Friday, March 9, 2007

Heart Disease: Signs, Symptoms & Diagnosis

What Are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?

The symptoms of heart diease include:
-Shortness of breath.
-Feeling faint.
-Feeling dizzy.
-Excessive and unexplained sweating.
-Pain in the shoulders, jaw and left arm.
-Chest pain or pressure (especially during activity).

*If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Peripheral vascular disease has the following symptoms:
-Cramping in your legs while walking (intermittent claudication).
-Cold feet.
-Decreased or absent pulses in the feet or legs.
-Loss of fat under the skin of the lower parts of the legs.
-Loss of hair on the lower parts of the legs.

How Is Heart Disease Treated?
There are several treatment options depending on the severity of the condition, including:
-Aspirin therapy* to reduce the risks of clots that lead to heart attacks and strokes.
-Exercise not only for weight loss, but to improve glucose control, high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and to decrease abdominal fat, a risk factor of heart disease.

How Is Peripheral Vascular Disease Treated?
-Participation in a regular walking program (45 minutes per day, followed by rest).
-Special footwear.
-Aspirin therapy.*
-Stopping smoking.

*Low-dose aspirin therapy is recommended for men and women with diabetes who are over age 30 and are at high risk for heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Talk to your doctor to determine if aspirin therapy is right for you. If you have certain medical conditions, aspirin therapy may not be recommended.

How Can Heart Disease Be Prevented in a Person With Diabetes?
-The best way to prevent heart and blood vessel disease is to take good care of yourself and your diabetes.
-Keep your blood glucose as normal as possible.
-Control your blood pressure, with medication if necessary. The target for people with diabetes is under 130/80.
-Get your cholesterol numbers under control. You may need to take medication to do this.
-Lose weight if you are obese.
-Ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin a day.
-Exercise regularly.
-Eat a heart-healthy diet low in fat and salt.
-Quit smoking

-->To learn more about heart disease symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention, visit WebMD's Heart Disease Guide. View the full table of contents for the Diabetes Guide.

No comments: