Cardiovascular Diseases in Young Women

Cardiovascular diseases or in the common mans’ language, heart diseases are commonly associated with older people. But according to cardiologists, young people suffer from heart diseases more than people realize. More specifically heart problems were associated with older men more than women. But a study in 1984 determined that women suffered and died because of cardiovascular problems more often than men.

To spread more awareness, on February 3rd women all around America don red apparel to commemorate the National Wear Red Day. The American Heart Association has marked this day to raise awareness for the diseases which claim the lives of 500,000 women each year around the world. Cardiovascular diseases are still to this day, the number one cause of death in women of all ages. Although older women are more likely to develop a heart attack, 15,000 young women under the age of 50 die from them.

Many young women, who believe in the misconception stated above, tend to ignore the right actions which help prevent heart diseases. Although there is much more awareness now because of survivors, like Rosie O’Donnell, speaking up about their experiences many young women still remain unaware. This becomes a problem when this unawareness leads to them ignoring signs of heart diseases.

According to a survey done by cardiologists at the American Heart Association, women tend to be unaware of the symptoms when they are having a heart attack and ignore it thinking it might be indigestion or heartburn. This may be due to the fact that many women experience different symptoms than men. If you are unaware and seem to experience any of the following symptoms then you might need a heart specialist immediately:

· Pain in Shoulder or Neck

Like many others who experience excruciating pain in their chest, young women especially with no prior health conditions experience pain in the neck, left arm and shoulder rather than the chest. Few women who suffered reported that they did not even experience extreme pain, instead they experience only discomfort. In the case of extreme discomfort get immediate attention from a heart specialist.

· Shortness of Breath

While shortness of breath might be associated with being winded, intense shortness of breath might be an indicator of an incoming heart attack. An extreme shortness of breath indicates a heart issue when it is accompanied with chest pains. Get a cardiologist to investigate if you are experiencing this symptom.

· Fatigue

Although a little bit of fatigue after a long day is very normal, extended experiences of fatigue can be a sign of the insufficient amount of oxygen on your blood, which is an indicator of a heart disease.

· Racing Heartbeat

A racing heartbeat is normal after rigorous exercise which eventually subsides in a few minutes. In younger women especially a fast heartbeat without any heavy exercise is abnormal and shouldn’t be ignored.

Indigestion, dizziness, nausea and constant sweating might also be indicators of an underlying heart condition needing urgent attention. And if any of the symptoms go ignored, it may lead to a more complicated problem.

As per the saying, prevention is the cure, taking precaution is a smarter way to save you from any bigger issues later on in life. Especially when routines are more hectic and there is more stress, a yearly checkup with a cardiologist very important. Whether or not you are experiencing one or more symptoms, getting a full work up from a heart expert will rule out any possible heart disease and save you any distress later.

Insufficient Sleep Makes an Unhealthy Heart

Insufficient sleep can leave you feeling grumpy and agitated and will ruin your mood for the rest of the day.

Over a longer period of time, sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues like obesity, diabetes, slower metabolism and inflammation.

A prolonged lack of sleep acts as a catalyst in disrupting basic health conditions which has detrimental effects on your health.

Shortage of sleep in the long run can shorten life expectancy too. Studies show that people who get a good night’s sleep live longer than those who don’t.

This further strengthens the argument in favor of getting the required amount of sleep every day.

In fact, physicians might even just recommend a good nights’ sleep to resolve and prevent possible health issues.

Optimal Sleep

According to a study by Harvard Med, the optimal sleep required differs for everyone, depending on their age and genetics. But on an average 6-8 hours of sleep in a day are optimal for the body to function at its best. Less than 6 hours of sleep increases the risk of heart disease.

When the body is resting, different enzymes and chemicals are activated, which calm it down from the intense activity that it undertook throughout the day. During this rest, the blood pressure and heart rate drop, and the body start rejuvenating.

Insufficient Sleep and Your Heart

Less than 6 hours of sleep prevents the heart rate from dropping and keeps it elevated for a prolonged period. This lack of variability means the hearts’ work remains the same, causing hypertension.

The further validation comes from studies about sleep apnea. It’s a condition which causes troubled breathing which wakes people frequently and disrupts their sleep cycle, causing sleep deprivation and fatigue.

According to the American Heart Association, sleep apnea is a contributor to increased risk of elevated blood pressure, arrhythmia, stroke and congestive heart failure.

Lack of sleep also disrupts metabolism, creating an imbalance in blood sugar levels, in turn, heightening the risk for diabetes. Shorter sleep cycles hinder the production of hormones which function to decrease appetite, triggering an increased consumption of calories. This increases the chance of high cholesterol and obesity which are known causes of multiple heart diseases.

How Can You Sleep Better?

According to the CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), 1 in 3 adults suffer from sleep deprivation; leading cause being a more hectic and busy lifestyle.

There are many ways which can help in getting a good night’s sleep, and some of them are;

  1. Exercise This tires out the body, improves the chemical balances and allows for more restful sleep.
  2. Lower the intake of alcohol and caffeine-laden beverages in the evening.
  3. Avoid a heavy, rich meal right before you go to sleep.
  4. And establish a fixed routine right before you sleep to trigger easy sleeping in future.

