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For "Informational Use Only".For more detailed information, contact your health care provider about options that may be available for your specific situation.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term encompassing heart attack, stroke, and other disorders of the heart and blood vessel system. Blood dyscrasias (abnormalities); these diseases can involve the bone, bone marrow, liver, or spleen. Heart disease may sometimes be due to an infection, but most heart disease develops because of changes in the blood vessels.
Cardiac catherization and angiogram - introduction of catheter and dyes into the vascular system under fluoroscopy.
Ultrasound - sound waves are bounced against tissues to reflect variations in tissue density. To take your pulse, place the first two fingers of your right hand between the bone and tendon of your left wrist. Angina, also called angina pectoris, refers to pain or heavy pressure in the chest that is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle an insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart tissue. Angina is relatively common but can be hard to distinguish from other types of chest pain, such as the pain or discomfort of indigestion. The chest pain and discomfort common with angina may be described as pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. Can usually be predicted and the pain is usually similar to previous types of chest pain you have had. Angina in Women: A woman's angina symptoms can be different from the classic angina symptoms. Angina is characterized by a heavy or dull, tight pain, discomfort or pressure in the chest area with increasing intensity. Signs and symptoms may differ with individuals, but the symptoms are usually the same each time a person experiences an attack.
If your chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes and does not go away when you rest or take your angina medications, it may be a sign you are having a heart attack. The chest pain that can occur with angina can make some normal activities, such as walking, uncomfortable.
Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest that lasts for more than a few minutes. Pain extending beyond your chest to your shoulder, arm, back, or even to your teeth and jaw.
If you are having sudden chest pain (unstable angina), call 911 or your local emergency number right away.
To diagnose angina, your health care provider will start by doing a physical exam and asking about your symptoms.
There are many options for angina treatment, including lifestyle changes, medications, angioplasty and stenting, or coronary bypass surgery. Medications: If lifestyle changes alone do not help your angina, you may need to take medications. If you have diabetes, make sure that it is well-controlled and that you are following an optimal diet and exercise plan. Because angina is often brought on by exertion, it is helpful to pace yourself and take rest breaks.
Eat a healthy diet with lots of whole grains, many fruits and vegetables, and limited amounts of saturated fat. Treat diseases or conditions that can increase your risk of angina, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. If you are caring for a person with angina pectoris, you may assist them by first asking if they are on medication for angina. Report any signs or symptoms of an attack to the patient's health care provider at once, especially if medication has not relieved pain within 10 minutes of initially taking it. Cardiac arrhythmias are disruptions in the natural rhythm of the heartbeat that are caused by improper functioning of electrical system cells in the heart. Palpitations is a term that refers to the feeling of a pounding heartbeat, whether regular or irregular. Flutter and fibrillation are situations in which the normal steady beating of the heart are converted by electrical error into a rapid twitching of the heart muscle. Electrical conduction in the heart originates in the SA node and travels through the AV node to the ventricles, resulting in a heart beat. Cardiac arrhythmia (also dysrhythmia) is a term for any of a large and heterogenous group of conditions in which there is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. Arrhythmias may cause you to feel premature or extra heartbeats, or you may feel that your heart is racing or beating too slowly. The normal human heart is made up of four chambers - two upper chambers (atria) and two lower chambers (ventricles). The electrical impulses then arrive at a cluster of cells called the atrioventricular node (AV node) - usually the only pathway for signals to travel from the atria to the ventricles. In a healthy heart, this process usually goes smoothly, resulting in a normal resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute in the average adult.
Tachycardia: This refers to a fast heartbeat, a resting heart rate greater than 100 beats a minute. Bradycardia: This refers to a slow heartbeat, a resting heart rate less than 60 beats a minute. Although a heart rate below 60 beats a minute while at rest is considered bradycardia, a low resting heart rate does not always signal a problem. Premature Heartbeats: Although it often feels like a skipped heartbeat, a premature heartbeat is actually an extra beat. Medical assessment of the abnormality using an electrocardiogram is the best way to diagnose and assess the risk of any given arrhythmia. These cannot usually diagnose specific dysrhythmias, but can give a general indication of the heart rate and whether it is regular or irregular. Because arrhythmias are such a heterogenous group of conditions, treatment needs to be carefully selected by a patient with their physician. To diagnose a heart arrhythmia, your health care provider will review your symptoms and your medical history and conduct a physical examination.
Treating Slow Heartbeats: If slow heartbeats (bradycardias) do not have a cause that can be corrected, practitioners often treat them with a pacemaker because there are not any medications that can reliably speed up your heart.
Your health care provider may suggest that, in addition to other treatments, you make lifestyle changes that will keep your heart as healthy as possible. Using over the counter medication with caution, as some cold and cough medications contain stimulants that may trigger a rapid heartbeat. Research is ongoing regarding the effectiveness of several forms of complementary and alternative medical therapies for arrhythmia. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, a nutrient found mostly in Fish, in the prevention and treatment of arrhythmias is not yet clear. Roughened areas known as atheromas, which are growths developed over deposits of fatty materials, form on the inner walls of the arteries and narrow the vessels. The vessels of the heart and brain, and those leading to the legs from the body, are often affected.
The atheromas gradually grow larger until they eventually block blood flow to the parts and organs served by the affected vessels.
Sometimes clots that have formed over the irregular areas in the vessel walls break off and travel as emboli to block distant vessels. The exact cause of this vascular disease is unknown, but several factors seem to increase the risk that a person will develop it. Aortic Atherosclerosis is a systemic disease involving the heart, brain, aorta, and peripheral arteries. Arteriosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff, sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues.
If you have atherosclerosis in your heart arteries, you may have symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure (angina). If you have atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your brain, you may have signs and symptoms such as sudden numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, or drooping muscles in your face. If you have atherosclerosis in the arteries in your arms and legs, you may have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).
If you have atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your kidneys, you develop high blood pressure or kidney failure.
If you have atherosclerosis in the arteries leading to your genitals, you may have difficulties having sex.
Inflammation from diseases, such as arthritis, lupus or infections, or inflammation of unknown cause. Once the inner wall of an artery is damaged, blood cells and other substances often clump at the injury site and build up in the inner lining of the artery.
Other imaging tests may include the use of ultrasound, a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) to study your arteries.
Your health care provider may suggest certain medications to control specific risk factors for atherosclerosis, such as diabetes. Lifestyle changes can help you prevent or slow the progression of atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease). In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, remember the importance of regular medical checkups. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that's thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body, a contributing factor to coronary artery disease.
Other supplements may help reduce your blood pressure or cholesterol level, two contributing factors to coronary artery disease.
Anemia is a condition that results from a decrease in the quantity or quality of red blood cells.
When you're a family member coping with the hearing loss of a loved one, you may encounter frustration, the feeling of being ignored, separation from the relationship and isolation from daily family life. When a family member has a hearing loss, treated or untreated, the loss impacts the entire family and communication skills are put to the test. DiMarco uses the universal language of dance to change the hearing world’s perception of what it means to be Deaf – and he just might win the Mirrorball trophy in the process. The goal of heart healthy recipes is to maintain healthy levels of cholesterols and fatty molecules called lipids. Water isn't glamorous but it's always a healthy choice to wash down your meals and snacks.
The antioxidants in red wine have long been connected to heart health in the popular media, although its benefits haven't proven out as well in human studies as in mice.
Pistachios have also been linked to heart health, so if you've already had your fill of dark chocolate in your trail mix, consider a handful of pistachios to end your meal. Remember, every step you take to improve the health of your heart will positively impact your hearing health. The term Heart Disease refers only to the diseases of the heart and blood vessel system within the heart.
As the openings of the blood vessels become smaller, the heart must work harder and harder to do the job of pumping blood to the body.
Be sure to read the instructions carefully while using these wrist monitors for accurate results.
If the heart's blood vessels narrow, the amount of blood they supply to the heart may be insufficient to provide the oxygen the heart needs. It is typically described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in the chest. Some people with angina symptoms describe angina as feeling like a vise is squeezing their chest or feeling like a heavy weight has been placed on their chest. For example, women often experience symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or extreme fatigue, with or without chest pain. It is usually centered under the breast bone (sternum), spreading to the left arm (or either or both arms) and up into the back, jaw, or neck, or any combination of these sites.
If fat-containing deposits (plaques) in a blood vessel rupture and a blood clot forms, it can quickly block or reduce flow through a narrowed artery, suddenly and severely decreasing blood flow to your heart muscle.
Variant angina, also called Prinzmetal's angina, is caused by a spasm in a coronary artery in which the artery temporarily narrows. Chewing tobacco, smoking and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke damage the interior walls of arteries, including arteries to your heart, allowing deposits of cholesterol to collect and block blood flow. Diabetes is the inability of your body to produce enough insulin or respond to insulin properly.
