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3 Tips For Improving Your Overall Heart Health

Heart health is a popular topic of conversation these days. Its popularity is a good thing and a bad thing. The good side of the coin is that people are talking about heart disease and its impact on cardiovascular health more openly. The bad news is that this disease remains the number one killer of men and women in the United States. The truth is with a few simple lifestyle changes, you can help change the tide and impact of this statistic.

A Change in Perception Changes Realityheart-checkups-nyc

Many patients who either develop heart disease or suffer from boarder line heart conditions are under the impression that restoring their heart health is a lengthy and difficult process. While the selected treatment protocol may vary by patient, here are three basic steps anyone can take to improve the health of their heart:

Step #1: Kick bad habits. This goes beyond making those heart-friendly dietary changes. There are two habits that contribute to hypertension in particular, they are smoking and drinking. The nicotine from smoking will constrict your blood vessels over time, making it difficult for blood to pass through the heart. This increases the pressure and strain that is put on the cardiac muscle, which eventually damages and enlarges the heart.

Similar damage is caused by excessive drinking. Having three or more alcoholic drinks per day also raises blood pressure and can damage your heart muscle. You can get a blood pressure monitor and track your numbers at home. Results higher than 140/90 require the attention of a specialist.

Step #2: Embrace aerobic activity. No, this does not have to be a high-intensity, fat burning work out session; it doesn’t even need to involve a gym membership. All you need to do is commit to 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 times a week. You will lower your cholesterol and improve your circulation relatively quickly. Yes, walking and yoga both qualify as low-impact aerobic activities.

Step #3: Watch out for hidden salt. Sodium regulates fluids within your body. Your body only needs 500 mg of sodium daily, more than that small amount, and you will start to retain fluid. Water retention puts stress on the heart and effects circulation. Go low-sodium whenever possible.

Top Doctor for Improving Your Overall Heart Health

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site.  Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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What Causes Obesity? NYC’s Top Cardiologist Weighs In

It doesn’t take a top cardiologist to tell you that our population, when all told, is overweight or obese. It does, however, take a top cardiologist to tell you what that fact means in terms of your ongoing cardiac health. Let’s start look at some statistics.

The True Picture Of Healthnyc-heart-specialist

According to the World Heart Federation, an estimated 400 million adults are obese and another billion are overweight. This worldwide picture does not get any brighter when we look at the younger generation. An estimated 17.6 million children under the age of five are overweight. What is the reason for this shift in worldwide health? Ask yourself about the changes we’ve seen in the latter half of this century.

Over the last five years, a lot has been written about the benefits of the Paleo (caveman) Diet. The basic principle of that diet is as follows: If the cavemen ate it, you can too. It sounds over-simplified, but to be honest, there is something to be said for its basis. Our lifestyle has certainly changed.

Generally, human beings used to have a more natural, plant-based diet. There was also a lot of physical activity involved in obtaining the necessary elements of that diet:

  • fresh fruits and vegetables
  • nuts and seeds
  • lean protein

Today, our diet is:

  • high sugar/fat
  • energy-dense
  • animal-based

Realistically, this – coupled with an increased level of inactivity – spells trouble for both your waistline and your heart.

Heart Disease Risk Factors – Breaking It Down Into Individual Ratios

As a top cardiologist can attest, it’s important to know how your weight affects your heart function. For instance, being overweight increases your risk for:

  • hypertension
  • diabetes
  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiovascular disease

Doctors use a calculation based on your height and weight, called Body Mass Index (BMI), to help determine your risk of heart disease.

By no means is this a perfect predictor, but as your BMI increases, so does your risk of heart disease and stroke. A BMI greater than 21 affects your heart health. If it’s 25, you are overweight; at 30, you are considered obese. Of course, there are visible risk indicators, too.

If you carry extra weight around your middle, that intra-abdominal fat:

  • slows down your metabolism
  • interferes with insulin production
  • raises blood pressure

Malfunctions affecting heart health.

