Our heart is one of the most important organs in our body. Without it, the nutrients and oxygen we take in will not circulate throughout our whole body and life becomes impossible. This is why it is vital that a person takes delicate care of the heart so that it can do its job well to keep us alive.
For Singaporeans that live near Bugis, visit Cadence Heart Centre to learn about how to take care of your heart. Talking to a heart doctor and learning about heart healthy diets can greatly improve your heart’s health and in turn improve your life as well.
How can a heart doctor help?
A heart doctor, also known as a cardiologist, is a medical doctor that specializes in dealing with problems and diseases of the heart and blood vessels, such as arrhythmia (abnormal heart rate), heart failure and chronic heart diseases. A cardiologist also gives advice and educates people about good habits and lifestyles that promote a healthy heart, such as a heart healthy diet.
A heart doctor can make a diagnosis about your heart’s health by giving a physical exam and some diagnostic tests, including electrocardiograms, stress tests, and blood tests. He/she can also provide treatment options for patients who need it, including medicine prescriptions, lifestyle changes, heart healthy diets, exercise regimens, and treatment procedures like surgery. Several heart doctors also teach and do medical research at universities and laboratories.
When should you see a heart doctor?
Everyone is encouraged to see a heart doctor, even without experiencing any symptoms of a heart problem. A lot of heart diseases do not have symptoms at their early stages, and who knows, maybe a visit with a heart doctor can detect the problem before it can get worse.
However, it is highly encouraged that you set up an appointment with a trusted heart doctor, such as at Cadence Heart Centre near Bugis, if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of Breath
People who experience shortness of breath regularly may have to talk to a heart doctor as it is one of the symptoms of a heart problem. This is especially true if you experience it suddenly with no explanation, such as experiencing it while not doing any physical activity, or if it gradually gets worse over time. It is advised that people see a heart specialist as soon as possible to determine what causes the shortness of breath and how it can be treated.
- Unexplained Fainting Spells
If you know someone who experiences these fainting spells regularly, then it will do you good to advise him/her to see a heart doctor. When someone faints, it is usually caused by having not enough blood flow to the brain. If someone suddenly feels lightheaded or dizzy, then it might be a sign that he/she is about to faint. A heart doctor can diagnose what causes these fainting spells and he/she can give advice on the best line of treatment for it. These fainting spells may also be a symptom of a more serious underlying problem, and it is vital that it is detected early before it can get worse for the patient.
- Chest Pain
A type of chest pain called angina is a result of having not enough oxygen that reaches the heart. This pain can even spread throughout other parts of a person’s body, such as the shoulders, arms, and jaw. If this happens to you, you should immediately consult a doctor, as angina can be a symptom of an underlying heart condition. If the chest pain is paired with other symptoms, such as nausea or low heart rate, then you should call for emergency medical help immediately as these could be signs of an upcoming heart attack.
Feeling dizzy without any reason may be a sign of heart disease or abnormal blood pressure. If you experience this, especially multiple times, you might want to see a heart doctor for advice. You should have someone accompany you going to the hospital or clinic to make sure that you get there safely.
- Heart Flutters
If you feel a fluttering sensation in your chest, such as palpitations or an irregular heartbeat, then you should call a heart doctor for advice. These sensations may signal a more serious underlying condition that needs medical intervention.
How can we take care of our heart?
Your heart doctor will advise you on some of the best practices to keep your heart healthy. These can include the following:
- Eating a heart healthy diet
A heart healthy diet is one that consists of food that are proven to be beneficial to your heart. This diet includes a lot of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. It is also advised that people avoid consuming salty foods such as bacon, hotdogs, and ham.
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Your weight can have several implications on your health, not just your heart. If you are overweight or obese, it is important that you take steps to lose some weight and bring it back to normal levels.
- Increased physical activity
If you live a sedentary lifestyle, with little to no exercise or physical activity, then you are at a high risk of developing heart problems. Our bodies are not meant to just sit around all day. Find the time to exercise, as this can greatly improve not just your physical health, but your emotional and mental health as well. It can also help you lose weight as well. Doctors advise at least 2.5 hours of physical activity or exercise per week is a good starting point for a healthy body.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol
The effects of smoking and alcohol consumption to our body are well documented. If you want to take care of your heart, quitting these two activities can greatly reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other problems. If it is difficult for you to just go “cold turkey” on smoking or alcohol, see a heart doctor so that he/she can help you lose these bad habits gradually.
- Monitoring your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
To maintain a healthy heart, it is vital that we take time to monitor our blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Abnormal blood pressure or blood sugar levels may not exhibit any symptoms immediately, which is why manually measuring them regularly is very important.
Cadence Heart Centre
Mt. Elizabeth Hospital, 3 Mount Elizabeth #14-13
Mt Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510
Mobile: (65) 8318 9884
Phone: (65) 6369 8789