Cardiovascular diseases are not only one of the main causes of death, but they are rapidly “getting younger” – more and more often people aged 35 to 40 suffer from them. We figure out how to check the work of the heart before it’s too late. In this we are helped by the expert for the laboratory diagnosis LabKvest Latytina Yulia Sergeevna.
When to check the heart and blood vessels
When there are symptoms. The main symptoms of cardiovascular disease are shortness of breath, dizziness, excessive sweating and swelling. If these symptoms are regular, then you should see a doctor.
When you need to make a decision about sports. It’s not about light exercises in the morning, but about swimming, running, serious strength training, that is , medium-high intensity loads. That is, you can practice without a doctor’s recommendation, but before preparing for a marathon, you need to visit a cardiologist. Especially if you want to exercise for the sake of results.
When there are risk factors. Among the main risk factors: diabetes, smoking, stress, sedentary lifestyle, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases of relatives. All these factors must be told to the doctor.
What are the methods for diagnosing the heart
Martine and Stange samples. With these tests, you can measure your heart rate at home and understand whether you need to go to the doctor for further diagnosis. Especially if there are no pronounced symptoms, but you want to understand the state of health.
Martine’s test is carried out as follows: the patient must sit down 20 times in 30 seconds. Then measure the pulse and record the result. Next, you need to take a minute break and measure the pulse again. The normal result is a 60-80% difference between the resting heart rate and after squatting.
For the test, Stange needs to take 2-3 deep breaths and hold the breath. If you manage not to breathe for more than 40 seconds, then most likely there are no problems. If less than 40, you need to go to a cardiologist.
Examination by a cardiologist. Heart diagnosis begins in the cardiologist’s office. The doctor will ask about symptoms, past infections, medication use, alcohol and tobacco use, psychological stress and stress. He will also learn family and personal history, find out if there are any chronic diseases.
The cardiologist evaluates the color of the skin to rule out anemia and other cardiac dysfunctions, checks the pulse to assess blood flow, and measures blood pressure and body temperature. Also examines the veins of the neck, percusses the chest and listens to the heart with a stethoscope.
If necessary, the cardiologist turns to the ophthalmologist to examine the vessels and nerve endings of the retina. It also allows you to determine the tendency to cardiovascular disease.
Electrocardiography. An electrocardiogram helps to check the work of the pacemaker of the heart, to assess the conductance of electrical impulses, the frequency and rhythm of heart contractions. Also, an EKG can show damage to the heart muscle after a heart attack. This method is one of the simplest painless – it only needs an electrocardiograph, it is usually carried out quickly.
Laboratory tests. Comprehensive testing programs show the risk of atherosclerosis, which in turn can lead to the development of cardiac arrhythmias, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac arrest. Research programs are shown to both men and women. Doctors recommend taking such an analysis to all patients over 20 years of age at least once every 5 years. In the presence of risk factors and after 40 years, the study may be prescribed more often.
Load tests. If you know how a person withstands physical activity, you can understand whether he has coronary heart disease, how much the vessels are affected, and also identify other signs of diseases that do not appear at rest.
The patient is connected to an electrocardiograph and / or tonometer, he performs various types of physical activity, most often walks on a treadmill or pedals an exercise bike. If the blood pressure becomes too high or the segments on the ECG change critically, the procedure is stopped.
Continuous ambulatory ECG recording. Such a study is carried out to detect short-term and unpredictable heart rhythm disturbances. The patient is put on a Holter monitor that records an ECG within 24 hours. The data is transferred to the doctor’s computer. Also, during the study, the patient must record all the symptoms associated with the work of the heart.
Radiography. It is given to almost anyone with suspected heart disease. An X-ray of the chest is used to assess the size and shape of the heart, the structure of the vessels in the lungs and chest cavity. Also, the image can be used to assess the condition of the lungs, to identify excess fluid – this may indicate severe heart failure.
CT scan. This method allows you to see changes in the heart, major vessels and lungs. With the help of CT, “slices” of the chest are made in several planes and a model of the heart is made on a computer, which can be used to study its features.
Echocardiography or ultrasound. This method uses ultrasound – through a special sensor attached to the body, ultrasonic waves propagate in the tissues, change their characteristics depending on the state of internal organs and return to the sensor, being converted into an electrical signal. The method, like the previous one, provides information about the anatomy of the heart, allows you to find out the causes of murmurs, and evaluate the work of the heart.
Magnetic resonance imaging. This method produces accurate images of the heart using a magnetic field. The advantages of the study are in its accuracy, the disadvantages are the high cost, a large amount of time to obtain an image, and probable bouts of claustrophobia in patients placed in a large electromagnet.
Radionuclide research. This method is used as an alternative to X-ray studies: radioactive tracers are used, but with the likelihood of much less exposure. The indicators are inserted into a vein, and when they enter the heart, they transmit a signal to the computer screen.
This method searches for sources of chest pain of unknown origin. For example, you can find out exactly how vasoconstriction affects the work of the heart.
Cardiac catheterization. In this test, a thin catheter with a measuring device at the tip is inserted through an artery or vein. He is led to the main vessels and heart chambers. Catheters allow you to measure pressure, examine the heart valves and blood vessels.