There have been renewed concerns regarding cardiovascular health in recent times after there has been a surge in cases of cardiac arrest. Renowned celebrities like Puneeth Rajkumar and Sidharth Shukla, who were known to be fitness enthusiasts, fell prey to fatal heart attacks, and their untimely deaths left their fans devastated. With several reports of heart attacks coming in, there are doubts and concerns in the minds of people regarding the same. A recent study also found that COVID-19 has reduced the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, sharply increasing mortality rates from heart disease.
Dr Ganesh Nallur Shivu, a senior interventional cardiologist at Kauvery Hospitals Electronic City in Bengaluru talked to Indian Express about various aspects of heart health that are quite essential for people to know.
He described heart failure as the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to vital organs of the body like the brain and the kidney, with symptoms ranging from difficulty in breathing while walking or other activities, lack of energy, fatigue and swelling in legs or abdomen. People who have had a history of heart attacks, angioplasty or heart bypass in the past are more susceptible to heart failure, says Dr Shivu. He also said that long-term uncontrolled high blood pressure and diabetes can also lead to heart failure. “Heart failure can also occur in young patients following a viral illness and this is termed as viral myocarditis or in patients with rheumatic heart disease,” he added.
ECG, echocardiogram and blood tests are part of the diagnosis. While an echocardiogram is an ultrasound examination of the heart, blood tests are performed to rule out other causes of heart failure, such as kidney failure, liver failure, anaemia and thyroid issues. The doctor may prescribe diuretics or water tablets to help the body get rid of excess fluid, as well as other medications to aid in the recovery of heart function.
Coronary artery bypass grafting, coronary angioplasty and valve replacements are other options the doctor may suggest. In cases that are very severe, heart transplantation may be considered by medical experts.
Patients with heart diseases can follow these tips to help themselves:
- Ensure proper intake of medicines as prescribed.
- Exercise like brisk walking can be considered but not without consulting a doctor
- Intake as little salt as much possible in meals
- Follow the doctor’s advice and limit daily fluid intake.
- A regular follow up with the doctor is a must so that any deterioration in the condition of the heart does not go undetected
- Seek urgent medical help if their symptoms worsen.