• What Your Cholesterol Numbers Mean

    Maintaining healthy cholesterol is one step in the right direction towards having a healthy heart. If you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, keeping your cholesterol down is an important part of controlling your condition. When your cardiologist tells you about your cholesterol, he or she probably lists a few different figures.

    blood and cholesterol screening results

    Total Blood Cholesterol
    Your  total cholesterol  is the sum of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and 20 percent of your triglycerides. This overall number, which is reported in milligrams per deciliter of blood, gives you a general overview of your cholesterol, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Although your cardiologist generally will suggest that you aim to have your total cholesterol at less than 180 mg/dL, the specific numbers that go into that total are very significant.

    HDL and LDL Cholesterol
    HDL cholesterol is often referred to as good cholesterol. High levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with better overall health, as this type of cholesterol helps to remove plaque from blood vessels. LDL cholesterol—or bad cholesterol—contributes to artery blockages and heart disease. Being overweight, smoking, and being inactive all lead to higher LDL cholesterol levels. In your total cholesterol, aim to have a high HDL number and a low LDL number.

    Triglycerides
    Triglycerides are a type of fat. When triglyceride levels are high—especially alongside high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol—the risk of plaque artery build-up is increased. Your target rate for triglycerides will depend on your age and sex, so talk to your cardiologist about a healthy range for you.

    Cholesterol is one that adds up to good heart health. Ask your cardiologist about your cholesterol, blood pressure, and more at your next appointment at Cardiac Solutions. We have  heart clinics  in Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City West, and Avondale. Make your appointment today by calling (623) 208-5305.  

  • Foods That Contain Trans Fats

    For many years, people with high cholesterol have been advised to restrict their intakes of foods that are high in saturated fats to protect their heart health. Now, cardiologists have zeroed in on trans fats as an even bigger danger. Trans fats drive up your LDL cholesterol while suppressing beneficial HDL cholesterol and are considered to be such a significant health risk that some cities and states have passed legislation that restrict them. Are trans- fats sneaking into your diet?

    Here are some foods that are commonly high in this kind of fat.
    Many commercially prepared foods like: cookies, cakes, frozen dinners, chips and crackers, fried foods, prepackaged baking mixes, microwave popcorn, donuts, Non-dairy creamer.  If the list of ingredients names any sort of partially hydrogenated oil, margarine or shortening, that food contains the dangerous fat.
    Switch to healthier oils like olive or canola, use 1% milk or evaporated milk in place of Non-dairy creamer. Increase your intake of fresh, whole foods rather than processed and prepackaged foods.

     

    High In Fat

    At Cardiac Solutions, we’re committed to giving you the care and education you need to keep your heart healthy. For an appointment at one of our  West Valley-area heart clinics , call (623) 208-5305. 

  • What Is Atrial Fibrillation?

    Atrial fibrillation —often referred to simply as AFib—is a type of heart arrhythmia. AFib impacts the atrial chambers of the heart (top 2 chambers of the heart), and when left untreated, could lead to an increased risk of stroke. If your cardiologist has told you that you have AFib, here is what you need to know.

    ECG abstract backgrounds

    What Happens to the Heart with AFib?
    With a normal heartbeat, an electrical impulse starts in the right atrium—the upper right chamber of the heart—and passes through the left atrium and down into the ventricles (lower chambers) along a specific pathway (septal wall). When you have AFib, the electrical signal doesn’t come in a regular pattern, so it causes the atrial muscles to quiver rather than a synchronized beat. This impacts both the efficiency and the speed of your heartbeat. A number of different things can cause AFib to develop, including heart disease, mitral valve damage, hyperthyroidism, and lung disease. 

    What Are the Symptoms?
    Some patients don’t experience any symptoms with AFib while others feel heart palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Chest pain is also possible. Some patients only learn that they have AFib after they experience a complication, like a stroke. If you’re having symptoms of AFib, your cardiologist may order an ECG or have you wear a heart monitor, which is a portable ECG device that records your heart rate over an extended period of time.

