Importance of Heart Check-up – Heart Specialist Hospital in Chandigarh

Heart problem is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. Managing its risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, or high blood glucose, is the best way to avoid heart problems. But how do you know if you have any of these risk factors? Heart check-ups are the way to find out.

Some heart check-ups should ideally begin as early as age 20, however, others can begin later in life.

Your doctor from a heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh can advise you on which tests to get depending on any symptoms that you have. These symptoms may include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, swelling in feet, nausea, unusual pulse rate, dizziness, etc.

During your heart check-up, your cardiologist may check your weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels to monitor your heart health. The cardiologist can also inquire about your medical history and lifestyle patterns, all of which have an effect on your risk of heart disease.

Key Tests in Heart Check-up
1. Blood Pressure Test
2. Cholesterol Test
3. Blood Glucose Test
4. Weight and BMI
5. Other heart tests

Following are the key screening tests that are recommended for determining your heart health:

  1. Blood Pressure Test: A blood pressure test helps in diagnosing the risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a greater strain on your heart and can lead to artery damage. If treatment is not sought in time, blood clots can form, which can lead to severe problems such as a heart attack or heart failure

Starting at the age of 20, one should get a blood pressure test done at least once every two years. High blood pressure can be regulated with medications and lifestyle modifications.

  1. Cholesterol Test: One should get their cholesterol tested once every 4-5 years after the age of 20. It is important to get a cholesterol test because high cholesterol has no signs, therefore, you can’t even realise that you are at risk unless you get this test done.

This test measures Total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. If your cardiologist diagnoses that you have a higher risk of heart failure or stroke, you may need to be tested more often.

In this case too, medications and lifestyle change can help in managing cholesterol levels.

  1. Blood Glucose Test: This test determines the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood. A blood glucose test can also be used to determine whether or not you have diabetes. Diabetes, if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease and stroke.

A blood glucose test should be taken every three years starting at the age of 40 for most people.

  1. Weight and BMI: After the age of 20, your doctor can ask for your waist circumference or use your body weight to measure your body mass index (BMI). This test helps in determining whether you have a healthy body weight and composition. 

Obese people are generally at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues than people with healthy body weight.

  1. Other heart tests: After the above routine tests, if your doctor diagnoses that you may have heart disease, you may be asked to get tests such as electrocardiography (ECG, EKG), echocardiography, coronary catheter angiography, coronary CT angiography (CTA), cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring, nuclear stress test, and exercise cardiac stress test.

If you are diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor can suggest a range of lifestyle changes, medications, and other treatments to help you manage your heart condition.

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Some risk factors such as heredity, increasing age, and gender (men have a greater risk of heart problems according to most studies) cannot be changed. However, there are also some risk factors that can be modified such as weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, stress and diet. 

Controllable or not, all these risk factors need to be identified to get proper treatment and prevention on time. Regular heart check-ups can help in determining these risk factors, thus maintaining optimum heart health.

To book an appointment with the best heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh, click here:

How Diabetes is Affecting Your Heart

A diabetic patient has more chances of developing cardiovascular disease in comparison with people without diabetes. Diabetes can induce chronic inflammation and elevated blood sugar levels.

Both these conditions cause damage to the artery walls, rendering them more vulnerable to atherosclerosis. Diabetes can also form blood clots and scar tissue to develop in the heart muscles.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with type 2 diabetes. You can reduce the risk of heart attack by doing a variety of activities, with understanding the connection between diabetes and heart disease as the first step towards prevention.

1. How to lower your risks?
2.What are some symptoms of a Heart Attack?  

How to lower your risks?

  1. Maintain a healthy weight: Increased calorie consumption and reduced physical activity are the leading causes of obesity, which in turn leads to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Nowadays, obesity and diabetes develop at a younger age as a result of increased calorie consumption and reduced physical activity.

Therefore, it is important to exercise at least five days a week, around 45 minutes daily. Exercise increases your glucose management and enhances your cardiovascular system, reducing your reliance on diet and medications. It also helps you lose weight, which lowers the risk of both diseases.

  • Manage your blood pressure levels: One of the most common risk factors for heart disease in diabetics is high blood pressure. It puts your heart under stress and harms your blood vessels.

This makes you more vulnerable to a number of issues such as stroke and heart attack. The best way to control your blood pressure is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take your medications on time, if any prescribed by your doctor. 

  • Manage cholesterol levels: High cholesterol levels raise the chances of getting heart disease.  An accumulation of fatty plaque in your blood vessels can be caused by having too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol. This can result in blockages, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

While genetics play an important role in cholesterol levels, you can still control them by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

  • Quit Smoking: It is a well-known fact that smoking increases the chances of getting heart disease. Therefore, you should quit smoking immediately if you have diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Smoking also raises the risk of developing other long-term issues such as lung cancer.

To get a consultation regarding which smoking cessation methods might work best for you, book an appointment with the best heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh here:

  • Change your sedentary lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle can significantly increase heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and obesity. Exercising daily and not sitting for long intervals could be a good start. You can also take part in other activities that you enjoy such as cycling, dancing, walking, gyming, etc. 
  • Don’t stress: Diabetes management isn’t always easy. When you have diabetes, you are likely to feel tired, sad, or frustrated. But, long-term stress can cause blood glucose and blood pressure to rise. Deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or simply doing what you love are all good ways to reduce stress.
  • Getting A1C test: The A1C test reveals your three-month average blood glucose level.  The higher your A1C test, the higher your blood glucose levels have been in the previous three months. High blood glucose levels can do a lot of harm to your body.

Many people with diabetes have an A1C target of less than 7%. Some people can benefit from a slightly higher A1C goal. Seek consultation with the best heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh on what your objectives should be:

  • Take your medications on time: Medicines play an important role in your treatment and so you should take them on time. Medicines may be of assistance in meeting your A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol targets.

The medicines prescribed by your doctor also help in reducing the chances of getting a blood clot, having a heart attack or a stroke.

What are some symptoms of a Heart Attack?

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problem
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Sweating 
  • Pain in the left arm, shoulders and jaw
  • Nausea

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call the emergency number or ask someone to take you to the hospital immediately. Getting to a hospital within an hour of a stroke can help prevent permanent damage.

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