Heart disease is rising rapidly in India and its financial capital, Mumbai. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in India. The silver lining in this dark cloud is that advanced treatment is now available.
Mumbai has some of the best cardiologists, surgeons, and hospitals with advanced updated medical equipment. Most of these hospitals accept health card, making it easier for patients to pay in easy installments.
What is heart disease?
Heart disease refers to a range of disorders of the heart.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Symptoms of heart disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness, pain, or discomfort in the chest
- Pain, coldness, or numbness in your arms or legs
- Pain in upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or throat
- Nausea or dizziness
- Swollen ankles
- Irregular heartbeat
- In children with congenital heart disease, the skin turns bluish, and they tire easily.
What are the causes?
Barring congenital heart disorders that have no known reason, most heart disorders are caused by one of the following factors:
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Poor diet
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Alcohol abuse
- High blood pressure
- Chronic stress
Common Heart Disorders:
Below are some of the common heart disorders that eminent Cardiologists in Mumbai treat successfully:
- Coronary heart disease: Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease clogs arteries, resulting in reduced blood supply. The plaque build-up in the arteries is called atherosclerosis. The reduction of blood supply means the heart receives fewer nutrients and reduced oxygen leading to heart attack or stroke.
- Arrhythmia: Irregular heartbeat is known as arrhythmia. It happens when the electrical signals coordinating heartbeats don’t function properly. There are different types of arrhythmia.
- Tachycardia is a rapid heartbeat.
- Bradycardia is a slow heartbeat.
- Premature contractions are the early heartbeat.
- Atrial Fibrillation is irregular heartbeats.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: In dilated cardiomyopathy, heart muscles become thinner, dilating the heart chambers. It mostly happens because of previous heart attacks or toxins. It weakens the heart, and it is unable to pump blood properly, resulting in heart failure.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: It occurs when a heart muscle is affected by a genetic problem. The walls of the heart muscle thicken, making it difficult to pump blood. The condition deteriorates with time, leading to many heart problems. Untreated hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one of the leading causes of cardiac death among people below 35.
- Myocarditis: It is also known as a heart attack. It happens when the blood flow to the heart gets interrupted, causing inadequate heart pumping. It occurs due to blockage caused by rupturing and consequent clotting of plaque in an artery. The blockage prevents blood supply to parts of the heart muscle, causing their destruction.
- Congenital heart disease: It refers to an abnormal heart condition present at birth. It happens due to a defect in the structure and functioning of the heart. The fault can be a hole in the heart wall or missing or abnormal heart valves.
- Pericardial heart disease: Pericardium is the sac-like structure around the heart. Inflammation or injury to the pericardium can cause excess fluid build-up. Bleeding from a chest trauma can also cause fluid retention. Excess fluid puts pressure on the heart leading to heart failure.
After considering the risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, lifestyle habits, and family history, Cardiologists in Mumbai order the following tests:
- Blood tests: Your doctor may order blood tests to check for levels of triglycerides, cholesterol, and C-reactive protein tests. These tests are to understand your risk factors for heart disease.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): ECG checks electricity activity in the heart. However, a normal or abnormal ECG is not a straight answer and depends on the cardiologist’s interpretation.
- Echocardiogram: It is an ultrasound of your heart that creates pictures of your heart using soundwaves. It is used for the evaluation of your heart muscles and valves.
- Stress test: It monitors how your body copes while doing a strenuous activity that increases heart rate.
- Carotid ultrasound: It scans for plaque build-up on carotid arteries on both sides of your neck to assess your risk for stroke.
- Holter monitor: It is a small device working as a continuous ECG. The doctor will ask you to wear it continuously for 24 to 48 hours. It detects heart abnormalities like arrhythmia that can escape detection during a normal ECG.
- Chest X-ray: X-rays can show the cause of shortness of breath or pain in the chest.
- Tilt–table test: It is done if you have fainted to know the reason for fainting. In this test, the doctor asks you to lie down on a table that changes position from horizontal to vertical. As the table moves, it will monitor your heart, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Will monitor your heart, blood pressure, and oxygen levels.
- CT scan: CT scan creates a cross-sectional image of the heart by using many x-rays. Your doctor may conduct various CT scan tests to diagnose your heart disease.
- Heart MRI: Images are created of your blood vessels and beating heart to diagnose diseases of the heart muscles and coronary artery.
- Angiography: A long tube is inserted through your blood vessel, and then it is moved towards your heart. If used in conjunction with catheterization, a special dye is injected into your heart’s blood vessels. The test helps detect heart abnormalities, blood vessel problems, and blocked arteries.
- Electrophysiology study: An electrode catheter is fed through your blood vessel to your heart to map its electrical activity. This test helps find the cause of abnormal heart rhythm.
The type of heart disease you have will determine the mode of treatment. With a health card to take care of your financial worries, you can focus on getting the proper treatment. Treatment includes medications, making lifestyle changes, and surgeries.
Medications: The following types of medications are given where needed:
- Beta-blockers: They reduce heart rate, treat angina and arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat.
- Vasodilators: They lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels
- Diuretics: They remove excess water and reduce the heart’s workload
- Anticoagulants: These are blood thinners that can prevent clots.
Surgery: When medications alone are not effective, surgery is done to treat heart blockages and problems. The typical heart surgeries are:
- Bypass surgery: A healthy blood vessel from another body part is used to repair a blocked blood vessel.
- Valve replacement: Surgery is for repairing or replacing a valve.
- Maze surgery: Paths are created to help for electric signals to pass through.
- Laser treatment: Transmyocardial laser is used to treat angina.
- Pacemakers: Heartbeat is regulated, and blood flow is supported with the help of pacemakers.
- Heart transplant: Though a heart transplant is an option, it is difficult to find a suitable donor at the appropriate time.
Lifestyle changes: If you have mild to moderate heart disease, you can lead a healthy life by lifestyle changes. If you have had surgery or are under medication for a heart problem, a healthy lifestyle can prevent further complications. Get to the heart of the matter and make the following changes:
- Healthy diet: Avoid processed food, ready-to-eat foods, and limit salt and sugar. Eat five to six servings of vegetables and fruits. Eat freshly cooked food with healthy carbs and proteins.
- Exercise: Exercise regularly and be physically active.
- Manage weight: Prevent obesity and manage steady, appropriate body weight.
- Smoking: Stop smoking as it is a considerable risk factor for heart attack.
- Stress: Research shows that emotionally upsetting events can trigger a heart attack. Keep pressure under control with habits like meditation, yoga, and a positive attitude.
- Alcohol: Avoid or limit alcohol intake.
- Underlying health conditions: Get treated for underlying conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, which can trigger heart diseases.