Blood pressure is determined by the amount of blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. Cholesterol is a major part of the deposits that can narrow arteries throughout your body, including those that supply your heart. If you have coronary artery disease or if you have had a heart attack, you are at a greater risk of developing angina.
An inactive lifestyle contributes to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Obesity raises the risk of angina and heart disease because it is associated with high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. However, the most dangerous complication to be concerned about with angina is a heart attack.
If you think you may have recurring angina because your symptoms are brief and only occur during exercise, or you are worried about your angina risk because of a strong family history, make an appointment with your family practitioner. You will also be asked about any risk factors, including whether you have a family history of heart disease.
An electrocardiogram traces the electrical signals that cause your heart to beat as they travel through your heart.
A nuclear stress test helps measure blood flow to your heart muscle at rest and during stress. Certain heart enzymes slowly leak out into your blood if your heart has been damaged by a heart attack.
Coronary angiography uses X-ray imaging to examine the inside of your heart's blood vessels.
The goals of treatment are to reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms and to lower your risk of heart attack and death.
Aspirin reduces the ability of your blood to clot, making it easier for blood to flow through narrowed heart arteries.
Certain medications, such as clopidogrel (Plavix), prasugrel (Effient) and ticagrelor (Brilinta), can help prevent blood clots from forming by making your blood platelets less likely to stick together. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine, also known as adrenaline.
Calcium channel blockers, also called calcium antagonists, relax and widen blood vessels by affecting the muscle cells in the arterial walls. Ranexa can be used alone or with other angina medications, such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers or nitroglycerin. But procedures, such as angioplasty, stenting and coronary artery bypass surgery, also are used to treat angina.
During an angioplasty, also called a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), a tiny balloon is inserted into your narrowed artery.
During coronary artery bypass surgery, a vein or artery from somewhere else in your body is used to bypass a blocked or narrowed heart artery.
When the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats do not work properly, this causes your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly.
This ineffective functioning results in an insufficient supply of blood being carried to the body's tissues. The commonest symptom of arrhythmia is an abnormal awareness of heartbeat, termed palpitations. In addition, because troublesome heart arrhythmias are often made worse, or even caused, by a weak or damaged heart, you may be able to reduce your arrhythmia risk by adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle. In fact, your health care provider might find you have an arrhythmia before you do, during a routine examination.
Other signs and symptoms may be related to your heart not pumping effectively due to the fast or slow heartbeat. Common symptoms associated with tachycardia are palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, and even fainting spells. If there is no one nearby trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), provide hands-only CPR.
The rhythm of the heart is normally controlled by a natural pacemaker (the sinus node) located in the right atrium.
Conditioned athletes at rest commonly have a heart rate less than 60 beats a minute because their hearts are so efficient.
For example, during exercise it is normal to develop a fast heartbeat as the heart speeds up to provide your tissues with more oxygen-rich blood.

Atrial fibrillation is a rapid heart rate caused by chaotic electrical impulses in the atria. Supraventricular tachycardia is a broad term that includes many forms of arrhythmia originating above the ventricles (supraventricular) in the atria or AV node. In Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a type of supraventricular tachycardia, there is an extra electrical pathway between the atria and the ventricles, which is present at birth. Ventricular tachycardia is a rapid, regular heart rate that originates with abnormal electrical signals in the ventricles.
Ventricular fibrillation occurs when rapid, chaotic electrical impulses cause the ventricles to quiver ineffectively instead of pumping necessary blood to the body.
Long QT syndrome is a heart disorder that carries an increased risk of fast, chaotic heartbeats. If you are physically fit, you may have an efficient heart capable of pumping an adequate supply of blood with fewer than 60 beats a minute at rest. If the sinus node, which is responsible for setting the pace of the heart, is not sending impulses properly, the heart rate may be too slow (bradycardia), or it may speed up (tachycardia) and slow down intermittently. A block of your heart's electrical pathways can occur in or near the AV node, which lies on the pathway between your atria and your ventricles. Even though you may feel an occasional premature beat, it seldom means you have a more serious problem. Narrowed heart arteries, a heart attack, abnormal heart valves, prior heart surgery, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and other heart damage are risk factors for almost any kind of arrhythmia.
Certain over-the-counter cough and cold medicines and certain prescription drugs may contribute to arrhythmia development.
Your risk of developing coronary artery disease and high blood pressure greatly increases with uncontrolled diabetes. This disorder, in which your breathing is interrupted during sleep, can increase your risk of bradycardia, atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias. Substances in your blood called electrolytes, such as Potassium, Sodium, Calcium and Magnesium, help trigger and conduct the electrical impulses in your heart.
