An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a quick test that your cardiologist uses to assess your heart function. Your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, uses EKGs and other diagnostic tests to determine if you have a problem with your heart.
When are EKGs recommended?
Your Tomball heart doctor may order an EKG if:
- You have chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, or an irregular heartbeat.
- Your legs, ankles, feet or abdomen are swollen.
- You have an increased risk of developing heart disease, due to smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a family history of the disease.
- He wants to see how well you're responding to a particular heart treatment.
- You have high blood pressure, diabetes, or another chronic condition and want to try a new form of exercise.
What information does an EKG provide?
An EKG provides information on heart rate, rhythm, and electrical activity in the heart. It can also be used to determine if you've had a heart attack, your heart is enlarged or if your heart is receiving sufficient oxygen.
How are EKGs performed?
Before your EKG begins, a technician will attach adhesive electrodes to your chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are connected to wires that transmit heart readings to a monitor.
During the test, you'll lie down and remain perfectly still. Fortunately, the test only takes a few minutes and is completely painless. In fact, removing the sticky electrodes at the end of the EKG may be the only slightly uncomfortable part of the test.
In some cases, EKGs may be used to monitor how your heart responds to physical activity. In this case, you won't need to remain still but will run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike.
When will my cardiologist give me the results of my EKG?
Your cardiologist may discuss your results with you as soon as the test is finished. If any abnormalities are detected, he may recommend a few more tests. Additional testing may still be needed if you have symptoms but your EKG is normal, as the test only detects certain kinds of abnormalities.
Are you worried that you may have a heart condition? Call your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, at (281) 357-5700 to schedule an appointment.
Are you unable to undergo a traditional stress test because you can't tolerate exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike? Pharmacologic stress tests, offered by your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, P.A., offer another way to gather information about your heart function.
What is a pharmacologic stress test?
Stress tests evaluate how your heart reacts to physical stress. The test measures your heart rate, blood pressure, and your heart's electrical activity. A stress test is usually conducted while you run on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike, but exercise isn't the only way to stress the heart.
A pharmacologic stress test uses medication instead of exercise to increase your heart rate and make your heart work harder. The test may be recommended if:
- You have severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another breathing issue.
- You can't exercise due to an injury, blood clots, arthritis, or another condition that makes it hard to stand, run or put pressure on your feet or legs.
- You have low blood pressure or uncontrolled high blood pressure.
- Your test results may not be accurate due to an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
- You have a stent or had bypass surgery.
What conditions can be diagnosed with the test?
Your Tomball cardiologist may use the pharmacologic stress test to:
- Determine how well heart medications or treatments are working
- Find out if a heart problem is the reason you have chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, or weakness
- Make sure that your heart is healthy if you'll be having surgery for a non-heart issue
- Evaluate your heart condition
What happens during a pharmacologic stress test?
An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your arm and electrodes will be placed on your chest, arms and legs before your test begins. The electrodes will transmit information about your heart's electrical activity to a monitor during the test. You'll be given a medication through your IV that raises your heart rate and makes your heart pump harder.
As the drug affects your heart, your cardiologist will not only evaluate your electrical activity, but also closely monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. In some cases, stress tests may be performed in conjunction with imaging tests that offer additional information about your heart.
Pharmacologic stress tests can help your heart doctor determine if you have a problem with your heart. Contact your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana of Cardiovascular Institute, at (281) 357-5700 to schedule your appointment.
High blood pressure is dangerous and it goes undetected for many others. Your Tomball, TX, doctor, can tell you more about hypertension, high blood pressure.
What is high blood pressure?
This is a condition that leads to serious health issues: coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure, among other problems. High blood pressure symptoms can go unnoticed for years, which is why you need to visit your doctor for regular medical check-ups.
What symptoms should you be worried about?
High blood pressure reaches life-threatening levels when you start noticing: headaches, tiredness, confusion, dizziness or lightheadedness, pounding in the head or chest, or sharp chest pains.
What is the cause of hypertension?
Your Tomball, TX, doctor says the following may lead to high blood pressure:
- Being overweight
- Diet high in saturated fat and/or sodium
- Excessive drinking
- Physical inactivity
- Being male
- High-stress levels
How do you deal with high blood pressure?
