Heart health

According to cardiologist Dr. Roland Phillips, each year, up to 3/4 of a million people suffer from sudden cardiac death, many of which experienced a number of symptoms.

"Chest pressure or tightness of heaviness could be a jaw or neck discomfort, a shoulder or arm discomfort that seems unrelated to physical or muscular skeletal cause,” said Dr. Roland Phillips.

To help diagnose heart problems, an echocardiogram can be done, a test using ultrasound or sound waves. No preparations are necessary. We begin by placing a few electrodes on my chest.

"If you take the heart and separate it into what I consider four major components, heart muscle, heart valves, circulation and electrical system, the electrocardiogram is exquisitely sensitive in terms of evaluating heart muscle disease, " said Phillips.

The test can determine if there was damage to the heart muscle possibly from a previous heart attack. Valves are also measured as well as the direction of blood flow.

“See the red coming through, the mitral valve and then it goes up into the left ventricle where it changes color to blue. when it goes out of the heart. So you see the red come in, change directions and goes out in a blue color,” Phillips said.

The test is effortless and is over in about 20 minutes.

Guidelines include maintaining a healthy weight by eating a diet low in saturated fats, sugar and sodium. And increasing your physical activity to at least 30 minutes, four times a week and if you smoke, quit.

"There are definitely things we can modify in our lifestyle that can have huge impact on heart disease in the future," said Phillips.

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