Drinking too much alcohol can affect the electrical impulses in your heart and can increase the chance of developing atrial fibrillation.
Caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants can cause your heart to beat faster and may contribute to the development of more-serious arrhythmias. When your heart quivers, it is unable to pump blood effectively, which can cause blood to pool.
Heart failure can result if your heart is pumping ineffectively for a prolonged period due to a bradycardia or tachycardia, such as atrial fibrillation. Cardiac dysrhythmias are often first detected by simple but nonspecific means: auscultation of the heartbeat with a stethoscope, or feeling for peripheral pulses.
Your practitioner may ask about, or test for, conditions that may trigger your arrhythmia, such as heart disease or a problem with your thyroid gland. During an ECG, sensors (electrodes) that can detect the electrical activity of your heart are attached to your chest and sometimes to your limbs. This portable ECG device can be worn for a day or more to record your heart's activity as you go about your routine. For sporadic arrhythmias, you keep this portable ECG device available, attaching it to your body and pressing a button when you have symptoms.
In this noninvasive test, a hand-held device (transducer) placed on your chest uses sound waves to produce images of your heart's size, structure and motion. In this test, practitioners thread thin, flexible tubes (catheters) tipped with electrodes through your blood vessels to a variety of spots within your heart. Usually it is required only if the arrhythmia is causing significant symptoms or if it is putting you at risk of a more serious arrhythmia or arrhythmia complication. You may be able to stop an arrhythmia that begins above the lower half of your heart (supraventricular tachycardia) by using particular maneuvers that include holding your breath and straining, dunking your face in ice water, or coughing. For many types of tachycardia, you may be prescribed medication to control your heart rate or restore a normal heart rhythm. If you have a certain type of arrhythmia, such as atrial fibrillation, your practitioner may use cardioversion, which can be conducted as a procedure or using medications.
In this procedure, your practitioner threads one or more catheters through your blood vessels to your heart.
This device may be recommended if you are at high risk of developing a dangerously fast or irregular heartbeat in the lower half of your heart (ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation).
In the maze procedure, a surgeon makes a series of surgical incisions in the heart tissue in the upper half of your heart (atria) to create a pattern or maze of scar tissue. If you have severe coronary artery disease in addition to arrhythmias, your practitioner may perform coronary bypass surgery. Eat a healthy diet that is low in salt and solid fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
If you smoke and cannot quit on your own, discuss strategies or programs to help you break a smoking habit. Make lifestyle changes and take medications as prescribed to correct high blood pressure (hypertension) or high cholesterol. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. Take your medications as prescribed and have regular follow-up appointments with your health care provider. But it appears as though this substance may be helpful in preventing and treating some arrhythmias. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but over time, the walls in your arteries can harden, a condition commonly called hardening of the arteries. These signal a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which, if left untreated, may progress to a stroke. Also pay attention to early symptoms of inadequate blood flow, such as chest pain (angina), leg pain or numbness.
Although the exact cause is unknown, atherosclerosis may start with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery.
Over time, fatty deposits (plaques) made of cholesterol and other cellular products also build up at the injury site and harden, narrowing your arteries.
When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to your heart, you may develop coronary artery disease, which can cause chest pain (angina), a heart attack or heart failure. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to your brain, you may develop carotid artery disease, which can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries in your arms or legs, you may develop circulation problems in your arms and legs called peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis can also cause aneurysms, a serious complication that can occur anywhere in your body. Lab tests can detect increased levels of cholesterol and blood sugar that may increase the risk of atherosclerosis. Your health care provider may use a special ultrasound device (Doppler ultrasound) to measure your blood pressure at various points along your arm or leg. A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, is used to gather information about how well your heart works during physical activity. These tests can often show hardening and narrowing of large arteries, as well as aneurysms and calcium deposits in the artery walls.
Your health care provider may prescribe anti-platelet medications, such as aspirin, to reduce the likelihood that platelets will clump in narrowed arteries, form a blood clot and cause further blockage.
These medications may help slow the progression of atherosclerosis by lowering blood pressure and producing other beneficial effects on the heart arteries. Sometimes specific medications to treat symptoms of atherosclerosis, such as leg pain during exercise, are prescribed.
In this procedure, your health care provider inserts a long, thin tube (catheter) into the blocked or narrowed part of your artery. In some cases, fatty deposits must be surgically removed from the walls of a narrowed artery.
