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Posts for category: Heart Conditions

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
December 14, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Heart Disease  

At the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe, LA, we appreciate heart health and desire our patients to avoid the devastation of heart disease. Dr. Virginia Gonzalez is our board-certified cardiologist who desires that everyone understand heart disease, its symptoms, complications, and risks. Read more details about this serious health condition.

Facts about heart disease

Your father died of heart disease. Your brother is currently under treatment for a heart rhythm problem. You want to know more, and frankly, education and reduction of personal risk factors both support good cardiovascular health.

So, here are some facts to empower you and your family against the dangers of heart disease:

1. Heart disease encompasses a wide range of problems. Some people suffer from more than one simultaneously, but all are capable of reducing your quality--and length--of life. Cardiovascular problems include:

  • CAD, or cardiovascular disease, in which arteries that feed the heart muscle are plugged with fatty plaque
  • Chest pain, or angina, from restricted blood flow to the heart
  • Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly called a heart attack in which the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood flow
  • Arrhythmia, in which the heart's electrical system fails to keep a normal heartbeat
  • Aneurysm, a weakening and possible rupture of the walls of a major blood vessel, such as the aorta
  • Heart failure, the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood around the body
  • Stroke, blockage of the vessels which carry blood to the brain

2. Heart disease can be asymptomatic, reports the Illinois Department of Health. While this is not always the case, the first sign of a problem can be a heart attack.

3. Heart disease is, for the most part, preventable. Limiting, or eliminating, these risk factors reduces heart disease risk:

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • High cholesterol and high blood glucose levels due to diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

Risk factors you cannot modify include age and family history. Health.com explains that the chances of developing heart disease increase with age. The first cardiac episode happens at age 66 for men and age 70 for women.

4. Your cardiologist in West Monroe, LA, detects heart disease through symptoms, blood tests, and other reliable testing, such as cardiac stress tests, echocardiogram, and EKG.

Find out more

Your heart health is so important. At Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez and her team maintain prevention of heart disease is paramount and that education empowers.

For more information and to arrange a consultation, please contact us at (318) 338-3540. We have two locations--West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
October 08, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Heart Disease  

Did you know that there are early warning signs of heart disease that most people pass off as not serious or minor inconveniences? However, having just one of these early symptoms might not necessarily mean that you have heart disease. On the other hand, experiencing multiple warnings signs, like chest pains and a persistent coughing, might indicate that you already have heart disease, or worse, that you’re about to have a heart attack.

In this light, it’s vital to get a checkup with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez here at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC in our Winnsboro, LA, or West Monroe, LA, to prevent these heart disease symptoms from progressing and turning into a full-blown heart problem:

  • Chest and Shoulder Pains. These pains, particularly when on the left side of the chest near the heart, are very common signs of an imminent heart attack. These pain manifests as a slow buildup of pain in your shoulder and usually indicate problems with the heart.
  • Irregular Heartbeat. Although some people with an irregular heartbeat can be 100% healthy, it might likewise indicate a heart attack or heart failure.
  • Sleeping and Snoring Issues. These have been associated directly with heart disease as well as other cardiovascular problems.
  • Swollen Feet and Legs. This could indicate heart failure. Like chest pain, the swelling of your feet and legs are due to poor blood flow to your heart, resulting in blood clots or your heart not working.
  • Pain in The Jaw. In women particularly, pain that runs from the heart and up to the jaw is a common sign of heart attack, especially when it occurs along with breathing issues or other heart attack warning signs.
  • Fatigue and Shortness of Breath. These are typically caused by backed-up blood vessels that begin spreading to areas where they shouldn’t go, such as your lungs.
  • Persistent Cough. This could indicate that your lungs are storing fluids, which is a common symptom of congestive heart failure.
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness. Fainting or feeling lightheaded or dizzy could indicate that the brain isn’t receiving sufficient oxygen, which is the top cause of heart attacks and strokes.
  • Cold Sweats. Sweating, particularly cold sweats, might signal an issue with the heart, especially when you are not engaging in physical activity and have chest pain.

Fortunately, it is never too late to try and take better care of your heart and avoid heart disease. Work closely with your doctor in our Winnsboro, LA, or West Monroe, LA, office to create a heart disease management plan.

Reach Out to Us For More Details, Questions, or Concerns About Heart Disease

Arrange an appointment here at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC in our West Monroe, LA, or Winnsboro, LA, office with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez by dialing (318) 338-3540.

By Virginia Y. Gonzalez
July 10, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Angina  

Angina may be a sign that you have a problem with your heart. Your West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez diagnoses angina and other heart ailments at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center.

Angina symptoms

Agina is a type of pain or discomfort in the chest that occurs due to decreased blood flow to the heart. In addition to chest pain, symptoms of angina can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath and sweating. You may also notice pain or pressure in your chest that extends to your arm, jaw, back or neck, or feel as if you have indigestion.

Your cardiologist will perform tests to determine if you have stable or unstable angina. Stable angina happens when you're exercising or your heart is working harder than it normally does. As soon as you rest or take medication, your symptoms will go away if you have this form of angina.

If you have unstable angina, your symptoms will continue even if you rest or take medication. Unstable angina requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Your chest pain and other symptoms could mean that you're having a heart attack.

