercises that would help are walking, jogging, and swimming, for at least 30 minutes at the most. Choose whichever activity you like doing. The motive of exercises is to get your heart-rate up.
- A Heart healthy diet: Get a chart prepared for your diet by a dietitian or by your doctor. This will keep your disease from getting worse. Stick to a heart-healthy eating plan, which consists of foods that can lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, etc. Include more fruits, vegetables, and other high fibre foods in your daily diet. Go for foods that are low in saturated fats, trans-fats, and cholesterol. Try to include fish into your diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese aggravates any disease. So it is important to keep your body weight perfect.
- Taking medicines as prescribed: It is important to take medicines regularly and as prescribed by the physician.
- Keeping tensions, anxiety to a minimum: These will make the situation worse if you are CAD patient. So try to keep tension and anxiety away and lead a healthy life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cardiologist.