If you have an artery that is blocked by a blood clot, your health care provider may use a clot-dissolving drug to break it apart. Your health care provider may create a graft bypass using a vessel from another part of your body or a tube made of synthetic fabric. Ask your health care provider for a baseline cholesterol test when you are in your 20s and at least every five years after. Exercise helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure.
A heart-healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, that emphasizes plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Some of the main risk factors for coronary artery disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes, have no symptoms in the early stages. In addition to a heart healthy diet, these nutrients are important for heart health and are available in our foods and as supplements.
Nuts and seeds are good dietary sources of essential nutrients used to control cholesterol and contribute to heart health. Dyscrasia is a general term which is used to describe any abnormality in the blood or bone marrow's cellular components, such as low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count or low platelet count. The oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells, hemoglobin, consists of two different proteins, an alpha and a beta protein. This is done by reducing the bad types of cholesterol, mainly low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are harmful to the heart. A quick Google search will give you thousands of articles on the top heart healthy foods in the world. Consider using mayonnaise made with olive oil, another healthy fat, instead of traditional mayonnaise as a way to reduce your LDL intake.
An inexpensive stethoscope can also be purchased either alone or with a blood pressure cuff from a pharmacy or medical supply resource for home use. This chest pain may be severe or mild and is usually associated with physical exertion and relieved by rest. If the heart's blood vessels narrow, as in atherosclerotic changes, the amount of blood they supply to the heart may be insufficient to provide the oxygen the heart needs. Or a woman may feel discomfort in her neck, jaw or back or stabbing pain instead of the more typical chest pressure.
When your heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen, it causes a condition called ischemia. When you climb stairs, exercise or walk, your heart demands more blood, but it is harder for the muscle to get enough blood when your arteries are narrowed. Unstable angina can also be caused by blood clots that block or partially block your heart's blood vessels. Insulin, a hormone secreted by your pancreas, allows your body to use glucose, which is a form of sugar from foods. However, it is important to talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. Your practitioner can look for patterns among these heartbeats to see if the blood flow through your heart has been slowed, interrupted or if you are having a heart attack. During a stress test, you exercise by walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bicycle.
These images are used to identify whether there are areas of your heart muscle that have been damaged by poor blood flow, a cause of angina. It is similar to a routine stress test, but during a nuclear stress test, a radioactive substance is injected into your bloodstream. This is to look for other conditions that might explain your symptoms and to see if you have an enlarged heart. An X-ray tube inside the machine rotates around your body and collects images of your heart and chest, which can show if any of your heart's arteries are narrowed or if your heart is enlarged. However, if you have unstable angina or angina pain that is different from what you usually have, such as occurring when you are at rest, you need immediate treatment in a hospital. Nitrates relax and widen your blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to your heart muscle.
As a result, the heart beats more slowly and with less force, thereby reducing blood pressure.
Unlike some other angina medications, Ranexa can be used if you're taking oral erectile dysfunction medications. The balloon is inflated to widen the artery, and then a small wire mesh coil (stent) is usually inserted to keep the artery open. Because heart disease is often the cause of most forms of angina, you can reduce or prevent angina by working on reducing your heart disease risk factors.
If yes, then ask the patient if there is a pill or spray they can take for the angina pain. Some are quite dangerous - even immediately life-threatening - while others may be merely annoying (or scarcely noticeable), and pose no particular danger.
Some arrhythmias are life-threatening medical emergencies that can result in cardiac arrest and sudden death. These include shortness of breath or wheezing, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting or near fainting, and chest pain or discomfort.
Sometimes tachycardias are so mild that they are not even noticed; but some tachycardias may be life-threatening.
This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly instead of pumping blood. During sleep or times of deep relaxation, it is not unusual for the heart beat to be slower. The heartbeats in atrial flutter are more-organized and more-rhythmic electrical impulses than in atrial fibrillation. The rapid heart rate does not allow the ventricles to fill and contract efficiently to pump enough blood to the body. This serious problem is fatal if the heart is not restored to a normal rhythm within minutes. The rapid heartbeats, caused by changes in the electrical system of your heart, may lead to fainting, and can be life-threatening.
In addition, certain medications used to treat other conditions, such as high blood pressure, may lower your heart rate. Sick sinus syndrome can also be caused by scarring near the sinus node that is slowing, disrupting or blocking the travel of impulses. Still, a premature beat can trigger a longer lasting arrhythmia, especially in people with heart disease. It may also cause the walls of your left ventricle to become stiff and thick, which can change how electrical impulses travel through your heart. Electrolyte levels that are too high or too low can affect your heart's electrical impulses and contribute to arrhythmia development.
