Heart disease concerns become more significant as you grow older and experience the effects of your chosen lifestyle. While some people are at low risk, some need intensive care and attention to prevent problems in the future. At Cardiac Associates of North Jersey in Oakland, NJ, we’re passionate about helping you make the right decisions to understand your symptoms and improve your cardiovascular health.
The Most Common Types of Heart Disease
Heart disease is commonly known as one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But did you know that there are several types of heart disease? Each type of heart disease affects the body in different ways. The key to preventing these diseases in the future comes from understanding them first.
Coronary Artery Disease
As blood vessels become narrow due to the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood, you’re most likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. This is the most common type of heart disease and demands immediate care and attention. It accounts for more than 370,000 deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Valvular Heart Disease
Patients with valvular heart disease sometimes do not experience symptoms. But that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to worry about. Without proper treatment, valvular heart disease can be life-threatening. This disease is characterized by damages or defects in one of the valves of the heart. These may affect how the blood circulates and carries nutrients throughout the body.
Peripheral Artery Disease
Poor blood circulation to the legs is one of the primary symptoms of peripheral artery disease. This usually occurs when a patient’s blood pressure on the ankle is lower than their blood pressure on the arm. Luckily, this condition is treatable when given the right attention.
8 Reasons to See Your Cardiologist
1. Shortness of Breath
If simple tasks such as climbing a flight of stairs make you stop to chase your breath, it’s time to take a closer look at your cardiovascular health. Ideally, you should be able to perform light or moderate exercise and still have enough breath to hold a conversation.
Do you often feel like you have to stop and chase your breath after exerting physical effort? It might be the right time to start talking to your cardiologist.
2. Chest Pains
A more alarming symptom of potential heart disease is chest pains. They usually happen at random and make you stop in your tracks.
Do you experience chest pains that seem to come out of nowhere? They can be a symptom of arrhythmia or coronary heart disease, which can be life-threatening when not given proper attention.
3. Poor Blood Flow
Another function of the human heart is to maintain your body temperature. By ensuring that blood flows effectively throughout your body, the heart helps to keep you warm and protect you from being cold.
Do you sometimes feel like you have extremely cold legs and feet? It could be a sign of a peripheral artery disease that demands proper care and attention.
4. High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
A regular physical exam helps ensure that your body is functioning as expected. Does your recent checkup or bloodwork reveal that you have high blood pressure and cholesterol?
Such results are alarming to many. These two are the most common risk factors for heart disease. Before you experience chest pains or shortness of breath, it is highly recommended to consult with a cardiologist.
Active or previous smokers are at higher risk of developing heart disease. The chemicals inhaled while smoking can negatively affect the heart, lungs, and other vital organs. Are you worried that this habit might take years of your life?
Consulting with a medical professional; can help you assess how smoking over the years has affected your body. Your practitioner may also suggest treatments that might help you quit the habit for good.
Another risk factor for heart disease is diabetes. When you’re suffering from diabetes and have abnormal levels of blood sugar and insulin, you have a higher risk of heart disease. It’s important to check regularly how your condition could be negatively affecting the cardiovascular system.
A body mass index or BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. Not only does obesity affect self-esteem, physical comfort, and overall confidence, it can also be a risk factor for various heart diseases that demand immediate attention.
Obesity is also often caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices that contribute to a higher risk of heart disease. If you’re obese, be sure to get your heart checked regularly.
8. Family History
Do you have parents, siblings, or relatives suffering from heart disease? Family history is another risk factor for heart disease. Coronary heart diseases may begin due to a combination of lifestyle choices and genetics, too. If you have close family members with heart problems, you should also be seeing a cardiologist.
If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, a consultation with a cardiologist might save your life in the future.
Prevention and Care Matters
There are various treatment options for individuals suffering from heart disease. With the right prevention and care, you can live longer and enjoy life to the fullest. Schedule a consultation at Cardiac Associates of North Jersey in Oakland, NJ today so you can learn more about treatment and diagnostic options that will give you peace of mind and comfort.