- Regular physical exercise: You should exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity every week and/or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity exercise. Try working out five days a week, anything from walking, jogging, cycling, and/or swimming.
- Stress reduction: Manage your stress by taking baths, doing yoga, and choose better coping mechanisms to destress.
- Make better dietary choices: Stop smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco, and junk food to cope with stress. Reduce salt intake and eat healthier foods: whole grain, high fiber foods, a variety of fruit and vegetables, beans, and nuts, fish rich in omega-3 twice a week, nontropical vegetable oils, for example, olive oil, skinless poultry and fish, and low-fat dairy products.
- Medicine: Use antihypertensive medications to manage blood pressure. Medicine includes: diuretics, including thiazides, indapamide, beta-blockers, alpha-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, vasodilators, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers.
If you have any questions or concerns about hypertension and managing high blood pressure, then be sure to contact your Tomball, TX, cardiologist today!
A carotid ultrasound is a painless diagnostic test that helps your cardiologist diagnose any blockages or narrowing in your carotid arteries. Performed by your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana, carotid ultrasounds help keep you in top cardiovascular health—read on to learn more!
What is a carotid ultrasound?
A carotid ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of your carotid arteries. During the test, your cardiologist can see the blood flowing through your vessels, evaluate blood flow, and determine the health of your arteries.
When is a carotid ultrasound recommended?
Your cardiologist may recommend an ultrasound if you've had a stroke in the past or have transient ischemic attacks (TIA). TIAs, also called "mini-strokes," occur when blood flow becomes temporarily blocked, and they are a major warning sign that you're at an increased risk of stroke.
Carotid ultrasounds are often used as a screening test to determine if you have a disease or condition that can cause blockages or narrowing of the carotid arteries, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. If other members of your family have a history of strokes or heart disease, your heart doctor may recommend that you undergo an ultrasound to check for problems.
What happens during the ultrasound?
Before your ultrasound begins, a gel will be applied to both sides of your neck. A handheld probe called a transducer will then be moved across the arteries in your neck. The transducer sends real-time images to a monitor, allowing your cardiologist to see how well blood flows through the arteries, identify any abnormalities, and diagnose carotid artery issues, such as a build-up of plaque that narrows the arteries.
Carotid ultrasounds provide valuable information that can help lower your risk of stroke. Call your Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana at (281) 357-5700 to schedule an appointment.
Learn some helpful tips for keeping your heart healthy and free of disease.
Our heart is a pretty amazing organ—beating about 115,000 times and pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood every day, it should come as no surprise that having a healthy heart is essential to maintaining your overall health, as well. Additionally, given that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US, it's essential that you understand how to keep your heart in its best condition possible. That's why our Tomball, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Daljit Muttiana, wants patients to understand what living a heart-healthy lifestyle actually means.
Whether you have a family history of heart disease or you just want to find ways to improve your longevity, it’s never too late to improve your daily routine to support your heart. Here are some of the biggest factors for maintaining a healthy heart:
Smoking thickens the heart and affects how effectively it pumps blood, which over time can lead to heart failure. If you are dedicated to ditching this habit, talk to our Tomball, TX, heart doctor about the most effective solutions to quit smoking for good.
Your heart is a muscle; therefore, the more aerobic activity you perform, the stronger your heart will become. While exercise can certainly improve your physique, it can also lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helping you maintain a healthy weight.
However, we know that starting a workout routine can be tough, especially in the beginning. Accordingly, it’s important to give yourself small goals every day that you can achieve and then increase your workouts gradually over time.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Drinking too much alcohol also affects your blood pressure and triglycerides, which can lead to stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. Moderate consumption is key: no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Stress can also increase your risk for coronary heart disease, as it can lead to other factors such as increased alcohol consumption, smoking, and overeating. Find an outlet for your stress such as yoga or meditation, or talk to a healthcare professional to discover more effective solutions for combating stress.
Give Us a Call!
Whether you need to schedule a screening with our cardiologist or you just want to sit down and talk to us about ways to improve your health, call Cardiovascular Institute in Tomball, TX, today to book your next visit—our number is (281) 357-5700.
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