The Art of Having A Healthy Heart

When it comes to our cars, we make sure it has gas before we hit the road (… for the most part. It may be safe to say we have all, at one point in time, held our breathe making it to the gas station). We also make sure to schedule regular oil changes and get our tires rotated. That type of care and attention should also be directed to another important engine: your heart. When it comes to heart disease, one of the biggest killers in the U.S., as cardiologist Nathan Ho, DO with Carson Tahoe Health explains, much like that dreaded ‘check engine’ light going off on your dashboard, there are also signs and symptoms of heart disease to be aware of.

Nathan Ho, DO

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death affecting as many as 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. Heart disease is the umbrella term for common heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, and heart failure.  

Coronary artery disease (CAD) refers to plaque buildup that leads to reduced blood supply leading to heart attacks.  Symptoms include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, or feeling of pressure or squeezing in the chest.  

Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. There are many possible types of arrhythmias and the symptoms vary depending on the type of arrhythmia that you might have. Symptoms include lightheadedness, fainting spells, dizziness, chest pain or fluttering heart, or a racing heart.

Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body.  Common symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, trouble breathing when lying down, weight gain with swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, or stomach, and a general feeling of tiredness or weakness.  

All these symptoms are clinically relevant and are more probable of something serious when it is associated with an increase risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tobacco abuse, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use. Should you or your family experience these symptoms, and have these associated risk factors, it is best to contact your physician as soon as possible for appropriate care and treatment.

For more information about Carson Tahoe’s comprehensive heart care, visit CarsonTahoe.com/Heart.