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Posts for category: Cardiology Care

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
October 15, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Chest Pain  

Dr. Virginia Gonzalez at the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center holds the highest level of accreditation for diagnosing chest pain in West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA. 

A Closer Look at Chest Pain

For many people, chest pain comes in different forms. Some people might feel like their chest is being squeezed or crushed, while others experience a tight, achy feeling. The pain might occur around the ribs, near the lungs, or in the center of a person's chest. For some, the pain only lasts a few seconds. For others, the pain lasts for minutes or longer. 

When most people think of chest pain in West Monroe, LA, they immediately associate it with heart problems. However, many conditions cause pain in the chest and not all of them are heart-related issues. Here is a quick summary of non-heart related pain:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, or stress
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Lung problems, including pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or COPD
  • Digestive issues such as gastritis, acid reflux, esophagitis, or ulcers
  • Cancer involving chest structures

Chest Pain Diagnostic Tools

Cardiologists have a wide array of tools at their disposal to diagnose and treat pain in the chest, but the proper course of care depends on what's causing the pain. In most cases, doctors order an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check the electrical activity in your heart, or they might order a chest X-ray. 

Other diagnostic tools include MRIs, which doctors use to check for any damage to the aorta or heart. Stress tests are a tool used by medical professionals to measure how well your heart functions after exerting yourself physically. Additionally, doctors can order an angiogram, which helps cardiologists look for any blocked arteries. 

When to See a Doctor for Chest Pain

You should never ignore a pain in your chest. If the pain hasn't happened before or lasts for several minutes, it's smart to call 911 immediately. However, if the pain goes away after a few seconds but happens consistently, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez to diagnose what's happening. The pain may be something as simple as indigestion, but only a licensed medical professional can make the diagnosis, so it's better to err on the side of caution. 

If you're suffering from chest pain in West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA, schedule an appointment right away with Dr. Gonzalez by calling the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at (318)-338-3540. 

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
September 01, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart-Healthy Diet  

We all know how much our diet can affect our health, but is it easy to change your eating habits? The answer is no, it isn’t easy, and it needs an insistence to change your eating habits, but it is surely worth it. Visit your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC regularly to make sure that you’re having a healthy strong heart.

Following a heart-healthy diet can be achieved simply by increasing your daily intake of some food species and decreasing others. Below are a few tips for a healthy diet:

Increase your daily portion of fruits and vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers, and poor in calories. That makes them a great addition to your diet as they will satiate you without being harmful to your heart. They will also prevent many cardiovascular diseases from happening. Try to choose the fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, or those canned with juice or water, not with sugar and heavy syrups.

Add more whole grains to your diet:

They are rich in fibers and healthy nutrients, which will regulate your blood pressure levels and protect your heart. Substitute your refined grain products with whole wheat flour, high fiber cereal, and oatmeal products. Limit your intake of muffins, donuts, cookies, and cakes as they include harmful nutrients.

Modulate your fat intake:

Your daily fat intake will directly affect your blood cholesterol levels. Increasing the intake of olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oils, nuts, and avocado is recommended. Cardiologists in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, recommend you to reduce the intake of butter, lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, and palm kernels oil.

Reduce the salt portion in your diet:

Eating salty foods will lead to elevated blood pressure and heart diseases. It is recommended that you maintain a diet with daily consumption of salt not exceeding one teaspoon. Avoid eating canned or processed foods as they contain large amounts of salt.

Contact us

Contact your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, to learn more about heart-healthy diets. Call us at (318) 338-3540 and book your appointment today.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
July 14, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care

When blood pressure reaches unhealthy levels it is known as hypertension, and if it remains uncontrolled it could lead to dangerous complications, kidney damage being one of the most serious. But there is a lot you can do to manage the condition and your West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, cardiologist can do a lot to help. So contact Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center to learn more.

Diet

Lifestyle changes are key to successfully managing your high blood pressure. A food diary can be useful, more so early on as you try to get a sense of what you're eating, when, and why. Eating healthy can be very effective, limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks, sodium, red meat, and alcohol. Quitting smoking can also help.

