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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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Some people have a sore throat which they think will go away sooner rather than later. Well, while it may not seem serious, rheumatic heart disease means that it could potentially be! But, how exactly?
A sore throat usually comes about on account of bacteria affecting the region of the throat.
Sometimes what can happen is that the same bacteria can go all the way to the heart and damage the valves of it. This is very serious as the health of a person fundamentally depends on the health of his or her heart!
When a sore throat does not seem to be getting better even after about three days go by, the first thing which is to be done is to see a doctor. This is due to the fact that delays can result in the situation getting worse. As a result of this, treatment can get more complex. And who wishes to compound their own miseries, after all?
Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disorder caused by a Group A strep throat infection. It affects the connective tissue of the body, causing temporary, painful arthritis and other symptoms. In some cases, rheumatic fever causes long-term damage to the heart and its valves. This is called rheumatic heart disease.
Children who are aged between five and fifteen years of age are at risk of rheumatic heart disease. Now, while it is true that children are likely to fall sick more often than adults as their immune systems may not be all that strong, a special eye is to be kept out for rheumatic heart disease. The general symptoms which a parent should look out for are a sore throat, a cough and a fever. The tough part is that these symptoms appear which a range of other conditions!
When it comes to knowing that rheumatic heart disease is what is affecting a person, a special blood test is taken and if there is a need, an ECG and some other measures confirm rheumatic heart disease. Penicillin is a wonder drug and it is used in the treatment of rheumatic heart disease, as well. It is the general form of treatment, in fact, and people with the disease are often put on a course of injections. This means that they need to have an injection every 21 days until you reach 25 years so as to make sure that there is no further damage which can affect the valves of the heart. The importance of this cannot be impressed enough.
It is unfortunate that in many cases, people only discover that they have rheumatic heart disease once they reach adulthood. The valves of the heart may be leaking or significantly damaged by the time that the discovery is made. Is it not a lot better to save oneself from this sort of situation?
Signs and symptoms of rheumatic fever
- Carditis: inflammation of the heart muscle and heart tissue. Carditis can cause a rapid heart rate, fatigue, shortness of breath and exercise intolerance. This is the most serious of the symptoms and may have long-term effects on health.
- Arthritis: swelling, redness and pain in the joints, especially knees, ankles, elbows and wrists. This is a common symptom and occurs in approximately 70 percent of people who have rheumatic fever
- Splotchy rash that doesn’t itch
- Subcutaneous nodules: tiny, hard lumps under the skin
How to Prevent Rheumatic Fever
Practicing proper hygiene methods can help prevent strep throat. These include:
Most families refer to their newborn baby as their 'bundle of joy'. The news of a child being born brings immense joy to the entire family. However, due to various reasons, a child could be born with some medical abnormalities, which would be known as congenital abnormalities.
If your child has a congenital heart defect, it means that your child was born with a problem in the structure of his or her heart. Some congenital heart defects in children are simple and don't need treatment. Other congenital heart defects in children are more complex and may require several surgeries performed over a period of several years.
There are several different types of heart defects that can be congenital. These usually manifest themselves either immediately after birth or in the early years of life. In some cases, the abnormality could be detected on prenatal ultrasounds. In others, it may not be and the family could be caught off guard about the condition. This causes a lot of stress, both for the child, who does not receive regular postnatal care and for the parents immediately after the delivery process.
If the baby has the following symptoms within the first few hours of life, there could be a serious underlying condition, which requires medical attention. The presence and severity of the symptoms would depend on the actual abnormality.
- The skin is pale gray or blue in color due to excessive venous flow in the system
- Excessive sweating
- The child is exerting to breathe regularly
- Rapid breathing causes added load on the heart accompanied by a grunting noise
- Flared nostrils i.e. the baby attempts to take in more oxygen with each breath causes flared nostrils
- Swollen legs, eyes, and abdomen: Fluid retention in the legs and abdomen is quite common, and this could be characteristic of newborns with congenital heart disease
- Shortness of breath, even during feeding
- Clubbed fingernails
- Lethargy and low energy, even with feeding, therefore very poor feeding pattern
- Chest pain, which may cause the newborn to cry incessantly
- Low weight gain, as they feed less
In some children, symptoms manifest only during the teenage years or early adulthood. These conditions are not very severe and the symptoms include:
- Swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles due to fluid accumulation
- Lowered energy levels, leading to easy fatigue
- Shortness of breath with even minimal physical activity
- Inability to exercise
- Developmental delays and changes in growth milestones
- Recurrent respiratory tract infections including sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Heart failure, where the heart is not able to effectively function and pump blood to all parts of the body.
Some or more of these symptoms should trigger a warning to get the child tested for congenital heart disease. While some would just require a monitoring until severe symptoms develop, severe conditions like holes, abnormal valves, narrowed arteries, and blood vessel abnormalities might require immediate intervention. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cardiologist.When to see a doctor
Serious congenital heart defects are often diagnosed before or soon after your child is born. If you notice that your baby has any of the signs or symptoms above, call your child's doctor.
If your child has any of the signs or symptoms of less serious heart defects as he or she grows, call your child's doctor. Your child's doctor can let you know if your child's symptoms are due to a heart defect or another medical condition.
Blockage in heart is a common term used for narrowing of coronary arteries. Coronary arteries are vessels, which supply blood and thus oxygen and food) to continuously working heart muscles. Heart muscles which are not tired working from the birth till death, however, cannot sustain long without blood supply.
