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Posts for: July, 2020

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
July 21, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Chest Pain  

Are you experiencing pains in your chest? If so, it may be time to speak with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez. In our fast-paced world, ignoring sharp aches and pains in your chest may be your first instinct. Still, those pains can cause lasting complications if left unchecked. The Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center serving the West Monroe and Winnsboro LA district can help you get to the bottom of your chest pain and breathe easier.

What Are Some of the Causes of Chest Pain?

Not all chest pains are malignant. Some chest pains could indicate minor concerns such as acid reflux or strained thoracic muscles. What about the more dangerous causes of discomfort? According to the American Heart Association, patients that are experiencing chest pain could have ailments such as these:

  • A panic attack, which creates a shock in the body to which the patient has trouble responding.
  • Pulmonary embolism. PE is usually caused by blockage due to a blood clot in a lung artery
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)
  • Pericarditis, which is inflammation in the tissues that surround the vascular organ. Sickness, injury, or lifestyle habits usually causes this kind of inflammation.
  • Aortic dissection characterized by the tearing of a major artery through injury, surgery, or other means.
  • A lung infection such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
  • Aortic stenosis, the narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve with cholesterol, scar tissue, or other material.
  • Angina, the pain felt in the chest due to a lack of oxygen. A sharp squeezing of the thorax usually causes this pain.
  • Heart attack, which signals complications in the muscles of the heart. Symptoms can include chest tightness, light-headedness, and pains in the chest.

For even more information on heart health and alleviating your pains in your chest, contact the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe and Winnsboro LA, at (318) 338-3540 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez.

By Virginia Y. Gonzalez
July 21, 2020
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart Disease  

Reducing your heart disease risks often takes consistent planning and lifestyle changes. Stress from the job, an imbalanced diet, and overconsumption of alcohol are all factors in developing cardiac ailments. Visiting Dr. Virginia Gonzalez can put you on the track back to health. An appointment at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center located in the Winnsboro and West Monroe LA areas can help patients maintain wellness.

In between visits with a specialist, there are some things you can do to stave off heart disease:

Eat a heart-healthy balanced diet.

Protecting your heart with nutritious foods is delicious and promotes longevity. Studies have shown that consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in alpha-linolenic acid helps to stave off heart disease. Consuming a diet rich in foods like wild salmon, olives, and fresh fruits and veggies is an excellent way to maintain health.

Move your body.

Exercising vigorously can prevent and even reverse cardiac conditions. Getting active 3 or 4 times a week is a great way to get the blood circulating and reduce "bad" cholesterol, otherwise known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

Incorporate rest and sleep

Sleep reduces inflammatory markers and pain in the body. Rest is conducive to relieving stress, which leads to better heart health. Doctors recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to encourage suitable bedtime habits. An excellent method to help the body wind down is a warm bath or shower about an hour before bed. Be sure to turn off your electronics at that time, too.

Don’t smoke

Smoking puts stress on the cardiovascular system, but quitting smoking resets the body and allows the heart and lungs to heal the damage that was done by smoking. Cigarette use correlates with a raised risk of stroke and other heart diseases.

If you are interested in obtaining more information or would like to see Dr. Virginia Gonzalez for a pre-existing condition, contact Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in Winnsboro and West Monroe LA at (318) 338-3540 to schedule a consultation.

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
July 08, 2020
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart   Healthy Lifestyle  

Are you aware that in the U.S., the top cause of death is heart disease? Did you also know that you could be at risk for developing it and not even know it? Fortunately, heart-friendly behaviors can significantly decrease your risk of heart disease while preventing other health problems like certain cancers and diabetes.

Aside from routine heart checks with your cardiologist here at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, in our Winnsboro LA or West Monroe LA offices, here are some no-nonsense ways to help keep your heart in tiptop condition.

Know Your Heart Disease Risk Factors

The primary heart disease risk factors include smoking, high levels of cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It’s also crucial to talk to your cardiologist and family to find out which diseases you have that may put you at risk of developing heart disease.

Sit Less and Move More

You should get in a minimum of 150 minutes weekly of moderately intense aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening workouts for two or more days per week. Your West Monroe LA and Winnsboro LA cardiologist highly recommends it.

Go On a Heart-Friendly Diet

In a nutshell, your diet should consist of more veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains, low-fat dairy items, and lean meats. Eat less added sugars, saturated fats, salt, and processed foods.

Monitor Your Blood Cholesterol Levels

High bad cholesterol or LDL levels in the blood don’t present any symptoms or warning signs but results in fatty accumulation in your arteries, which could then result in stroke or a heart attack. Your cardiologist in our Winnsboro LA or West Monroe LA practice will advise you on how to keep your bad cholesterol level down and amp up your good or HDL cholesterol level, which may include eating right and/or medications that lower bad cholesterol levels.

Stop Smoking

As previously mentioned, this is among the top risk factors for heart disease so quit smoking right now. If you find quitting the habit challenging, talk to your cardiologist for smoking cessation advice.

Manage Your Blood Pressure Levels

Like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, also called hypertension, typically doesn't present warning signs so you need to get your levels checked regularly. If your doctor diagnoses you with hypertension, you’ll need to keep track of it more frequently, cut the salt in your diet, and take blood pressure-reducing medication.

Always Take Your Medicines as Instructed

If you’re taking any medications for hypertension, high cholesterol, and other diseases, follow your Winnsboro LA and West Monroe LA doctor's directions. Likewise, don’t just stop taking them without your doctor’s advice.

For More Details on Keeping Your Heart Healthy, Give Us a Call

Dial (318) 338-3540 to set up an appointment with your cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, here at the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in Winnsboro, LA, or West Monroe, LA.