Aging Gracefully and with Great Health

Aging Gracefully and with Great Health

Get To The Heart Of Your Fatigue And Chest Pain

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On some days, you feel so tired that you can't get yourself moving. You've noticed that strenuous exercise or walking up stairs causes your heart to pound. Sometimes your chest hurts when you exert yourself. These are signs of a possible heart disease. Before the symptoms get worse, see a cardiology specialist for a checkup. Heart disease is treatable, but if you ignore the signs, the next warning may be a painful heart attack.

The Healthy Heart

Your heart is a large muscle that pumps blood throughout your body. Like all of your muscles, the heart has a blood supply through which it gets oxygen and nutrients. These are necessary to keep the heart working. Special blood vessels, called the coronary arteries, keep the heart healthy.

Heart Disease and Why It Happens

When the coronary arteries aren't able to supply the heart with enough blood, it becomes starved of oxygen and nutrients. A number of things can cause your heart to not get the blood it needs:

  • Atherosclerosis causes the coronary vessels to constrict, reducing the blood flow to the heart.
  • Fatty deposits from high cholesterol levels or diabetes build up on the vessel walls and reduce the blood flow.
  • An injury in another part of the body can create blood clots, which can travel through the bloodstream and lodge in one of the coronary arteries, blocking the blood flow.

How You're Affected When Your Heart Complains

When the blood supply is interrupted to your heart, it gives you several signs, some of which you may not think of as a heart problem:

  • Fatigue - Your heart compensates for the lack of nutrients by beating slower, which makes you feel tired and sluggish.
  • Chest pressure - With any physical activity, your heart must work harder. If you have a heart disease and less blood is flowing to it, your heart begins to pound, creating the feeling of pressure in your chest.
  • Pain and numbness - Should the heart become seriously starved of oxygen, you'll feel pain in your chest and you may have pain and numbness down your left arm.

Diagnosing Heart Disease

Your cardiologist will do a number of tests to determine the nature and extent of your heart disease such as:

  • Electrocardiogram - This is a measurement of the electrical activity of your heart. Heart disease can affect the flow of current through your heart which is responsible for your heart beating.
  • Echocardiogram - This test uses ultrasonic sound waves to create an image of your heart showing areas where the blood flow is compromised.
  • Cardiac catheterization - A small catheter is threaded into a blood vessel and guided into the heart to measure pressures and visualize the flow of blood through the heart.
  • CT and MRI scans - These produce different images of the heart to show where heart muscle may be damaged and where blood vessels are blocked.

Treatment of Heart Disease

Once your heart doctor pinpoints the problem, they can offer several options for reversing the heart disease before it gets worse:

  • Diet changes to reduce cholesterol levels and the potential of blocked coronary arteries.
  • Increased exercise to elevate the good cholesterol levels and prevent fatty deposits.
  • Medications to control diabetes and cholesterol.

If lifestyle changes and medications don't give you relief from chest pain and reduce your risk of a heart attack, surgery is an option including:

  • Insertion of devices into the coronary arteries to keep them open.
  • Replacement of diseased coronary arteries with vein grafts.

The earlier you are diagnosed with heart disease and the sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you will avoid a serious heart attack and permanent heart damage. 


About Me

Aging Gracefully and with Great Health

While it's true that aging and illness used to go in hand, today's medical advancements now mean we don't have to settle for that eventuality anymore. I'm already considering the aging process although I'm still middle aged because I intend to enjoy my later years with the best health possible. Living well and aging gracefully aren't just about maintaining your appearance, but also feeling as good as you can as you get older. I'm sharing what I discover in my personal quest with everyone here on this convenient website so we can all join together to cross into the golden years with our health intact.