There's plenty of concern out there at the moment about Covid-19, and with good reason, but as you continue to keep yourself healthy by maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly, don't forget to also keep up on your heart health. Not sure what that means or how to do it? Here's everything you need to know about heart disease.
Common Heart Diseases
While not exhaustive by any means, some common heart diseases include:
Coronary Heart Disease, when a build-up of plaque in the arteries restricts blood flow to the heart and can lead to heart complications due to a lack of oxygen or needed nutrients, heart attack, or stroke.
Heart Arrhythmia, a too-slow, too-fast, or irregular heartbeat. A too-slow heartbeat (bradycardia) can provide insufficient blood flow to the brain and a too-fast heartbeat (Tachycardia) or irregular heartbeat (heart palpitations) can be a symptom of other more serious heart problems.
Congenital Heart Defects are heart defects that are present since birth, whether or not they are diagnosed early or later in life. These can cause a number of life-long complications that need to be monitored.
Cardiomyopathy is a usually genetically-inherited collection of heart conditions affecting the heart muscles making it more difficult to pump blood throughout the body. While not always dangerous, it should be monitored so potentially life-threatening causes that can develop due to it can be avoided.
Risk Factors to Heart Disease
Almost all cardiovascular conditions are, to some extent or another, hereditary, so knowing your family's history of heart disease is always a great indicator of your personal risk for developing a heart condition. Other common risk factors for heart disease include ageing, excessive drinking or smoking, an unhealthy diet (including high amounts of caffeine, sugar, salt, and fat), a stationary lifestyle, high blood pressure, and stress. Having other medical conditions including diabetes, obesity, cancer, kidney disease, lung disease, or dementia or other neurological conditions can also increase the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease too.
Symptoms of Heart Disease
Not all cardiovascular diseases present with symptoms, and some conditions will only have minor symptoms that can often be overlooked until emergency medical intervention is required so regular check-ups are always recommended. Alongside our GP and family doctor services, when it comes to heart health, at Reisbeck private medical clinic in Marbella, our German-trained doctors specialise in holistic health and preventative care with cardiac health check-ups that will give you complete peace of mind regarding the health of your heart.
If you have sudden chest pain, dizziness or fainting, breathlessness, fatigue, or a blue tinge to your skin, especially if you also have any risk factors for heart disease, it's best to speak with your family doctor or GP for diagnosis and potential treatment for a cardiovascular condition; and remember: if you have sudden tightening in your chest, chest pain that may (or may not) move to your arms, neck, back, or jaw, are sweating excessively, are short of breath, and/or feel nauseous, you may be experiencing a heart attack. Call 112 immediately.
Diagnosing and Treating Heart Disease
There are a number of ways that your doctor may diagnose heart disease, but they will always start with a physical examination and discussion about you and your family's medical history. Following that, and based on your symptoms, your doctor may order an echocardiogram, CT scan, MRI scan, X-ray, angiogram, electrocardiogram, or other imaging tests to see the size, shape, structure, or functioning of your heart and/or cardiovascular system.
At Reisbeck private medical centre in Marbella, our doctors and cardiovascular doctors specialise in minimally-invasive diagnostics and treatments so if heart disease is suspected or found, your doctor will suggest lifestyle changes, medication, and/or minimally or non-invasive cardiovascular interventions that require no cut and thus no wound, no scar, and virtually no side effects. We also collaborate closely with CardioCare Marbella, a leading cardiovascular centre within the HC International Hospital, which allows us access to the most innovative technology and world-class and internationally-trained cardiovascular specialists for any and all cardiovascular conditions, diagnostics, treatments, and interventions so no matter your condition, your heart health is always in very the best of hands.
Request an appointment online or give us a call at +34 952 779 680 to discuss your heart health with our cardiovascular team.