Find out everything you want to know about this serious but common heart problem.
Has one of our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi, or Dr. Ira Freilich, recently diagnosed you or a loved one with heart disease? Have you been hearing more and more about heart disease on the news and want to know what you can do to prevent it? Whether you have heart disease or not, it’s important that you are providing your heart with the proper care it needs. Read below to learn the answers to your top questions about this chronic and common health problem.
Q. What is heart disease?
A. Heart disease is made up of different conditions that affect the health and function of the heart. For example, conditions that fall under heart disease may affect the coronary artery, blood vessels, or even the rhythm of the heart (arrhythmias). In some cases, you may have even been born with a congenital heart defect.
Q. What are the symptoms or warning signs of heart disease?
A. The symptoms you experience will depend on the type of heart disease you have. Common symptoms include:
- Chest pain and tightness
- Fluttering of the heart
- Irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Coldness or weakness in the arms or legs
- Swelling around the legs and abdomen
- Quickly fatigued by exercise or certain activities
It’s important to visit our Morristown, NJ, heart doctors if you are noticing any of these symptoms and particularly if you are dealing with chest pain and tightness, or shortness of breath.
Q. How is heart disease diagnosed?
A. When you come in for an appointment we will go through your medical history and discuss the symptoms you are having. We will ask questions regarding your symptoms to get an idea of what’s going on. From there, we can decide the best diagnostic tests. Common tests for heart disease include:
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Heart/holter monitor
- Stress test
- CT scan
Q. What are the treatment options for heart disease?
A. Your doctor will discuss the different treatment options available to you depending on the type of heart disease you have. In most cases, this will be a variety of lifestyle changes (e.g. quit smoking; maintain a healthy diet) and medications. Sometimes, surgery may be necessary to repair or correct a defect within the heart.
Here at Cardiology Associates, we want to make sure that everyone gets the proper and comprehensive cardiology diagnosis, treatment, and care they deserve in Morristown. If you are experiencing symptoms of heart disease or you want to discuss the best ways to manage your condition, call our office today at (973) 889-9001.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease includes disorders that affect the structures or function of your heart, such as congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart failure, heart attack, and others. Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Edward Cosmi, and Dr. Ira Freilich are some of the finest doctors in Morristown, NJ. Here are seven ways to protect yourself from heart disease.
1. Control your blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is too high. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. You can take steps to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease. If you have high blood pressure, your Morristown doctor may prescribe medicines and lifestyle changes.
2. Improve your cholesterol.
Keep your cholesterol levels under control. High levels of cholesterol can clog your arteries and raise your risk of heart disease. High cholesterol has no symptoms. Treatments for high cholesterol include medications, a healthy diet, and exercise.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
The foods you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease. Choose foods that are low in sodium, trans fat, and saturated fat. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, fish, legumes, and nuts. Select lower fat poultry and dairy products. Limit red meats and sugary beverages.
4. Get plenty of exercise.
The heart-healthy benefits of regular exercise are nearly endless. Regular exercise helps cut your chances of getting heart disease, improves cholesterol levels, keeps your weight under control, and prevents and manages high blood pressure. Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
5. Maintain a healthy weight.
Excess weight causes your heart to work harder and increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet may help you maintain a healthy weight.
6. Limit alcohol consumption.
Moderate drinking appears to protect some people against heart disease. However, heavy drinking can hurt your heart and lead to heart disease. Drinking alcohol regularly can also raise your blood pressure.
7. Stay away from tobacco.
Many studies show that smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack. Smoking also increases blood pressure and increases the tendency for blood to clot. If you smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit smoking.
You have the power to manage your heart health. Call Cardiology Associates at 973-889-9001 right now to schedule an appointment for a heart disease screening in Morristown, NJ. A simple heart disease screening could save your life!
You have episodes of lightheadedness, dizziness shortness of breath, and fatigue. Your EKG (electrocardiogram) shows a slight irregularity, and your primary care physician is concerned. Could a cardiologist, or heart specialist, help you sort through these symptoms? At Cardiology Associates in Morristown, NJ, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Edward, and Dr. Ira Freilich offer the best in heart health care. They excel in the diagnosis and medical/surgical treatment of all things related to your heart and its associated blood vessels, and you'll like their compassionate manner, too.
What does a cardiologist do?
Through physical examination, blood work, and state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, your cardiologist in Morristown maintains and improves the health of the organ that pumps life-giving, oxygenated blood throughout your body. Without proper heart function, your brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, and other bodily organs are not well-perfused, and daily functioning suffers, even to the point of disability and death.
The American Heart Association says that your heart doctor is on the front line of defense against:
- Coronary artery disease (build-up of plaque)
- Heart attack
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation and tachycardia)
- Heart failure (when the heart muscle doesn't work efficiently)
- Valve deficiencies
- Angina (chest pain)
- Cardiomyopathy (stiffening or weakening of the heart muscle)
Through accurate treatment, education and rehabilitation, patients at Cardiology Associates in Morristown enjoy better quality and quantity of life.
