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Heart Problems Questions

109 Question and Answer Results

  1. What can we expect when moving an automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillator from the abdomen?

    Don't worry! The new defibrillators are very similar to pacemakers, so they are easier than ever to implant. The device is usually placed in the upper left chest, just under the skin and outside the ribcage. It is inserted through a small incision, typically about 4 centimeters across. Once the ...
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  2. What Are the New Cholesterol Tests?

    In the past few years, new cholesterol tests have become available that are more sensitive and individualized. They go by a number of names; the most common is lipoprotein subfraction testing. Right now, doctors usually order these tests for people who have a strong family history of heart disease. ...
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  3. How do I lower high triglycerides?

    Yes, high triglyceride levels are dangerous, and you do need to lower them. But doctors often don't do a good job of explaining why or how. Triglycerides (TG) are fats, or lipids. They're sometimes called the "forgotten fat," because everyone talks about cholesterol but neglects the importance of tr...
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  4. What is a MUGA test?

    A MUGA (MUltiple Gated Acquisition) scan is a nuclear medicine scan of the heart. It gives an assessment of the pumping function of the heart, as well as the flow of blood through the heart and the proximal aorta. A small amount of radioactive dye is used, and a special imager is used to visualize b...
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  5. Could my mother's CHF symptoms simply be sporadic or should we call the doctor?

    In your letter, you sound concerned about the chest pains your mother had.  I am sure you are thinking she is having a heart attack!  However, if she is having short bursts of pain, it is more likely to be related to angina, which is a chronic condition.  Angina is chest pain that will go away, and ...
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  6. What does having a "Low LD Serum" mean?

    LD stands for Lactic Acid Dehydrogenase, which is an enzyme found in many tissues of the body (kidney, heart, muscle, brain, liver).  Since it is widely distributed, this is a non-specific test used to determine if a heart attack may have happened.  SInce your levels are low, this would mean that th...
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  7. Can a lack of hair indicate heart disease?

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  8. What causes sweating during a heart attack?

    Sweating during a heart attack is usually caused by overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is what causes your "fight or flight" response. When someone starts to experience pain such as pain with a heart attack hormones are released. These hormones cause t...
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  9. What can be done for swollen legs due to CHF?

    Leg swelling due to congestive heart failure is very common. The swelling is due to excess fluid that backs up because the heart muscle is weak and cannot pump well. Diuretics are the usual treatment because they help the body get rid of excess fluid. There are numerous diuretics that can be used...
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  10. Can a traumatic event cause congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy?

    Sorry to hear about your husband's accident. It is possible but unlikely that your husband's cardiomyopathy was caused by a car accident. Acute congestive heart failure can occur after chest trauma due to a "stunned" heart muscle but generally isn't a chronic condition. Perhaps he had other under...
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  11. How can I keep boost the spirits of someone with CHF?

    It is natural to be scared when diagnosed with a heart problem so the important thing is to be supportive and sometimes that can help boost the spirits of someone with CHF. You may want to check and see if there are any CHF support groups in your area - check your local hospitals. Also CHF is a man...
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  12. How soon can you work after a heart attack?

    We are sorry to hear about your partner's heart attack. The time people are out of work following a heart attack can vary. Many times it depends upon the treatment that was done for the heart attack-for example, was an angioplasty done or stent placed, was there bypass surgery,etc. The type of work ...
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  13. Can heart attack symptoms occur over the course of a few days?

    Many people experience warning signs of a heart attack several days or even weeks before a heart attack. Shortness of breath, chest pain or chest discomfort, neck/shoulder or upper back pain/discomfort, nausea, overwhelming fatigue, numbness/tingling in hands can be some of the symptoms of a heart a...
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  14. Will a defibrillator protect my husband from a heart attack?

    I am sorry to hear about your husband's recent heart attack. You definitely did a great job starting CPR! A defibrillator will shock the heart when it goes into abnormal rhythms like ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, which can be life-threatening heart rhythms. These rhythms can ...
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  15. What alternative treatments are avaiable for blocked arteries?

    Diet and lifestyle changes can have a tremendous impact on preventing the progression of coronary artery disease but there are NO large reliable prospective scientific studies to demonstrate the reversal of disease. I was even at an American Heart Association conference several years ago when Dr Orn...
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  16. What's the Difference Between Angina, Coronary Artery Disease, and Heart Disease?

    The number of different terms used for types of heart disease can be confusing. Angina is actually a symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), which is also called coronary heart disease.
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  17. Can Someone With Mildly Elevated LDL Cholesterol Use Diet to Avoid Statins?

    Yes, a change in diet can help reduce so-called "lower elevated" LDL cholesterol levels -- and can often make taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs unnecessary.
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  18. Is Discomfort After Angioplasty Normal?

    It's not unusual to have brief episodes of chest pain in the first few hours after an angioplasty, but any sustained or recurrent chest pain, pressure, or discomfort should be reported to your father's physician. Prolonged symptoms may mean that the stent -- a small tube placed inside an artery to k...
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  19. Is aspirin necessary to treat heart disease?

    Yes. Aspirin may prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries of the heart, the primary cause of heart attacks in patients with coronary heart disease. I recommend taking a baby aspirin (81 mg) -- higher doses aren't more effective and cause more side effects such as bleeding.
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  20. How can I convince my father to have coronary bypass surgery?

    It’s understandable that you want your father to have the surgery. Bypass surgery can definitely extend the lives of some patients with heart disease. However, surgery also has its own dangers, so patients must weigh the risks and benefits for themselves. If your father says he'll never be the same ...
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