Are you ignoring your heart disease symptoms? Here is a check list of what symptoms to look out for.
Firstly, check whether you have any heart disease symptoms that could be related. Do you have any unusual fatigue, any pain in the chest, arms, jaw or back, any swelling in the feet, breathlessness? Are you diabetic, hypertensive or have a family history of heart disease? Are you overweight? Do you smoke?
If you suspect that you might have or could get heart disease in the future do not hesitate to call upon your doctor. Your doctor will take a detailed personal and medical history. He will ask for heart disease symptoms you have been experiencing lately. He will ask whether anyone in your family has a history of heart disease, whether you have hypertension, diabetes or a fatty liver.
Carry your recent health checkup reports:
You will also be asked whether you have had any recent tests done such as blood sugar level, A1C, lipid profile etc. The doctor will do a complete physical examination including taking your weight, waist size and blood pressure. Then he will order some tests.
An ECG or electro-cardio gram is the basic test that is advised to check on your heart. An ECG is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart and it can reveal whether there is any lack of blood supply to the muscles of the heart. It can show up congenital abnormalities, arrhythmias, enlargement of the heart and other problems. The test is simple and painless and can reveal any risks of heart disease.
Basic tests to check the heart condition :
A stress test is basically an ECG tracing which is recorded while the heart is subjected to stress such as while walking on a treadmill. During exercise the heart beats faster, the blood pressure rises and the ECG recording on the heart monitor shows how well the heart is responding to that stress. If the patient is unable to exercise, medications may be given to increase the heart rate. If there is any blockage in the arteries of the heart the muscles will not be getting adequate blood supply in response to the stress, and this ischemia or poor blood flow will show up on the ECG.
A stress test can reveal coronary artery disease as well as problems with the rate and rhythm of the heart. Sometimes, imaging is combined with a stress test to show blood flow through the heart and the efficiency of its working.
An echocardiogram is an imaging test of the heart using sound waves. An echo can give a very clear picture of the heart, it's size and shape, the condition of the chambers and valves, the working or pumping capacity of the atria and ventricles, and the condition of the muscles of the heart. If there has been any previous injury or death of a portion of the muscle it will show up in the echo. An echo will also reveal any areas that are ischemic that is, those that are receiving less blood flow which would be an indicator of coronary artery disease.
A chest X-ray, will give a radio-imaging of the heart, the lungs, and all of the vessels going to and from the heart. It can reveal any enlargement of the heart and any fluid collection in the lungs as in congestive heart failure.
Some lab tests may also be advised to check:
Certain lab tests may also be advised to check the levels of lipids in the blood, cholesterol , blood glucose and A1C test. Abnormal lab results, such as high glucose, cholesterol or LDL levels may indicate that you are at high risk.