    How Is It Treated?
    Treatment for AFib  depends on several factors. In some cases, treating an underlying cause, like hyperthyroidism, will resolve the AFib. For mild to moderate AFib symptoms, your cardiologist may prescribe medications to slow your heart rate plus blood thinners to lessen the risk of stroke. For more severe AFib symptoms, cardioversion or radiofrequency ablation may be used to encourage your heart to beat in a normal rhythm.

    If you have AFib, trust Cardiac Solutions to manage your care. Our  cardiologists  provide cutting-edge, compassionate care to patients with a range of heart conditions. NEW: We offer FREE AFib education classes. Visit one of our locations in Peoria, Sun City West, Avondale, Glendale, or Phoenix, or call us at (623) 208-5305 for more information.  

  • The Uses of Holter Monitors

    If your cardiologist needs to track your heart rhythms over an extended period of time, he or she may recommend that you wear a Holter monitor. A Holter monitor records your heart’s activity for a 24- to 48-hour period, in hopes of capturing abnormalities that would be missed during your regular appointment.

    For the test, electrodes will be placed on your chest and then attached to the monitor, which is about the size of a cellphone. Throughout the period while you’re wearing the monitor, you will also keep a journal of your activities and symptoms, so your doctor can see what your heart was doing during those times. A Holter monitor can be used to diagnose a range of conditions, including atrial fibrillation and fast or slow heartbeats.

    ECG holter monitor isolated

    A Holter monitor is one diagnostic option that your  cardiologist at Cardiac Solutions  may recommend so you get the best treatment possible. To make an appointment at one of our clinics in Peoria, Glendale, Phoenix, Sun City West, or Avondale, call (623) 208-5305.  

  • Comparing Heart Attack Symptoms in Men and Women

    When most people think about heart attack symptoms, they think about severe chest pain. However, chest pain isn’t the main symptom of every heart attack, and furthermore, men and women often have different heart attack experiences. It’s important for men and women alike to understand gender-specific differences in heart attack symptoms, so they can react quickly when they think that they or someone they love could be experiencing a heart crisis. How do men and women differ when it comes to heart attacks? Here is what you need to know.

    Men with chest pain - heart attack

    Heart Attacks in Men
    Men are much more likely than women to have chest pain symptoms during a heart attack. Men often experience intense chest pain and pressure that can come and go or remain constant. Men may also have stomach discomfort, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness. They may also feel short of breath, even at rest, and may break out into a cold sweat.

    Heart Attacks in Women
    Heart attack symptoms for women are often more subtle than those for men. According to a study reported by Healthline.com,  chest pain was the primary symptom  most women had with heart attacks, and almost 80 percent of women had heart attack symptoms for a month before the attack itself happened. During a heart attack, and in the days leading up to one, women often report extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, anxiety, lightheadedness, and indigestion. In terms of pain, women are more likely to have upper back and shoulder pain, jaw pain, and throat pain. Chest pain is a possibility for women as well, especially after menopause, but it is not usually the main symptom.

    If you have symptoms of a heart attack, go to the ER immediately for fast, life-saving care. For help battling cardiovascular disease, trust  Cardiac Solutions . Our heart doctors treat and manage a range of heart conditions, including arrhythmias and heart failure. To make an appointment, call (623) 208-5305. We have locations to serve you in Glendale, Phoenix, Sun City West, Peoria, and Avondale. 

  • Reducing the Salt in Your Diet

    To protect your heart health, there is a good chance that your cardiologist has recommended that you reduce the amount of salt in your diet. You may be doing your best to stay away from the salt shaker, but unfortunately, most of the salt consumed in the United States is actually hidden in processed foods. Watch this video to learn more.

    High levels of sodium can be found in many foods that you might not expect, including bread and restaurant meals. When you’re watching your salt intake, it’s crucial that you check food labeling and order wisely at restaurants to keep your consumption in check.

    At Cardiac Solutions, our heart doctors will help you stay in control of your cardiovascular health. To learn more about our heart clinics in Glendale, Phoenix, Peoria, and Sun City West,  visit our website  or call (623) 208-5305.