The most important tip is to get checked by a physician to make sure you have no underlying conditions that are causing the improper sleep cycle.

Not having sufficient sleep and rest in one day can have an adverse impact on not only the heart but overall physical and mental health. Recognizing and solving issues regarding your sleep early can save you distress later.

What is -White Coat Hypertension 

White coat hypertension is a situation when your blood pressure is higher in a doctor’s chamber, but is normal when measured at home. The term white coat hypertension is derived from the white coats of the  health care professionals.

Causes and dangers of white coat hypertension? 

It’s not strange for some people to feel a bit anxious while sitting in front of  their physician. This increased anxiety can sometimes elevate their blood pressure levels temporarily. However some doctors think that white coat hypertension is not a cause of concern since it is just a temporary surge, and the blood pressure normalizes once you are out of the doctor’s room. While there are cardiologists who believe that, white coat hypertension is a warning that signals to the risk of developing certain cardiovascular conditions like stroke, heart attack and heart failure. The same can be true for those who have masked hypertension, such patients have lower blood-pressure in the doctor’s office as compared to their home readings.

How to handle white coat hypertension? 

It may be harmful to prescribe  medication for hypertension by recording a single blood pressure reading. Unnecessary antihypertensives can cause  serious condition like hypotension – a state, when  blood pressure drops below the normal value.

If you are diagnosed with white coat hypertension, the cardiologist will talk to you about getting a  blood pressure monitor that  can be used at home. This may help you to record the actual blood pressure levels. Assuming that, the blood pressure is much better controlled at home, when you are in a relaxed atmosphere.

The second method is to use an ambulatory blood pressure monitor which can track your blood pressure up to 24 hours. It can take readings during the day as well as during sleep. Both methods can help to determine if your  blood pressure rises only  in the physician’s office, or if it’s a persistent condition that needs treatment.

However, you may also go through periods of increased blood pressure because of a stressful situation, not taking your blood pressure medicine regularly, eating food high in table salt or consuming excess caffeine. Over a period, temporary increment in blood pressure, either at your doctor’s office or otherwise can damage your blood vessels and increase the risk of more serious conditions.

Life After Angioplasty – Your Guide to Angioplasty and Cardiac Stenting


Coronary angioplasty was developed in 1977 as an alternative to the much more invasive coronary artery bypass surgery as a way to open blocked arteries of the heart. For many patients, angioplasty can be a very effective treatment option, while other patients may be better suited for bypass surgery.
The blockages in coronary arteries can cause symptoms such as chest pain (angina) or shortness of breath. Sometimes, these blockages can result in a heart attack that can be successfully treated on an emergency basis with angioplasty. Angioplasty followed by stenting can restore the blood flow to the culprit artery.

Angioplasty – A Closer Look

Let’s get a closer look at the angioplasty procedure. Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure, unlike coronary artery bypass surgery, your chest does not have to be opened. The angioplasty procedure is performed by a Heart specialist known as an interventional cardiologist. A small incision is made, usually in the groin or sometimes in the wrist, and a thin, flexible tube called a catheter is then inserted into an artery. The catheter is carefully guided through the artery and it eventually reaches the coronary vessels.

A special dye is then pumped through the catheter and the cardiologist uses an x-ray machine to see if there are blockages. Once the blockage or blockages are located, an extremely fine wire is positioned within the blockage. Then a catheter with a small, deflated balloon is threaded over the wire to the center of the blockage. The balloon is inflated and deflated several times and this compresses the blockage against the walls of the artery to restore the blood flow.

Angioplasty is not a cure for coronary artery blockage because a blockage can return even after angioplasty. One way to prevent the recurrence of the blockage is to insert a stent at the time of the angioplasty to keep the artery patent. A stent is an extremely small mesh tube made of metal. The first stents were made of just bare metal, but currently, many patients receive stents that have been coated with a medication that is released into the surrounding tissue to prevent scarring and re-blockage of the artery.

Angioplasty Risks

All the procedures, even the safest ones, carry risks. Possible complications of angioplasty are bleeding, a heart attack, a stroke or even an allergic reaction to the dye, but fortunately the complication rate is under one percent for all patients. Also, In rare cases, the procedure has to be stopped and the patient is referred for coronary artery bypass surgery.
After the angioplasty has been completed, typically the patient stays in the hospital for twelve to twenty-four hours. It’s quite likely to have some bruising and discoloration at the site of the catheter insertion. The area is also likely to be a bit sore, the patient may also notice a small lump or some drops of discharge from the site.

Most angioplasty patients report feeling more tired than usual for several days after the procedure, especially if they were in the middle of having a heart attack, in this case, the tiredness can last for up to six weeks. The patient should call his consultant cardiologist if he begins to have chest pain that feels like the pain he had before the procedure. If the chest pain is prolonged, lasting fifteen or twenty minutes call 911. The physician should also be notified if patients begin to have bloody or pus-filled discharge from the catheter insertion site.

