Heart disease is a general term that can mean a problem with your heart itself or with the arteries that feed your heart. Most often, heart disease stems from an artery blocked by plaque, a fatty substance that sticks to the inside walls of your blood vessels. If your heart doesn’t get the nutrients and oxygen it needs, it may be damaged. If the blood supply it blocked completely, the affected muscles may even start to die. In Manhattan, you have access to the best cardiologists at New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center. Don’t wait for a heart attack before you get checked out.
Heart disease, also called cardiovascular disease, includes any condition or disease that arises when plaque builds up in your arteries or veins. Plaque is a fatty substance that sticks inside blood vessel walls, narrowing and inhibiting the flow of blood to and from your heart. This condition, called atherosclerosis, causes your heart muscle to work ineffectively.
If a clot forms from the plaque, it can block the blood vessel completely. Without fresh, oxygenated blood, the area of your heart served by those blood vessels begins to die, which can cause a heart attack. While most people survive their first heart attack and can lead fairly normal lives, they’re at risk of a second, deadlier heart attack unless they start making healthier choices.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Your symptoms depend on what kind of heart disease you’re experiencing and where exactly the disease is manifesting. Additionally, men and women often experience different symptoms. Some of the more common signs that you’re experiencing cardiovascular disease include:
- Feelings of cold, numbness, pain or weakness in your arms and legs
- Chest pain, tightness, pressure or discomfort
- A fluttering feeling in your chest
- Racing or very slow heart beat
- Pain radiating from your upper abdomen or back, or from your neck, throat or jaw
- Dizziness or fainting
- Severe and continuous fatigue
- Skin color changes to blue or pale gray
- Swelling in your arms, legs, hands, feet or abdomen
- A feeling of indigestion or a burning sensation in your chest
Many of these symptoms are accompanied by shortness of breath, either during activity or at rest. The best cardiologist in Manhattan, at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center, carefully considers all these symptoms when assessing your condition.
Heart Disease Diagnostic Tools
Which tests your cardiology doctor requests depends on what kind of heart disease you’re experiencing. But the first step is usually taking your medical and family history, since some aspects of heart disease are genetic. Many different diseases and conditions can contribute to cardiovascular disease, including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Arrhythmias or heart rhythm problems
- Heart defects that have been present since birth
- Infections of your heart muscle
- Poor lifestyle choices, such as:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Constant high stress
- High-fat diets
Your Manhattan cardiologist at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center may prescribe any of the following tests to determine the condition of your heart:
- This test provides your heart specialist with non-invasive imaging of your heart and its structure, including the blood vessels leading to and from the muscle.
- CT scan. This is another non-invasive test to see 3D images of the heart and its functioning.
- Stress tests. This test makes you work up a sweat while your NYC cardiologist monitors your heart’s function in real time.
- A Holter monitor. You wear a device for 24 hours to monitor your heart rhythm over different times of your day.
- This device detects the electrical impulses of your heart to determine any irregular rhythms.
- Blood tests. Your doctor may order blood work to assess your heart’s effect on other organs and tissues.
- Endo-PAT Cardiac tests
- Coronary Calcium CT Scan
Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease
Your treatment depends on what your NYC cardiologist determines is the underlying cause of your condition. If you’re experiencing an infection, for example, you need antibiotics. Other treatments may include:
- Medications to control your heart rhythm or to reduce any accompanying swelling
- Lifestyle changes, including low-fat and low-sodium diets, careful exercising and eliminating smoking and alcohol
- Medical procedures or surgeries, such as coronary angioplasty to widen a narrowed artery or coronary artery bypass to reroute blood flow around a severely compromised artery
- Physical and occupational therapy, if you suffered a stroke, to help retrain your brain to accomplish daily tasks
If caught early, cardiovascular disease can be successfully controlled, allowing you to return to an active, healthy lifestyle. You may have to make some lifestyle changes to maintain your health, but now you know the consequences of poor lifestyle choices. Talk to your cardiologist for advice targeted to your specific needs.
Providing your New York cardiology doctor with the best and most accurate picture of your history and lifestyle helps him tailor the most effective treatment plan for you. If you think you’re experiencing heart disease, don’t wait! Make an appointment with the best cardiologists in NYC at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center.
If you have any questions for the best in class Manhattan cardiologist, top heart disease specialist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for the heart disease treatment consultation.