Posts for category: Cardiology Care
Echocardiography, commonly referred to as echocardiogram, is a diagnostic medical procedure for examining the heart. Echocardiography aids in monitoring or diagnosing certain heart conditions such as atrial fibrillation or congenital heart disease. Dr. Atif Sohail, the board-certified cardiologist at Heart & Sleep Clinics of America in Arlington, TX, performs echocardiography and can determine if you need one.
When is Echocardiography Needed?
An echocardiography test helps doctors measure the shape and size of the heart, as well as monitor blood flow through the valves and chambers. The procedure aids in the diagnosis of various heart-related conditions, including heart murmurs, heart infections, congenital heart disease, and atrial fibrillation. Echocardiography also allows cardiologists to examine the condition of the heart muscles after a heart attack.
A cardiologist can determine if echocardiography is needed based on factors such as current symptoms and medical history. Individuals who have suffered a heart attack or stroke are likely to need an echocardiogram. Patients with certain cardiovascular conditions, such as abnormal heart valves or pulmonary hypertension, are also more likely to need one.
The Echocardiogram Procedure
There are two methods for performing an echocardiography test, standard, and trans-thoracic echo. Both types are performed as out-patient procedures. Additionally, there is little to no recovery time following an echocardiogram so patients can return to their normal routine almost immediately.
Most patients at our heart clinic in Arlington, TX, undergo the standard echocardiography test, which is quicker and less invasive. A standard echocardiogram is painless. During the procedure, a chest probe is placed along the ribcage and upper abdomen for capturing sonogram images of the heart. In some cases, an IV injection of contrast liquid might be required to obtain better images.
A trans-thoracic echocardiogram test takes a bit longer and is a little more complicated. Patients can be placed under conscious sedation, if needed, to help them relax and remain comfortable throughout the procedure. To begin, the back of the throat is numbed and a probe is gently placed inside the esophagus. More in-depth imaging of the heart can be obtained through this type of test since the probe is positioned inside the body in close proximity to the heart.
Echocardiography provides invaluable information about the condition of the heart that can be used to develop tailored recommendations for improving cardiovascular health. For questions about echocardiography in Arlington, TX, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sohail by calling Heart & Sleep Clinics of America at (817) 419-7220.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women throughout the United States. There are different factors that can put you at a higher risk of heart disease and it’s important to discuss your history with your cardiologist so that they can help create a treatment and lifestyle plan that can help you prevent heart disease from occurring. Dr. Atif Sohail at Heart & Sleep Clinics of America in Arlington, TX, can help determine your risk of heart disease and work on ways to keep you healthy and your heart strong.
Determining Your Risk for Heart Disease
There are different factors in both your medical history and your lifestyle that can put you at a higher risk for developing heart disease. Heart disease can include heart attacks, congestive heart failure, strokes, or coronary artery disease.
Some common risk factors associated with heart disease can include:
- Weight gain
- Pain medications
- Alcohol consumption
- Energy drink consumption
- Heart arrhythmia
- Congestive heart failure
- Family history of heart disease
Heart disease can occur in both men and women, so it’s important to discuss your risks with your cardiologist. If your cardiologist in Arlington, TX, determines that your risk of heart disease is higher, there are some changes that they may suggest you make. This can include lifestyle changes, such as reducing the amount of alcohol or caffeine that you intake and including a healthy diet and exercise regimen. They may also prescribe medications to prevent heart disease, or in severe cases, surgery might be needed.
Contact Your Cardiologist Today!
It’s important that you understand what your risk for heart disease is. Contact Dr. Atif Sohail at Heart & Sleep Clinics of America in Arlington, TX, to learn about factors that can cause heart disease and how you can prevent it from occurring to you. Call for more information today at (817) 419-7220.
Could you be at risk for developing heart disease? A visit to your Arlington, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Atif Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America, will help you determine if you need to make a few lifestyle changes or take medication to control an underlying condition, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Factors that may raise your risk of heart disease
These risk factors could increase your chances of developing heart disease:
- High Cholesterol: High cholesterol narrows your arteries due to the build-up of a waxy substance called plaque. The build-up reduces the amount of blood and oxygen that reaches your heart.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure damages and weakens your blood vessels, increases stress on your heart and makes it easier for plaque to accumulate. Exercising more often and changing your diet may lower your blood pressure naturally. If not, your Arlington, TX, heart doctor can prescribe medication that lowers your pressure and helps reduce your heart disease risk.