Top Cardiologist in NYC for Obesity

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site.  Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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Find The Top Cardiologist in New York – All Insurance Accepted

There is a misconception that the necessity of seeing a top cardiologist means that you will not be eligible for insurance coverage. This is false. For patients with congenital (from birth) heart defects or particularly complex forms of heart disease, the care of an expert-level specialist is absolutely essential, as is the ability to navigate insurance issues.

Understanding the Stages of Coveragenyc-heart-check-up

It’s not uncommon for patients with congenital conditions to initially be covered under their parents’ policy. However, there is a point where they age-out of that coverage. When that point hits, you need to be well-versed in what to do next.

Life-long monitoring and treatment for heart disease can come with some coverage pitfalls if you aren’t aware of what to look for ahead of time. These pitfalls could bar you from seeing a top cardiologist, at least in the beginning.

The transition onto an individual insurance policy works much the same whether your heart disease has occurred in childhood or you were diagnosed with it as an adult. You have two basic options for coverage:

1. Group Health Plans through an employer

2. An individual policy from the “high-risk” pool

The most important thing to look for in a Group Health Policy is something called a “pre-existing condition clause.” If heart disease is present before your policy is active, this clause means that your treatment and management will not be covered.

Important Nuts & Bolts

The reality is that if you have a serious heart disease of any kind, you will need to see a top cardiologist on a regular basis. This can be hard since no one can predict future changes in your insurance coverage.

Here are a few details that are good to know despite what happens down the road:

  • As the label “high-risk” indicates, policies in this coverage pool are more expensive because the insurance company is taking a greater risk in providing it.
  • Be careful if you switch jobs. Your insurance coverage may change, which changes how your condition is classified by a new provider.
  • If your employment is terminated, you still qualify for 18 months of insurance coverage through the COBRA Program (60 day window applies).

Advocates are available.

Top Cardiologist in New York

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site.  Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Angioplasty Procedure

Coronary Artery Disease, or CAD, is one of the most common risk factors for a heart attack. This condition is caused by the buildup of plaque deposits in your heart. As these deposits harden, they restrict blood flow to the cardiac muscle. If that flow is greatly reduced or completely cutoff, you will have a heart attack. In a nutshell, angioplasty is the procedure that prevents this life-threatening outcome.

A Procedural Map: How Angioplasty Worksbest-heart-doctor-nyc

One of the tell-tale signs of CAD is chest pain, but it is important to note that not all chest pain means that your are at risk for a heart attack. There are many different sources and causes for this symptom (over 300 of them have been recorded in medical journals), so it is important:

1. Not to panic

2. To see a cardiologist

Additionally, do not be surprised if the first steps taken by your cardiologist are simply to run tests and monitor the condition.

Depending on the severity of the arterial restriction, it can be corrected with lifestyle changes and medications. Assuming angioplasty is recommended, the procedure itself is pretty basic. The overall goal: restore healthy blood flow to the heart.

What To Expect

Unlike some cardiac surgeries; angioplasty does not need to be preformed by a surgeon. If your cardiologist has the right type of lab on site, the problem can be resolved within 24 hours.

After a review of your test results and the treatment protocol, you will be put under sedation. Using a special kind of  ballooned catheter, the cardiologist will trace the arterial pathway from your groin to your heart. Once the catheter reaches the affected area of the heart, the balloon is inflated. This pushes the plaque outward toward the artery wall and restores blood supply to the cardiac muscle. A stent is usually inserted to hold the arteries open and prevent further blockage.

The procedure will:

  • Reduce or eliminate chest pain from the later stages of CAD.
  • Minimize damage to the cardiac muscle during or after a heart attack.

There is a likelihood of heavier bleeding in the day following your procedure, so you will be kept overnight for observation. If all goes well, you can return to normal activity in a week.

