Heart disease describes several conditions that affect the health and function of your heart. Another name for heart disease is cardiovascular disease, and it is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Let’s take a look at two of the most common types of cardiovascular disease.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. The condition occurs due to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the walls of your coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart. The plaque can harden and block blood flow into your heart. Without treatment, heart disease can increase your risk for a heart attack and damage to the tissues in your heart.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a condition that develops when your heart can’t pump enough blood to the rest of your body. It causes blood and fluids to build up in your lungs, ankles, and feet. In addition to this, it causes shortness of breath.
High blood pressure or narrowing arteries in your heart are two of its main causes. This is because they leave the heart in a weakened state which causes it not to pump blood effectively.
When should I seek treatment for heart disease?
You can have cardiovascular disease without knowing it. However, as your condition worsens, you may experience persistent symptoms like:
- Angina (chest pain)
- Persistent fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations (arrhythmia)
- Edema (swelling) in the ankles, legs, and feet
Schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Greenbrook Medical if you have any of these symptoms. You also need a heart disease screening if you have any risk factors for the condition, such as heart disease in your family history, diabetes, weight challenges, poor diet, or an inactive lifestyle.
The physicians offer EKGs and other diagnostic testing services on-site to determine if your symptoms relate to heart disease. They can also design a care plan to treat your condition and prevent it from worsening.
How is heart disease treated?
Your treatment plan depends on the condition you have and the severity of your symptoms. In the early stages of heart disease, you may benefit from lifestyle and diet changes that improve your heart health. You should follow a low-salt, low-fat diet, pay attention to your cholesterol levels, and get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. If you smoke, Greenbrook Medical physicians can provide resources to help you quit.
If lifestyle and diet modifications aren’t enough to manage your cardiovascular disease, you may need medications. There are prescription medications that can thin your blood to improve your circulation and medications to help eliminate excess fluids from your body. If you have severe heart disease or damage to your heart, you may need a referral for surgery.
Our physicians can schedule an appointment with a specialist through the care coordination services available on-site. To schedule diagnostic testing for chest pain or other symptoms of cardiovascular disease, call the Greenbrook Medical office nearest to you today or request an appointment online.