  • A Look at Anticoagulation Therapy

    Anticoagulation therapy may be used by your cardiologist to manage a heart condition and prevent future complications. Though anticoagulants are often referred to as blood thinners, they don’t actually thin the blood, but rather slow down the clotting process. If your cardiologist is starting you on anticoagulation therapy, here is what you need to know.

    blood clot

    Why Is Anticoagulation Therapy Used?
    Anticoagulation therapy helps to prevent the formation of  blood clots . When blood clots form, they can interfere with blood flow and cause a heart attack, stroke, or deep vein thrombosis, in which a blood clot travels to the lungs or other places and can block blood flow. These medications are helpful for people who have an increased risk of blood clots because of a heart condition, such as atrial fibrillation. Anticoagulation medications are also sometimes used during and after heart surgery or other surgeries to protect against issues of clots.

    What Are the Side Effects?
    When you’re on anticoagulation therapy, it’s important to follow your cardiologist’s instructions closely. He or she will monitor you carefully to make sure you’re not experiencing any complications from the medications, such as having blood that is too thin or too thick. Because anticoagulants slow down clot formation, you may bruise or bleed more easily and bleed for a longer time after an injury. It’s important to monitor for any increased bleeding and to inform your dentist and other doctors that you’re on anticoagulants before any procedure.  Some symptoms you will want to notify your doctor of right away: If you have blood in your urine, black stools, breathing difficulties, chest pain, or bleeding or bruising that is unusual, tell your cardiologist right away. You will want to let your doctor know if you start or stop other medications.

    At Cardiac Solutions, We offer Free Anticoagulation Classes. Our cardiologists also closely monitor you when you’re on anticoagulation therapy so you get the benefits you need safely. To learn more about the care we provide in our  heart clinics , call (623) 208-5305 or visit us in Glendale, Phoenix, Peoria, Avondale, and Sun City West.     

  • Understanding Your Cholesterol Levels [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Your heart health is important, and there are many different factors that can contribute to a healthy heart. Cholesterol is a substance found in the body and in foods, and in the right amounts, can actually help to keep you healthy. High cholesterol is one of the controllable risk factors for cardiac problems, and lowering your overall cholesterol level can aid in heart disease prevention. LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, can accumulate in your arteries and cause a clot. On the other hand, HDL, or “good” cholesterol, may lower your risk of heart disease. Talk to your Phoenix cardiologist to gain a better understanding of what your cholesterol numbers mean and what you can do to improve them. You can also take a look at this infographic to learn more about cholesterol and how it affects you. Please share with your friends and family. 

    Understanding-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Infographic-01

  • Get the Truth Behind Common Heart Health Myths

    Did you know that heart disease accounts for more deaths in the United States than any other condition? As prevalent as this problem is, though, it continues to be widely misunderstood. In fact, some heart health misconceptions may lead people to delay or ignore the treatment that could save their lives. Finding out the truth about why heart disease develops and the individuals it affects is integral to protecting your health and that of those you love.

    Myths or Facts Concept

    Myth: Heart Disease Is Always Hereditary
    If you have a parent with  hypertension or high cholesterol , you might assume that heart disease will be part of your future. While heredity may increase your chances of having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, your diet and exercise habits can help combat these issues. In addition, unhealthy lifestyle habits can increase your risk of heart problems, even if you have no family history of them.

    Myth: Only Men Need To Worry about Heart Disease
    One of the most persistent myths regarding heart disease is that it affects only men—statistics prove otherwise. Heart disease is the most common cause of death for men and women, making it a condition that both genders should carefully monitor. Women, in particular, should educate themselves about how heart problems can present in female sufferers, as heart attack symptoms in women typically differ from those seen in men.

    Myth: Heart Disease Is Normal with Older Age
    Many people believe that chronic physical decline is a part of the aging process. While years of unhealthy habits tend to result in more cases of heart disease among the elderly, this condition does not have to be part of getting older. Just as heredity is not a guarantee of heart disease, old age does not have to mean more cardiac problems. If you make healthy eating and consistent physical activity part of your life, you can greatly reduce your chances of suffering from high cholesterol, hypertension, and other heart-related issues as you get older.

    Are you doing all that you can to protect your heart health? Cardiac Solutions in Phoenix and Glendale can help you establish healthy lifestyle habits to protect you from heart disease. To  set up an appointment  with one of our cardiologists, call (623) 208-5305.

  • Cardiac Solutions Announces Free Atrial Fibrillation Classes!

    1-5-2015 9-15-28 AM