Top Doctor for Angioplasty Procedure NYC

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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Reviewing the Most Reliable Cardiology Clinics in New York City

If you believe you may have a heart problem, the first step is to contact your primary care provider. Following a preliminary evaluation, and based on the findings, your doctor may refer you to a heart doctor (also known as a cardiologist).

A cardiologist can diagnose and treat heart attack, heart rhythm problems, and heart failure among others. If you indeed have a heart problem, the cardiologist will guide you through treatment and monitor your progress.

However, this doesn’t mean you should wait until you have a problem to visit the cardiologist. It is recommendable to visit the cardiologist if you have or are at risk of getting a heart disease. The cardiologist with collaborate with your primary doctor to best manage your cardiac problems.

Choosing the Best Cardiology Clinicheart-doctor-nyc

Not all cardiologists are equal. When choosing a cardiology clinic, consider the following 4 factors;

1.Board certification – The best heart doctors undergo rigorous processes to establish their expertise in that particular field of science. Before they can legally practice as professional heart doctors, they will be awarded a certificate by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Highly experienced Cardiologists are also likely to possess additional board certifications in; Nuclear Cardiology, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology, Cardiovascular Diseases, or Cardiovascular Medicine, to name just a few.

2.Insurance coverage – As with any other areas of medicine, New York heart treatment can be a bit expensive without insurance coverage. Before you pick a cardiology clinic, check with your insurance provider to ensure that the clinic and the particular cardiologist are insured.

3.Experience – Cardiac diseases are very delicate. This means you need to work only with highly experienced cardiologists. Don’t feel shy about inquiring about the cardiologist’s level of experience. You may also want to ask about the doctor’s experience with the particular heart problem.

4.Communication – Finally, pay attention to communication. You want to choose a clinic where the cardiologist listens to you. How easily can you make appointments? Is the staff pleasant and welcoming? Do you feel like your conversations with the doctor are meaningful? Do you find the doctor’s language easy to understand?

Top Cardiologist in New York City

Dr. Seldon, a heart doctor and cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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Why You Should Consider Having an EKG Test

An electrocardiogram test (EKG or ECG) it a special, noninvasive test conducted to check underlying heart conditions by measuring the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into a graphical representation on tracing paper.

By positioning leads (electrical sensing devices) on selected parts of the body and looking for characteristic patterns on the EKG, information about several heart problems can be gathered.

How are EKG tests performed?Cardiologist-NYU

The doctor will attach EKG leads to your body while you lie flat on a bed or table. Leads are then attached to each of your four extremities and six pre-defined positions on the front of the chest. Sometimes, applying a small amount of gel to the skin around the chest area allows electrical impulses of the heart to be more easily transmitted to the EKG.

Velcro straps, small suction cups, or small adhesive patches, attached loosely to the skin, are used to hold the leads in place. The test generally takes about five minutes. It is completely painless.

Why are EKG tests necessary?

  • To check the heart’s electrical activity.
  • To determine the cause of unexplained chest pain. Such pains can be caused by a number of health conditions, including heart attack, angina, and inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis).
  • To find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick, also known as hypertrophy.
  • To check how well any mechanical devices implanted in the heart, such as pacemakers, are working to control heartbeats.
  • To check how well any heart medications prescribed to the patient are working and whether there are any side effects.
  • To determine the causes of symptoms of a patient’s heart disease, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, or irregular beats.
  • To assess the general health of the heart in the presence of other diseases and health conditions such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Who needs EKG tests?

Your doctor may recommend EKG if you have signs and symptoms that suggest an underlying heart problem. Such signs and symptoms often include:

  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Unusual heart sounds

Contact Dr. Seldon

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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What is a Holter Monitor?

A Holter Monitor is a small wearable device used by health professionals to monitor heart rhythms of patients. For instance, your doctor might recommend that you wear the Monitor for two consecutive days during which the device records all of your heart beats.