Illegal drugs, such as amphetamines and cocaine, may profoundly affect the heart and lead to many types of arrhythmias or to sudden death due to ventricular fibrillation.
Sometimes controlling the rate of an arrhythmia that is causing heart failure can improve your heart's function. The simplest specific diagnostic test for assessment of heart rhythm is the electrocardiogram (abbreviated ECG or EKG). During a stress test, you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while your heart activity is monitored.
Once in place, the electrodes can map the spread of electrical impulses through your heart.
One or more electrode-tipped wires run from the pacemaker through your blood vessels to your inner heart.
These maneuvers affect the nervous system that controls your heartbeat (vagus nerves), often causing your heart rate to slow. It is very important to take any anti-arrhythmic medication exactly as directed by your practitioner in order to minimize complications. In the procedure, a shock is delivered to your heart through paddles or patches on your chest. Electrodes at the catheter tips can use heat, extreme cold or radiofrequency energy to damage (ablate) a small spot of heart tissue and create an electrical block along the pathway that is causing your arrhythmia. If you have had sudden cardiac arrest or have certain heart conditions that increase your risk of sudden cardiac arrest, your practitioner may also recommend an ICD.
Because scar tissue does not conduct electricity, it interferes with stray electrical impulses that cause some types of arrhythmia.
Trans-esophageal echocardiography, a type of ultrasound test, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) have been used to identify plaque buildup.
Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis, but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. You usually will not have atherosclerosis symptoms until an artery is so narrowed or clogged that it cannot supply adequate blood to your organs and tissues.

In women, high blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the vagina, making sex less pleasurable. Early diagnosis and treatment can stop atherosclerosis from worsening and prevent a heart attack, stroke or another medical emergency. The organs and tissues connected to the blocked arteries then do not receive enough blood to function properly. This can make you less sensitive to heat and cold, increasing your risk of burns or frostbite. You will need to go without eating or drinking anything but water for nine to 12 hours before your blood test. These measurements can help your health care provider gauge the degree of any blockages, as well as the speed of blood flow in your arteries. Your health care provider may compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm.
Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than it does during most daily activities, an exercise stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise. A liquid dye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a long, thin tube (catheter) that is fed through an artery, usually in your leg, to the arteries in your heart. They lower your heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the demand on your heart and often relieve symptoms of chest pain. A second catheter with a deflated balloon on its tip is then passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. When the procedure is done on arteries in the neck (the carotid arteries), it is called a carotid endarterectomy. He or she may recommend more frequent measurements if your blood pressure is higher than normal or you have a history of heart disease. If your test results are not within desirable ranges, your practitioner may recommend more-frequent measurements. Losing even just a few pounds can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of coronary artery disease. Practice healthy techniques for managing stress, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing. Fatty fish, such as salmon, herring and, to a lesser extent, tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and, therefore, the most benefit. If the body does not produce enough of either of these two proteins, the red blood cells do not form properly and cannot carry sufficient oxygen. Toss them together for a hearing and heart-friendly snack that's sure to please the whole family.
It is the number one cause of death in the United States, claiming well in excess of 1 million lives annually. A heavy, tight pain in the chest area characterizes angina, usually after some type of exertion. The most common cause of reduced blood flow to your heart muscle is coronary artery disease (CAD).
Besides physical activity, other factors, such as emotional stress, cold temperatures, heavy meals and smoking, also can narrow arteries and trigger angina.
Diabetes increases the risk of coronary artery disease, which leads to angina and heart attacks by speeding up atherosclerosis. A high level of triglycerides, a type of blood fat related to your diet, also is undesirable. During coronary angiography, a type of dye that is visible by X-ray machine is injected into the blood vessels of your heart. You might take a nitrate when you have angina-related chest discomfort, before doing something that normally triggers angina (such as physical exertion), or on a long-term preventive basis. But do not start taking a daily aspirin without talking to your health care provider first. Beta blockers also help blood vessels relax and open up to improve blood flow, thus reducing or preventing angina. They may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol that has accumulated in plaques in your artery walls, helping prevent further blockage in your blood vessels. It is a treatment option for both unstable angina and stable angina that has not responded to other treatments.
Preventing angina can be achieved by making these same lifestyle changes helping to improve your symptoms.
