Cardiology; what it is and why it is important

Cardiology; what it is and why it is important

Cardiology is the study of heart defects and ailments. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both sexes. One in every four people dies from it each year. Coronary heart disease is the most contracted. Others die from heart attacks, and a larger percentage has not witnessed one before. The deaths are specific to race, geography, and ethnicity.

Heart disease affects the coronary artery and deteriorates with time as it continues to narrow down and blood flow to that area of the heart reduces. This is due to the accumulating cholesterol in the artery. If the inner part of the artery is inflamed, cholesterol may fill up in the area and form a plaque which continues to grow reducing the diameter of the artery. In some instances, it may rapture creating a blood clot which blocks the artery and leads to a heart attack.

There are many factors that can accelerate a heart disease. These include hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, lack of exercise, taking excessive alcohol, lack of balanced diet meals, weight gain and obesity. The answer to reducing heart diseases, therefore, is the stoppage of smoking, managing diabetes, finding out about your family history, exercise, eating healthy, losing weight, lowering cholesterol levels and controlling your blood pressure.

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There are certain symptom’s that can act as red flags where heart disease is involved. For example, some people will complain of pain in the torso that usually runs all the way to the left shoulder and the hand or jaw, shallow breathing, lightheadedness, sweating, nausea, irregular heart rate and high blood pressure. Others may complain of indigestion or back pain. Diabetes patients and the elderly tend to experience general tiredness and weakness of the body thus leading to little or no body activity. Even doing daily house chores may become an uphill task. If you experience these problems, the best thing is to get examined by a cardiologist. If you have a family history of heart conditions or high body fat, you plan to start going to the gym, you smoke or have diabetes, it is also wise to visit the doctor just to get a greenlight.

Cardiologists deal with the identification and treatment of heart diseases and blood vessels. A cardiologist will examine patients by testing them, doing surgical repair or catheterization or slipping in a pacemaker. He or she can treat ailments like ventricular tachycardia, hypertension, high blood cholesterol, triglycerides, pericarditis, congenital heart disease, congestive heart disease, coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis.

Common tests for the heart diseases include Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), Chest x-rays, Cardiac catheterization and Angiogram, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Echocardiogram, Computerized tomography (CT) and Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE).


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