- Diabetes: High blood sugar can damage your blood vessels. Nerve damage, a consequence of uncontrolled diabetes, may also affect the nerves responsible for normal heart function.
- Smoking: Smoking increases plaque build-up, makes your blood thicker and more likely to clot. It can also cause an irregular heart rhythm and damage your blood vessels.
- Obesity: Increased body fat can be a risk factor for heart disease. If you're overweight or obese, your heart must work harder than usual.
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Regular exercise strengthens your heart, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you control your blood sugar. If you're a couch potato, you may be more likely to develop heart disease.
- Unhealthy Diet: Eating fatty, greasy, processed, sugary, or high-carbohydrate foods may also increase your heart disease risk. Avoiding or limiting these foods and choosing low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, and high-grains instead offers a simple way to protect your heart.
- Other Factors: You may be more likely to develop heart disease if someone else in your family has had it or if you have sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), drink too much alcohol,l or take certain medications.
Protect your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease with a visit to the cardiology office in Arlington, TX. Call (817) 419-7220 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America.
A Stress test helps determine how well your heart can function under stress- during physical activity of varying intensity. When you exercise, your heart needs to pump blood faster. According to Dr. Atif Sohail from Heart & Sleep Clinics of America in Arlington, TX, Stress testing is a useful diagnostic and therapeutic tool. If a person experiences uneasiness during the stress test, it is a red flag revealing an unhealthy heart.
Stress Testing Arlington, TX
Before the stress test, the doctor records your medical history, which lets him decide the exercise intensity for the test. Patches placed on the chest, legs, and arms connect to a monitor. These sensors record the electrical activity of the heart. The test also monitors your blood pressure and breathing.
You will exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike during the test. It will start slow and build up speed, continuing till the target. The symptoms to look out for include chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm, shortness of breath, high or low blood pressure, changes in electrocardiogram, dizziness, or fatigue. You can discontinue the test if you are uncomfortable. The doctor will continuously monitor the readings and stop the test if anything unusual occurs.
After the test, you can rest for your heart rate and breathing to get back to normal. Patients with coronary artery disease show abnormal test results. They may require further investigations and treatment. Sometimes your doctor will use the results to change the treatment plan.
It may be difficult to distinguish between disease-related symptoms and the usual fatigue we all experience. Go ahead with a stress test to rule out any heart disease or condition. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Atif Sohail from Heart & Sleep Clinics of America to know more about stress testing in Arlington, TX, by calling us on (817) 419-7220 today.
Leading a healthier lifestyle can protect your heart health.
With heart disease being the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US (according to the CDC), there is nothing more important than protecting people from heart disease. Our Arlington, TX, cardiologist Dr. Atif Sohail helps patients pinpoint their risk factors and then change their lifestyle to reduce their risk. Here are some things you can start doing to reduce your chances of developing heart disease,
If you are a smoker, one of the best ways to protect your heart health both now and in the future is to quit. After all, people who smoke are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers, and smoking also doubles your risk for stroke. If you’re having trouble quitting, know that our Arlington, TX, cardiologist and his team can provide you with resources and support to help you ditch the bad habit once a for all.
While a glass of wine every once in a while probably is a cause for concern, most Americans drink far too much and too often. Alcohol puts a lot of strain on the body, including the heart. Alcohol also raises blood pressure. Women shouldn’t have more than one drink a day and men should limit alcohol to no more than two a day.
Your diet plays an important role in your heart health. It’s important that you are eating a whole, unprocessed diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and lean protein. A plant-based or Mediterranean diet is very heart-healthy, as it offers a lot of vitamins and nutrients while also being low in sodium, saturated fats, and sugar.
Get Regular Physical Activity
We are careful to say physical activity and not just exercise here because when most people think about getting more daily activity they often think they need to join a gym or start taking that yoga class they’ve been putting off; however, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day is all you need to cut your risk for heart disease. Take a brisk walk. Get out in your garden. Your everyday physical activities here in Arlington, TX, will add up.
If you are concerned about your risk for heart disease, our Arlington, TX, cardiologist Dr. Sohail would be happy to sit down with you to help reduce your risk. Call Heart & Sleep Clinics of America at (817) 419-7220 to schedule an evaluation.