A patient with a previous bouts of angina usually have medication that can be taken (placed or sprayed under the tongue) to relieve pain. However some heart arrhythmias may cause bothersome, sometimes even life-threatening signs and symptoms. Others cause aggravating symptoms such as an abnormal awareness of heart beat, and may be merely annoying. Some of these arrhythmias are harmless (though annoying) but many of them predispose to adverse outcomes. Seek urgent medical care if you suddenly or frequently experience any of these signs and symptoms at a time when you would not expect to feel them. Most cases of tachycardia are due to an abnormal electrical pathway known as a re-entry circuit.
Without an effective heartbeat, blood pressure plummets, cutting off blood supply to your vital organs. From the sinus node, electrical impulses travel across the atria, causing the atria muscles to contract and pump blood into the ventricles. When electrical impulses reach the muscles of the ventricles, they contract, causing them to pump blood either to the lungs or to the rest of the body. The chaotic electrical signals bombard the AV node, usually resulting in an irregular, rapid rhythm of the ventricles.
This pathway may allow electrical signals to pass between the atria and the ventricles without passing through the AV node, leading to short circuits and rapid heartbeats.
Most people who experience ventricular fibrillation have an underlying heart disease or have experienced serious trauma, such as being struck by lightning.
Depending on the location and type of block, the impulses between the upper and lower halves of the heart may be slowed or blocked. A Holter monitor is an EKG recorded over a 24-hour period, to detect dysrhythmias that may happen briefly and unpredictably throughout the day. If health care providers are evaluating you to determine if coronary artery disease may be causing the arrhythmia, and you have difficulty exercising, then your practitioner may use a drug to stimulate your heart in a way that is similar to exercise. In addition, your cardiologist can use the electrodes to stimulate your heart to beat at rates that may trigger or halt an arrhythmia. If your heart rate is too slow or if it stops, the pacemaker sends out electrical impulses that stimulate your heart to beat at a steady rate. If you have atrial fibrillation, you may be prescribed blood-thinning medications to help keep dangerous blood clots from forming.
An ICD is a battery-powered unit that is implanted under the skin near the collarbone similar to a pacemaker. The procedure is effective, but because it requires surgery, it is usually reserved for people who do not respond to other treatments or for those who are having heart surgery for other reasons.
Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaques), which can restrict blood flow.
Sometimes a blood clot completely blocks blood flow, or even breaks apart and can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Your health care provider should tell you ahead of time if this test will be performed during your visit. If your signs and symptoms occur most often during exercise, your health care provider may ask you to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike during an ECG. An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm and blood pressure and breathing are monitored. As the dye fills your arteries, the arteries become visible on X-ray, revealing areas of blockage. Your health care provider can choose from a range of cholesterol medications, including drugs known as statins and fibrates. The ideal blood pressure is below 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, as measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The number of white blood cells increases, but the white blood cells may be of poor quality.
An estimated 59.7 million Americans have heart and blood vessel disease, although many do not know it because they have no overt symptoms. If you are unable to exercise, you may be given drugs that cause your heart to work harder to simulate exercising. A special scanner, which detects the radioactive material in your heart, creates images of your heart muscle.
The X-ray machine rapidly takes a series of images (angiograms), offering a detailed look at your blood vessels. The most common form of nitrate used to treat angina is with nitroglycerin tablets put under your tongue. Angioplasty and stenting is a good treatment option if you have unstable angina or if lifestyle changes and medications do not effectively treat your chronic, stable angina.
Others may not be associated with any symptoms at all, but pre-dispose toward potentially life threatening stroke or embolus.
When an electrical impulse gets into the pathway, it may start traveling in a loop, causing the heart to contract with each impulse through the pathway. A person with ventricular fibrillation will collapse within seconds and soon will not be breathing or have a pulse. Without prompt medical treatment, ventricular tachycardia may worsen into ventricular fibrillation. If the signal is completely blocked, certain cells in the AV node or ventricles can make a steady, although usually slower, heartbeat. Your practitioner observes how your heart and the nervous system that controls it respond to the change in angle. This allows your health care provider to see the location of the arrhythmia and what may be causing it. If a pacemaker detects a heart rate that is abnormal, it emits electrical impulses that stimulate your heart to beat at a normal rate.
The surgeon may use radiofrequency energy or extreme cold (cryotherapy) to create the scars. In addition, the smooth lining of a plaque may rupture, spilling cholesterol and other substances into your bloodstream. An abnormal difference may indicate peripheral vascular disease, which is usually caused by atherosclerosis. In some types of stress tests, pictures will be taken of your heart, such as during a stress echocardiogram (ultrasound) or nuclear stress test. In addition to lowering cholesterol, statins have additional effects that help stabilize the lining of your heart arteries and prevent atherosclerosis.
Coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular disorders increase the risk of complications from the flu.
Flaxseed & Flaxseed Oil also contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, though studies have not found these sources to be as effective as fish.
It is common to people of Mediterranean heritage, including Italians, Greeks, and Turks, and other regions, including Arabian Peninsula, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China and Southeast Asia.
Traditionally thought of as a disease primarily affecting men, cardiovascular diseases is a growing problem for women. New or different symptoms may signal a more dangerous form of angina (unstable angina) or a heart attack. Inadequate blood flow to any part of your heart will show up as a light spot on the images. Some blocks may cause no signs or symptoms, and others may cause skipped beats or bradycardia.
Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can greatly lower your risk of stroke or damage to other organs caused by blood clots. Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. This may cause a blood clot, which can block the blood flow to a specific part of your body, such as occurs when blocked blood flow to your heart causes a heart attack. If you are unable to exercise, you may receive a medication that mimics the effect of exercise on your heart.
You can take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk around the block during your lunch hour, or do some situps or pushups while watching television. Losing weight helps reduce your risk of diabetes or control your condition if you already have diabetes. The shell on raw flaxseeds also contains soluble fiber, which can help lower blood cholesterol.
Lowering those LDLs improved the symptoms in 83 percent of the patients within five months of treatment. Stable angina is the most common form of angina, and it typically occurs with exertion and goes away with rest. This reduced blood flow is a supply problem in that your heart is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. If the patient has not had a nitroglycerin pill or spray within the last five minutes (it usually relieves pain within 5 minutes), then help the patient to place one of the tiny pills under their tongue or help the patient to administer the spray. In fact, most people will sometimes feel their heart skip a beat, or give an occasional extra strong beat - neither of which are usually a cause for alarm.
Examples include increase in risk of blood clotting within the heart, and thus increase the risk of embolization and stroke, or increase in the risk of heart failure, or increase in the risk of sudden cardiac death. Types of tachycardia that are most common among the general population include AV Nodal Re-entrant Tachycardia, accessory pathway tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, and ventricular tachycardia. CPR can help maintain blood flow to the organs until an electrical shock (defibrillation) can be given. Some medical conditions, such as congenital heart defects, may also cause long QT syndrome. Slower heart rates or a conduction block may cause symptoms of fatigue, dizziness or fainting. Your health care provider will determine if a blood-thinning medication is appropriate for you, depending on your type of arrhythmia and your risk of blood clots.
If it detects an abnormal heart rhythm, it sends out low- or high-energy shocks to reset the heart to a normal rhythm. Other dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, canola oil, Soybeans & Soybean Oil.
In fact, more women die from cardiovascular diseases than from all forms of cancer combined. If chest discomfort is a new symptom for you, it is important to see your health care provider to find out what is causing your chest pain and to get proper treatment. You may wonder why you do not always have angina if your heart arteries are narrowed due to fatty buildup.
If the pain is not relieved after the second dose of medication, assume the patient is having a heart attack and prepare to transport to the nearest medical facility for cardiac care. The term sinus arrhythmia refers to a normal phenomenon of mild acceleration and slowing of the heart rate that occurs with breathing in and out.
If an arrhythmia results in a heart beat that is too fast, too slow or too weak to supply the body's needs, this manifests as a lower blood pressure and may cause lightheadedness or dizziness, or fainting. An ICD does not prevent an abnormal heart rhythm from occurring, but it treats it if it occurs. If a blood clot within an aneurysm dislodges, it may block an artery at some distant point. Physical activity can also improve circulation and promote development of new blood vessels that form a natural bypass around obstructions (collateral vessels). These foods contain smaller amounts of omega-3 fatty acids than do fish and fish oil, and evidence for their benefit to heart health is not as strong.
Lower levels of estrogen during and after menopause are thought to increase a woman's risk for CVD. This is because during times of low oxygen demand when you are resting, for example, your heart muscle may be able to get by on the reduced amount of blood flow without triggering angina symptoms.
These portable defibrillators, which can deliver an electric shock that may restart heartbeats, are available in an increasing number of places, such as in airplanes, police cars and shopping malls.
But when you increase the demand for oxygen, such as when you exercise, this can cause angina.

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