A reduction in blood supply gives rise to ischemia of heart muscles commonly manifested as chest discomfort or angina. A sudden complete shutdown of blood supply leads to heart attack leading to permanent damage to heart (if blood flow not reestablished promptly).
But what causes these arteries to block? Deposition of LDL cholesterol (low density cholesterol) in inner surface of coronary arteries is the primary reason of these blockages. LDL a normal component of blood (upto certain limit) starts depositing in arteries as early as 10 years of age!
Deposition of billions of LDL molecules over several years on inner surface of arteries gives rise to visible narrowings in these arteries. Flow ahead of these narrowings is reduced in proportion to the narrowing. At a level of 70 % narrowing the flow is reduced to give ischemia (and angina) during exercise. Gradually increasing degree of narrowing reduces the exercise needed for ischemia and angina; a narrowing of more than 90 % can give symptoms at rest. A sudden clot formation at any of these stages can block the flow suddenly giving a heart attack.
If LDL is a normal component of blood, why it is deposited in the arteries at first place?
LDL above a certain limit in blood starts depositing in the arteries. Diabetes, Hypertension, smoking, less exercise and genetics makes it more sticky thus making narrowing faster. This is why these risk elements need to be properly attended for prevention from heart disease. For treatment medicines are important for stopping the progression of narrowings; angioplasty is a method of fast resolution of blockage; and bypass surgery is the method of creating a whole new blood supply for the affected part of the heart.
A heart attack allows you to get a double take on life. Once you survive it, you tend to realize how close your brush with death has been and how important your lifestyle choices can be. Most people go on to live a productive life after a heart attack provided they can adhere to making healthy choices. Here's what you can do if you have experienced your first attack and want to change for the better:
1. Start at the hospital: A person usually stays in the hospital for 3 days after an attack to monitor their condition. This duration increases if you have complications that involve procedures like a bypass surgery. Your first significant change will come to your medication routine. Your existing dosages may be adjusted and you'll possibly prescribed newer medicines that will treat and control your symptoms. You'll not only need to know the names of all your medicines but when you have to take them. Its best you know exactly why are taking each of them, if there are other more economic alternatives since this may last a lifetime and what side effects they may have.
2. Maintaining your mental health: Once bitten, twice shy applies for heart attack victims too. Not only do they live in a constant worry about another attack, every small symptom like a harmless muscle pull can trigger the fear factor. You also get into the "heart patient" dependent mode based on how much help you need to recover. Check for support groups and other heart attack survivors in your locality to see how they are coping. Read more about your recovery and try to keep a positive frame of mind.
3. Go for cardiac rehab: Many hospitals have a rehabilitation program that you can participate in as an outpatient or you can go to a clinic that specializes in it. Such programs help speed up your recovery. It is run by people who will hand hold you in bringing positive changes in your life to protect and strengthen your heart. You'll learn activities that positively improve heart functions and reduce your chances of developing complications or dying from heart disease. You'll also benefit from exercises that'll be taught by a certified exercise specialist.
4. Making lifestyle changes: Quitting smoking is an obvious one. You'll now have to lead a more active lifestyle with daily exercise. You'll also need to actively manage your diabetes and obesity. None of these changes can happen in a day. In fact, behavioural scientists suggest that you need to practice a new activity continuously for twenty one days for it to become a habit.
In today’s time, modern lifestyle certainly has made a living a lot simpler, but it has also invited early death rate.
What does study say?
As per the data made by the National Healthcare Center, it has been found out that over the past few years, the number of death rates is increasing due to heart attack and the prime reason for the same is stress and an unhealthy diet. Often we tend to search online for what things can be done to prevent such early death due to a heart attack. In that case, you have to make up your mind and ensure that the diet regimen, workout session and changes in lifestyle are followed in the right manner.
Preventive measures to reduce risk of a heart attack:
It does not matter what is your current age, looking at the changes that a human is going through with the lifestyle there is no doubt that even young people are prone to this problem.
Here are some important tips that can help you from a heart attack.
- A healthy diet is the best option: Avoid eating junk food, cholesterol based food, or the do no drink much as these slowly reduce your life quality. Cholesterol based or high-fat food increases the risk of heart attack. Junk food is all about taste, and there is nothing healthy included in it. Instead switch to healthy diet plan rich in fibre, vitamins, and minerals that can regulate the body. Choosing healthy meat with the leanest cuts and restricting down the sugar intake will have a good impact on your overall health.
- Workout is another answer for All Your Problem: It is always better that you are physically active so that you can keep the heart rate at a good speed. This will speed up metabolism rate, burn unnecessary calories, and increase the rate of your heart so that you can lose weight at the same time stay active. Besides, physical activities like aerobics and swimming are some high-intensity workout that reduces the risk of heart attack to a great extent. Right from kids to adults above 60 years of age should perform a workout of at least 30 minutes even a walk is fine, but staying physically active is extremely important.
- Regular preventive health checkup should be done.
These are just some of the tips that can help you improve your quality of life. Your doctor is your life saver. He is the one who can guide you at every step and help you understand the right way to stay fit and healthy in the long run. Instead of just ignoring the symptoms, if you notice any make sure you speak with your doctor about the same and take necessary preventive measures as advised.
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.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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.