Holter Monitor tests are commonly recommended after traditional tests to check a patient’s heart rhythm (electrocardiogram) if the traditional electrocardiogram doesn’t give your doctor sufficient information about your heart condition.nyc-best-heart-doctor

The doctor uses data from the Holter Monitor to figure out if the patient has a heart rhythm problem. While “standard” Monitors are the most widely used, the doctor can also use more sophisticated “wireless” monitors, which can be worn for weeks.

Why are Holter Monitor tests necessary?

Irregular heart rhythm is one of the many signs and symptoms of a heart problem. If you have irregular heartbeats (medically known as arrhythmia) or have recently experienced unexplained fainting, your doctor might order a test called an electrocardiogram.  This is a brief, non-invasive test where electrodes are taped on your chest to determine the heart’s rhythm.

However, it is possible that that the electrocardiogram fails to detect any irregularities in your heartbeats since the machines are hooked to the chest for only a short period of time. If your signs and symptoms show that occasional irregular heartbeats might be the main cause for your heart condition, the doctor may recommend that you wear the Holter Monitor for one or two days.

Over time, the device may be able to uncover irregularities in your heart rhythm that the electrocardiogram couldn’t detect.

A doctor might also recommend a Holter Monitor if you have a heart condition that increases the risk of abnormal heart rhythm. As such, your doctor can recommend that you wear the monitor even if you currently don’t have a heart rhythm problem.

Risks Involved

Other than possible discomfort, there are no significant risks in wearing a Holter Monitor. You may also experience skin irritation where the electrodes were placed.

Don’t swim or bathe for the entire duration you’re wearing the Monitors to avoid damaging them. The wireless ones can be disconnected and reconnected when you want to shower; your doctor will show you how.

Contact D. Seldon

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at 88.474.9351.

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5 Common Signs of High Blood Pressure

There is a common misconception that people with high blood pressure (HBP) will experience symptoms such as profuse sweating, facial flushing, difficulty sleeping, and nervousness. The truth is that HBP is largely symptomless. Only when blood pressure readings soar to dangerously high levels may obvious symptoms occur. By this time, the patient is usually in Hypertensive Crisis and emergency treatment is needed.

Common Signs of High Blood Pressurenyc-heart-doctor

Note: As already discussed, all the five symptoms mentioned here might only appear in the Hypertensive Crisis phase of high blood pressure.

1.Severe headache

Evidence indicates that hypertensive crisis might cause severe headaches. Interestingly, recent research indicates that people with HBP (before hypertensive crisis) are likely to have significantly fewer headaches than the general public. This is just another reason why you need your pressure checked regularly.

2.Fatigue and confusion

Though often ignored, general tiredness can be a symptom of an underlying health problem. In regards to hypertension, it’s almost impossible to say that someone has HBP just because they look tired. However, if you’re always feeling tired even when you haven’t been working on an energy-draining job, you should seek advice from your doctor.

3.Blood clots in the eyes

Blood spots are often a sign of subconjunctival hemorrhage which are common in people with diabetes and HBP. However, none of the conditions cause blood spots in the eyes. Your cardiologist will make a better judgment.

4.Chest pains and difficulty in breathing

Shortness of breath, particularly when lying down, is considered a specific symptom of heart attack. The same applies to shortness of breath with activity and recurring chest pains.

5.Irregular heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) is another common symptom of high blood pressure. HBP is known to increase arrhythmia which can lead to cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke, and even death.

Dizziness may also be a symptom of hypertension. Research shows that dizziness isn’t directly caused by HBP. However, it can be a side effect of some HBP medications.

Summary

Everyone (even if you feel healthy) is advised to schedule regular checkups with a doctor to determine if their blood pressure is high. This is particularly important if you have a close relative who has been diagnosed with hypertension.

Dr.  Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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How is Hypertension Diagnosed?