Exercise

Healthy eating coupled with a healthy body can do a lot to manage hypertension. Remaining consistent once you start will allow you to keep blood levels from rising again in the future. Exercise has the added effect of helping limit stress, which can increase your blood pressure. To further help reduce stress, you should do your best to avoid situations that may trigger it.

Medication

Exercise and diet alone can do a lot to help manage your hypertension, but typically it may not be enough. Your cardiologist will usually prescribe medication that will work in conjunction with lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. There are different types of medications and each plays a different role, so depending on your own condition you may be prescribed a combination of these.

High Blood Pressure Treatment in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA

Visiting your doctor regularly is important to monitor your blood pressure levels, and you can speak with your doctor to find out if monitoring at home is a good option. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, dial (318) 338-3540.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
June 03, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart Disease   Heart Attack  

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, according to the CDC. Our hearts are always working hard to supply us with blood and it's important to know when there are signs of trouble. Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center is here for you in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA if you're concerned about heart disease. Learn about the most common symptoms of heart problems and come see us to stay heart healthy!

Chest pain

Chest pain is the most common and obvious symptom of a heart attack. Many patients describe a crushing or squeezing sensation in the chest and having difficulty breathing. Other symptoms of a heart attack can include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and anxiety. If you are having chest pain and any of these symptoms, call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Heart palpitations

Heart palpitation is described as a rapid or irregular heartbeat. This can happen for several reasons. For example, you may have experienced this after too much caffeine or in the middle of a lot of stress. If you notice something triggers this in you, let your West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA doctor know.

Shortness of breath

When the heart isn't pumping blood as efficiently as it should, blood can get backed up in the veins that go from the lungs to the heart. This can cause fluid to leak into the lungs and give you shortness of breath.

Sudden pains

A weak heart can cause pain in areas other than the chest. If you notice sudden pain during periods of activity in your arms, shoulders, back, and stomach, this could be a sign of heart disease.

Swollen ankles

Swelling can occur for many reasons, but severe swelling of the lower legs in particular is another sign that blood is backed up in your veins and fluid may be building up in your tissue.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to call us. Your doctor of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center is dedicated to heart health and helping patients with heart disease. Contact us for an appointment in West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA, at (318) 338-3540.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
May 24, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Holter Monitor  

Your doctor has just mentioned using a Holter monitor and you're probably wondering what it is and what it does. Your cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC at West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA, will tell you everything you need to know about a Holter monitor.

Holter Monitor

A Holter monitor is a portable medical device that your doctor uses to measure your heart's electrical activity.

Essentially, a Holter monitor is an ECG that can fit into your pocket. It consists of leads and wires which your doctor connects to your body during the duration of its operation.

Why Your Doctor Might Request Holter Monitoring

A Holter monitor measures the electrical activity driving your heart's function.

If you're experiencing specific symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and tiredness that make your cardiologist suspect abnormal electrical activity, they might put you on 24-hour Holter monitoring.

Other reasons why you might need a Holter monitor include:

  • Evaluating the function of your pacemaker
  • Assessing the effectiveness of your heart medication
  • Assessing chest pain
  • Evaluating your risk of future heart conditions
  • Identifying heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat

Holter Monitoring Procedure

Before coming in to get your Holter monitor, you should shower but don't put on lotion. You won't shower again till your doctor takes it off. You should avoid activities that can get your monitor wet while it's on.

You'll also need to stay away from metal detectors and X-rays.

During your appointment, your cardiologist will place the leads of your Holter monitor on your chest and secure it in place with extra tape. The monitor stays in a pouch close to your chest.

From your doctor's office, you can proceed to perform your normal daily routine. Take note to document your activity on a notepad.

Noting significant events during the day such as chest pain and physical activity can help your doctor correlate your heart's electrical activity to your symptoms.

Your doctor, Dr. Gonzalez, will study and interpret the readings on your Holter monitor at the end of your session which could be 24-48 hours. This information will guide your treatment.

If you've got more questions about Holter monitors in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, you should contact your cardiologist, Dr. Gonzalez, at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC. Call (318) 338-3540 to schedule your appointment today.