After Angioplasty – The First Few Weeks

let’s discuss what you can do to keep you and your coronary arteries healthy from now on.
As discussed earlier, angioplasty with or without stenting, is not a cure for coronary artery disease. Follow up with your physician is a must. The patient should also follow an approved exercise program, cardiac diet, and medications prescribed by his physician.

You should always follow your doctor’s instructions after angioplasty. Keeping that in mind, here are some general guidelines:

  • The patient should take all the medications exactly as prescribed.
  • For the first five days after the procedure, you should only do light activities. Walking and even climbing stairs and taking care of routine things at home is usually ok. Once the five-day period is over, the doctor will likely release you to a moderate level of activity but don’t overdo it with activities that lead to tiredness, shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • The patient should not lift heavy objects or do strenuous exercise for four weeks after the procedure.The patient should also get his physician’s clearance before undertaking heavy manual labor.

After Angioplasty – Lifestyle Changes 

Lifestyle changes are important for most people to prevent recurrence of the disease. If you smoke, immediately enlist your physician’s help to stop.

Most hospitals that offer angioplasty have a cardiac rehabilitation program and you should strongly consider enrolling. Patients who successfully complete a cardiac rehab program are more likely to be living and doing well five years after their angioplasty than those who don’t complete a program.
A heart-healthy diet is a must and physician can refer the patient to a nutritionist for help. This is doubly important if the person has high cholesterol problems or diabetes. In general, a diet low in saturated fats with plenty of fruits and vegetables and good sources of lean protein is recommended. Heart-healthy fats (high in omega-3 fatty acids) include walnuts, wild caught salmon, sardines, and flaxseeds, as well as flaxseed oil, should also be included in your diet in moderate amounts.
With proper nutrition, exercise and close follow up with your physician, your chances of leading a healthy and vital life after angioplasty and stenting are excellent!

Pros and Cons of Online cardiology consultation


Online medical consulting is a fast-growing sector in medicine. The obvious advantage is convenience. In today’s fast paced lifestyle, that is an important benefit. However, getting the best result for your specific issue must be primary. For that, nothing beats a face to face discussion and examination with a qualified physician.

There is,however, a valid place for online consulting and I will give you the pros and cons as it pertains to Cardiology Consultation . Heart Specialists, like all other medical professionals, must keep up with the latest methods of enhancing patient care.Offering Cardiac Consultation is one more way patients can get second opinions or further information about the cardiac issue they are facing.
That’s what happened when Andrea Lachman decided to seek an online second opinion. In her 40s, Lachman was diagnosed with a common heart condition called mitral valve prolapse which often requires no treatment except routine examinations. In some cases, medication is used. Last summer, during a routine checkup, her local cardiologist told her she required surgery. “I was absolutely terrified,” says Lachman. “I was feeling fine, and I just didn’t understand why surgery was recommended. I had absolutely no confidence in the treatment plan.”
As she was cruising the Internet looking for information, Lachman came across a heading that read, “Consultant Cardiologist.” So, she decided to get a second opinion. She believes her persistence paid off. Based on her medical records, the heart specialist she contacted for another opinion told her she didn’t require surgery, at least for now. “I was absolutely thrilled,” says Lachman. The hardest part of the experience was collecting her medical records. But once she got through that, “I felt empowered,” she says.

What is a cardiovascular consultation?

A cardiac consultation is an appointment with a cardiologist during which you discuss your heart health, as well as any factors that may influence your cardiovascular system.

Some of the Pros of Online Cardiac Consultation

Although I believe strict regulatory guidance and administration is required to help patients avoid online frauds, there are some clear advantages of online Cardiac Consultations.

Pros

• No Location Boundaries. This may be the most important advantage of these services. You gain access to well-respected doctors, from far and wide, that otherwise would not be available to you.

• Better than Self-Diagnosis. Relying on health and medical information provided by internet searches to self-diagnose your condition can be dangerous and misleading.

• Slightly Better than Telemedicine Services. Online doctor consultations have a slight advantage over telemedicine. You can take your time to write a detailed description of your condition. Also, you can submit your previous and current medical reports.

• 24/7 Health Support. Most online health service providers offer twenty-four-hour access to doctor consultation and the convenience of receiving important information without leaving home.

Some Cons of Online Cardiac Consultation

• Violation of privacy is a common issue in cyber space. It is important for the person seeking medical advice to research the site and the doctor carefully.

• The fact that there is no physical examination involved in the consultation can be a negative. Doctors are highly skilled at determining what is wrong with you by assessing your appearance and physically examining your body.

• Not all insurance companies cover online consultations so it is wise to check before deciding to use one.

• While the idea of tapping into the knowledge and expertise of specialists at other locations is appealing, the process can be cumbersome. Gathering the necessary medical records can involve calls and visits to several of your providers’ offices.

• In a world where hackers seem to rule, it can be risky to give an online medical practice your personal details so choose who you use carefully.

Final words

Reputable online doctors understand that your health is vitally important to you. They will respect your privacy and go the extra mile to ensure that you are 100% confident before offering an opinion. They will thoughtfully review the facts and tests they have been given to give you their best opinion on how they would handle your case.