Doctor Consultation / Cardiologist

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    Know Your Cardiologist

    The cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is made up of the heart and blood vessels responsible for the transportation of nutrients, oxygen, and hormones throughout the body.Cardiology is a medical specialty that is concerned with heart and blood vessel disorders.  It focuses mainly on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of congenital heart defects (defects present at birth), heart failure, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and electrophysiology. Nuclear cardiology, interventional cardiology, paediatric cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology, and echocardiography are some of the subspecialties of cardiology.

    Who is a Cardiologist?

    A cardiologist is a specialist doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular and circulatory system disorders. When a doctor studies cardiac medicine as a super-specialty branch of internal medicine, they are called a cardiologist, and when a doctor studies cardiac surgery as part of general surgery super-specialty, they are called a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    There are many cardiologists available in India nowadays. You can opt for a cardiologist online consultation as well as office visits if you want to see a cardiologist.

    Roles and Responsibilities of a Cardiologist

    • Advising tests, treatments, and/or performing procedures whenever necessary
    • Maintaining detailed health records and appointments of patients
    • Performing health checks to evaluate patients' cardiovascular health status
    • Using medical imaging techniques such as MRI and CT to diagnose heart disorders
    • Assisting or performing surgery, when a multidisciplinary medical team approach is required.
    • Supporting and counselling patients in long-term care regarding lifestyle changes, weight management, and stress management

    A cardiologist can treat the following heart problems:

    • Hypertension
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Arrhythmias
    • Atrial fibrillation: A condition with irregular heartbeats
    • Congenital heart disease: A birth defect
    • Coronary artery disease: A type of cardiac illness that impacts the arteries of the heart
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Pericarditis

    When to consult a cardiologist

    It is advised to visit your family physician for regular health check-ups. If your physician notices any symptoms of potential heart problems, they may refer you to a consultant cardiologist. Also, the following are a few important symptoms that may indicate a heart problem; if you experience any of these, consult a heart doctor as soon as possible.

    • Fluctuation in the Heart rate
    • Feeling dizzy and experiencing chest pain
    • Feeling breathless
    • Blood pressure is high
    • High levels of cholesterol, blood glucose levels
    • Numbness in arms

    It is recommended to always be informed of your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels at all times. This information can help prevent many medical emergencies.

    What to expect while going to a cardiologist’s office

    When you go to the heart specialist, you will be asked about your symptoms. They may take your detailed personal health history and family history.  They may also perform a set of tests to evaluate whether there is any problem with your heart.

    The following tests can be prescribed or conducted in-house by the cardiologists when you visit them:

    • ECG
    • Echocardiography
    • Ultrasound
    • Exercise stress test
    • Cardiac biopsy

    After a thorough examination and along with the results of the tests performed, the cardiologist will diagnose the condition and prescribe medications and/or advise lifestyle modifications if necessary. Additionally, serious cardiac conditions may be advised for heart surgeries.

    Common cardiology conditions

    Dizziness: Dizziness is feeling lightheaded, unsteady, and woozy. It can be caused by variations in blood pressure or irregular heartbeats. Orthostatic vital signs, electrocardiograms, and continuous ambulatory telemetry are a few common diagnostic tests. The treatment of dizziness depends on its cause. Once the exact cause is understood, treatment can be commenced.

    Irregular heart rhythm: An abnormal heart rhythm occurs when an individual's heartbeat deviates from the normal rate or beats constantly faster or slower. Arrhythmia is another term for it. There are six different types of heart rhythms: tachycardia, bradycardia, atrial flutter, ventricular fibrillation, atrial fibrillation, and premature contractions. Fainting, breathlessness, chest pain, palpitations in the heart, pale skin, and sweating are the most common symptoms of an abnormal heart rhythm. Although arrhythmia is unwanted, it does not always have serious consequences.

    Edema: Edema means swelling caused by the excess fluid when small blood vessels leak fluid into tissues causing the nearby tissue to swell. It can result from inflammation or injury and may affect a small area or the entire patient’s body. It can also be caused by medications, pregnancy, and infections. Different parts of the body can be affected by edema, including lymphedema, pulmonary edema, macular edema, peripheral edema, cerebral edema, and pedal edema.

    Shortness of breath: People having respiratory or cardiovascular problems may experience shortness of breath while performing their day-to-day activities. It is advisable to consult a cardiologist right away if shortness of breath is associated with edema, difficulty breathing while sleeping, high fever, blue lips, wheezing, or aggravation of existing breathlessness. All these symptoms could be prompted by underlying cardiac failure.

    Frequently Asked Questions

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