Hypertension (also known as high blood pressure) is often called a “silent disease” because you may never know you have it until a doctor points it out. There may be no signs or symptoms completely. Yet, it can cause severe body damage, eventually resulting in problems like heart disease.

It is therefore very important to regularly monitor your blood pressure especially if you have a family history of hypertension. Since high blood pressure can cause heart problems, your doctor may also test you for heart disease.

Measuring Blood Pressureheart-checkups-nyc

Hypertension diagnosis starts with measurement of blood pressure. You can have your blood pressure measured by a health care professional or you can monitor your own pressure at home.

The device used for measuring blood pressure is known as a sphygmomanometer. It comprises a stethoscope, a dial pump, valve, and arm cuff.

Blood pressure is measured in two ways; the systolic measurement is the maximum pressure during a heartbeat and the diastolic measurement is the lowest pressure between heartbeats. The results are given as systolic over diastolic such as “120 over 80” or just 120/80, in millimeters of Mercury (mm Hg).

What is normal blood pressure and what is high pressure? 

  • Normal blood pressure – According to the most recent guidelines, normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Some doctors even recommend 115/75.
  • Prehypertension – The period just before hypertension, also called prehypertension, consists of blood pressure that is 120 – 139/80 – 89. Prehypertension tends to get worse with age.
  • Stage 1 Hypertension – Anyone with blood pressure ranging from 140 – 159/90 – 99 mm Hg is said to have stage 1 high blood pressure.
  • Stage 2 hypertension – this is a more severe stage of high blood pressure. One is said to have stage 2 hypertension if their blood pressure is greater than 160/100 mm Hg.

While both systolic and diastolic readings are important, the systolic reading becomes even more crucial as you grow older. This is because systolic hypertension (where diastolic pressure is normal but systolic pressure is high) is quite common in people older than 60.

The doctor will take 2 to 3 pressure readings at different appointments before giving a hypertension diagnosis.

Contact Dr. Seldon Today for Your Hypertension Diagnosis

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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Who is the Best Heart Doctor in New York City?

If you suspect that you may have a heart problem, you cannot afford to wait for too long. If you don’t visit your doctor immediately, the condition might worsen, leading to deteriorated health and possible heart failure.

Why Heart Problems Need Immediate Attentionnyc-best-heart-doctor

Heart problems are very dangerous. Even irregular heartbeats can be a symptom of a serious underlying health condition. If left unchecked, the irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia) can cause dizziness, shortness of breath, unexplained fainting, light-headedness and other problems. Gradually, the heart might fail to supply enough blood to vital organs of the body leading to tissue damage, kidney, as well as brain problems.

Heart diseases can also cause stroke and cardiac arrest. Stroke is a celebrovascular disease that affects blood vessels supplying blood to the brain. It cuts supply of blood, oxygen, and necessary nutrients to the brain. When deprived of oxygen, brain cells in the affected area cannot function properly and may die within minutes. And when a portion of brain cells dies, the part of the body they control can’t function either.

Cardiac attack is the sudden loss of heart function. The time and mode of death are unexpected, occurring instantly or shortly after symptoms appear. According to the American Heart association, over 424,000 emergency cardiac arrests occur in the U.S. each year.

When to Visit a Heart Doctor or Cardiologist

1.On physician recommendation – if your family care doctor recommends seeing a cardiologist, do so as soon as possible.

2.Chest pains – unexplained chest pains are often associated with narrow blood vessels (a medical condition called arteriosclerosis) which may be a sign of hypertension or a heart problem. You need to see a heart doctor immediately.

3.Family history of heart disease – you also need to see a doctor if you have a family history of heart disease or other medical conditions, such as hypertension, which are risk factors for heart disease.

4.Current or former smokers – smoking is a huge risk factor for heart disease. If you are or were a smoker at some point in life, you should speak with your Doctor about it to discuss the way forward.

Top Heart Doctor in New York City

Dr.  Seldon, a heart doctor and cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.

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