Services offered at Cardiology Associates
- Comprehensive physical examination
- Risk assessment (for heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease)
- Review of medical records, history, and medications
- EKGs to evaluate heart rhythm
- Angiography to examine blood flow to the heart muscle
- Angioplasty to open blocked arteries
- Installation of absorbable cardiac stents (to maintain patency of coronary arteries)
- Cardiac valve replacement using percutaneous techniques (through the skin)
- Stress tests to evaluate risk for stroke and heart attack
- Nuclear stress tests
- Management of hypertension and anti-hypertensive medications such as beta blockers and diuretics
- Lifestyle coaching (smoking cessation, exercise, stress management, and diet)
- Holter monitors for 24-hour monitoring of vital signs
- Echocardiograms for real-time visualization of heart function and structure
- Carotid ultrasound tests to evaluate blood flow through the great vessels in the neck
When you visit Cardiology Associates, you and your heart doctor will formulate a treatment plan based on precise diagnostic findings. Also, your care plan will address your desire for improved heart function and day to day quality of life.
At Cardiology Associates in Morristown, NJ, we're here to partner with you and your primary care physician in improving the well-being of that all-important organ--your heart. Call us today for an appointment, won't you? Phone (973) 889-9001.
Treating hypertension can help you avoid several serious health problems, such as stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease. Our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, discuss the condition and share information on treatment options.
How can I tell if I have hypertension?
Hypertension, also called high blood pressure, may not produce any symptoms initially. Unfortunately, damage to your blood vessels and arteries can occur even if you don't notice any changes in your health. If you don't receive treatment for your hypertension and your condition worsens, you may notice a few of these symptoms:
- Vision problems
- Pounding in your head, chest or ears
Because it's impossible to predict who will develop hypertension, regular blood pressure screenings are very important, particularly if other family members have the condition.
What can I do to lower my high blood pressure?
When you visit our Morristown office, we may recommend one or more lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure, including losing weight, exercising regularly, reducing stress, eating a healthy, low-salt diet or quitting smoking. In addition to these positive changes, you may also benefit from medication to lower your blood pressure, such as one or more of these types of prescription drugs:
- Diuretics: Diuretics cause your body to release more water and salt in your urine, which lowers the amount of fluid in your blood vessels. When the fluid level is reduced, your blood pressure drops.
- ACE Inhibitors: These drugs widen and relax your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure and reducing the strain on your heart.
- Calcium Channel Blockers: Calcium channel blockers not only dilate your blood vessels but also lower both your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Beta Blockers: Beta blockers block adrenaline, a hormone that speeds up your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.
- Alpha Blockers: Alpha blockers help relax the walls of your blood vessels.
- Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers: These medications prevent angiotensin, a natural body chemical that triggers the narrowing of the blood vessels, from affecting your vessels.
Keeping your blood pressure under control can help you avoid serious health complications. Call our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Blum, Dr. Cosmi, and Dr. Freilich, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule an appointment.
Could you have heart disease? Early signs of the disease can often be confused for other ailments. Our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Mark Blum, Dr. John Cosmi and Dr. Ira Freilich, share a few symptoms that may occur if you have heart disease.
Your hands or feet are always cold
Cold hands and feet can occur if you have a circulation problem due to atherosclerosis. Commonly known as hardening of the arteries, the condition develops when fatty plaque coats the lining of your arteries, reducing blood flow to your arms and legs.
Do you feel tired all of the time, no matter how much sleep you get? Extreme fatigue can be a sign of heart disease. Exhaustion can also occur for a variety of other reasons, including anemia, depression or medication side effects.
You can't fit into to your shoes
Heart disease may be to blame if your feet have begun to swell. Swelling can occur if you have a heart valve problem or can be a sign of heart failure.
Exercise is difficult
If you can no longer make it through your regular exercise routine or find it difficult to take a walk around the block in your Morristown neighborhood, your symptoms may be caused by heart disease. If you have the disease, you may feel dizzy, experience shortness of breath and feel extremely tired even if the activity doesn't require much exertion.
You get frequent leg cramps
Can't figure out why your leg muscles have suddenly started to cramp when you walk, but get better when you stay off your feet? You may have peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD occurs when plaque begins to build up in the arteries in your leg. Your risk of atherosclerosis is higher if you have PAD.
You have chest pain
Chest pain can be a symptom of angina, a condition that occurs when the normal blood flow to your heart is decreased due to an underlying heart issue. Angina symptoms are similar to heart attack symptoms and may include squeezing pain or pressure in the chest, indigestion, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain in the arm, jaw or neck or shoulder. If you haven't been diagnosed with angina and experience these symptoms, go to the emergency room immediately.
Potential heart disease symptoms should never be ignored. If you have any of these symptoms, call our Morristown, NJ, cardiologists, Dr. Blum, Dr. Cosmi and Dr. Freilich, at (973) 889-9001 to schedule an appointment.
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