Causes of angina

Angina can occur if you have a blockage or spasm in an artery or have coronary artery disease (CAD). CAD occurs when fatty deposits inside your arteries reduce blood flow.

You may be at increased risk of developing angina if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, or smoke. Other risk factors include an unhealthy diet, not getting enough exercise and stress. The conditions that cause angina may be inherited in some cases.

Treatments for angina

Your West Monroe and Winnsboro heart doctor will recommend treatments that will ease your symptoms and address the underlying causes of angina. Treatments may include:

  • Medication: You've probably seen a movie or TV show where a character with angina reaches for a nitrate capsule. Nitrates widen blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the heart. Other medications may slow your heartbeat, decrease blood clotting or lower cholesterol.
  • Angioplasty: An angioplasty may be recommended if you have a blockage in an artery. During the procedure, a small balloon is inflated to widen the artery. A metal stent may also be added to the artery to keep it open.
  • Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy (EECP): During this therapy, blood pressure cuffs attached to your legs and pelvis increase blood flow to the heart.
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery: A vein or artery will be taken from another part of your body and used to bypass the blocked or damaged part of the coronary artery.

Improving your diet, exercising more, losing weight and reducing stress may also help reduce your angina symptoms.

Do you think you may have angina? Call your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Gonzalez, at (318) 338-3540 to schedule an appointment.

By Virginia Y. Gonzalez
May 07, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Heart Diseases  

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Know the warning signs.

Heart disease refers to a variety of health conditions, either congenital or acquired, that affect the circulatory system, blood vessels, and heart. Heart disease is incredibly common, causing 1 out of every 4 deaths in the US. If you suspect that you might have heart disease it is important that you visit our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist Dr. Virginia Gonzalez as soon as possible for an evaluation.

Here’s how to spot the telltale symptoms and signs of the most common types of heart disease,

An Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is simply an irregular heartbeat. Some of the most common arrhythmias include,

  • Tachycardia: when the heart beats too fast (over 100 beats per minute)
  • Bradycardia: when the heart beats too slowly (under 60 beats per minute)
  • Premature ventricular contractions: an irregular heartbeat that often feels like your heart skipped a beat
  • Fibrillation: an irregular and sometimes rapid heart rate

This is a common condition, and most people will experience an irregular heartbeat at some point, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have an arrhythmia; however, If you do experience a fluttering or erratic heart rate rather regularly it’s important to see your West Monroe, LA, heart doctor to rule out heart disease.

Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when cholesterol and plaque accumulate within the coronary arteries, leading to narrowing and blockages. This condition is also known as atherosclerosis, which causes inflammation and damage to the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This is the most common type of heart disease, and it affects both men and women. Common symptoms of CAD include,

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pressure or discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Heartburn

If you notice chest pressure, pain, or discomfort it’s important that you see your cardiologist right away. Do not ignore these symptoms. CAD requires immediate treatment and can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.

Heart Attack

Also known as a myocardial infarction, a heart attack occurs when there is a blockage to one or more of the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. A heart attack damages to cardiac muscles and the most common symptoms of a heart attack include,

  • Chest pain
  • Pain that radiates from your chest down your shoulders, arms or back
  • Stomach pain that often feels like heartburn or indigestion
  • Heart fluttering or palpitations
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anxiety
  • Cold sweats
  • Dizziness

If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, please call 911 or have someone immediately drive you to the nearest ER.

If you are dealing with heart problems or chronic heart disease it’s important to know that Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe, LA, is still providing ongoing treatment and care to those who need it. Please call us at (318) 338-3540 if you are dealing with any new or worsening symptoms.

By Virginia Y. Gonzalez
February 20, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions

Did you know that you have control over certain stroke risk factors? In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that approximately 80% of stroke events are preventable if you’re fully aware of your risk factors and do certain lifestyle modifications to control them. Here at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in West Monroe, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez can help you identify your stroke risk factors. This way, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk of experiencing a stroke.

Risk factors, both uncontrollable and controllable

Knowing the following risk factors will empower you to take the right preventive measures and prioritize stroke prevention:

  • You are older than 55 years old: The American Stroke Association (ASA) states that your risk for stroke doubles for each decade following your 55th
  • You’re female: According to the National Stroke Association, approximately 55,000 more females annually will experience a stroke than males.
  • You have a stroke history in the family.
  • You are Hispanic or African American: The ASA states that these ethnicities are more susceptible to stroke than other ethnicities.
  • You’ve already had heart problems: For example, if you have already had a stroke, TIA (transient ischemic attack), or heart attack, your stroke risk might increase. Other health issues associated with stroke include sleep apnea, sickle cell anemia, and atrial fibrillation.

Your stroke risk could likewise increase if these risk factors apply to you:

  • You have coexisting health issues: Heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and other health issues can all raise your stroke risk.
  • You’re obese, overweight, and/or sedentary: If you sit around all day and are not regularly receiving sufficient exercise, you’re not only increasing your risk for stroke, but for a myriad of health problems as well.
  • You have unhealthy eating habits: Foods rich in fat, sodium, and calories can contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, in turn, raising your stroke risk.
  • You’re still smoking: Cigarettes can cause a whole lot of damage to your heart and raise your stroke risk.

Concerned about your stroke risk?

Contact our office, Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in West Monroe, LA. Book your consultation with our cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez by calling (318) 338-3540 now.