Swollen Legs and Feet ! Could it be something serious ?

kidney disease
Edema, swelling in legs

Many of us have swollen limbs, especially legs , ankles, feet which feel soft and cushiony due to water retention.

More often swollen legs and feet can be due to inactivity, sitting and standing at one position without moving.

This pulls the fluid down towards lower limbs, making them swell.

The swelling due to water retention is called edema.

However swollen legs and feet are often a sign of serious health problems such as kidney disease, cardio vascular problems or heart disease, liver disease, hormones being taken during HRT, deep vein thrombosis and sometimes even medication for diabetes and anti depressants.

Chronic pulmonary embolism may also lead to thromboembolism where a blood clot may travel to other parts of the body.

Incase the blood clot travels to the brain, it could lead to partial paralysis and even a stroke. Blood thinners may be advised to reduce risk of clotting.
As a 1st check, your doctor may prescribe diuretics and ask you to cut down on salt.

Then a few diagnostic tests such KFT( Kidney Function test), LFT( Liver function test), Echo, ECG may be advised.

Do watch out for signs like pain in one limb, heat generated in one limb, loss of consciousness, shortness of breath, fast or rapid heart beat and rush to the doctor as you may be experiencing thromboembolism.

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Heart Disease -Stuff you must know !

open heart bypass surgery
open heart bypass surgery

Heart disease kills more people than any other disease. Over 30% of deaths across the world are due to heart disease as per WHO estimates.

Ignorance, lack of awareness, refusal to get basic routine checkups, account for the high mortality rate.

Unhealthy dietary habits, alcohol abuse, use of tobacco, lack of exercise, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and genetics are the primary reasons for developing heart disease.

Most cases go undiagnosed till the patient suffers a heart attack.

Here is a list of types of heart disease which we should all know about.

Clogged Arteries: Fat and cholesterol build up in the arteries leads to plaque and mineral deposits which restricts or blocks blood flow to the heart. Usually clogged arteries are not diagnosed unless one gets chest pains or gets breathless. An angiography is often carried out for diagnosis. Stenting or an angioplasty takes of blocked arteries. A surgeon may insert a balloon or a wire mesh to open up your arteries. If the blockage is severe, a CABG or open heart bypass surgery may be required. In CABG, or open hear bypass surgery, blood vessels from other parts of the body are taken and damaged blood vessels of the heart are replaced or bypassed.

Arrhythmia: Irregular heart beat can either be too slow or too fast. Although rarely fatal, arrhythmia increases pre disposition to heart attack, heart failure and even stroke.
An ICD  detects irregular heart beat and send electric impulses to takes care of Arrhythmia.

Hole in the heart :  PDA, VSD, ASD, Mitral Valve Defects,  commonly known as hole in the heart, sometimes congenital heart defects are not diagnosed even till adulthood. Growth milestones may be compromised and problems may persist later in life.
Serious defects require surgical intervention however some can be managed with medical management.

Heart Muscle Disease: Our heart is a muscle which weakens due to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and hence the heart struggles to pump blood in the body.
Heart muscle disease or cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.

A Pacemaker is implanted to take care of heart muscle disease.

Enlarged Heart: As the heart muscle becomes weak, the heart enlarges in order to pump blood and the rhythm increases. However the heart also becomes weaker and consequently it leads to decreased blood flow.

Heart Attack: Clogged arteries can restrict and even stop blood flow to the heart. Without blood flow, our heart doesn’t get the oxygen required which damages the heart and this is what is known as a heart attack. The more restricted the blood flow, the more life threatening and severe, the heart attack.

Heart Failure: Failure of the heart to pump blood to the body is known as heart failure and this can lead to death.

Without surgical intervention or medical management as may be required, heart disease progresses and even post diagnosis and surgical intervention, drastic life style changes are required for managing the medical condition.

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How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Heart

Blood Pressure,Open Heart SurgeryUncontrolled blood pressure can damage the heart , the main organ responsible for pumping blood in the body in a number of ways.

Cause narrowing of arteries- As the pressure of blood flowing from your arteries increases. it damages the inner lining of your arteries. Fat from food collects in the damaged part of your arteries causing further narrowing and damage. Eventually arteries become less elastic limiting proper blood supply to the body.

Coronary heart disease-  As the arteries get damaged due to narrowing, a high blood pressure can lead to sudden chest pains  and subsequent heart attack or even arrhythmias.

When the damage becomes extensive, angioplasty, stenting also may not help and an open heart surgery maybe required.

Enlarged Left Heart– As high blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood , the left ventricle or the left heart becomes thicker and tougher increasing risk of heart attack,  heart failure or a cardiac arrest.

Heart Failure–  Over a period of time, the heart becomes, weaker, less efficient and begins to fail.

If you know of someone suffering from high blood pressure,  coronary heart disease,  email us your medical reports on info@ihealthkonnect.com and consult now.

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Better Safe Than Sorry ! Watch out for early indicative symptoms of a Heart Attack before it happens

Heart Attack, Open heart surgery cost in IndiaHeart Attack:

Cardiac arrest or a heart attack is a leading cause of premature death around the world.

Stress, junk food, lack of exercise, smoking, high blood pressure, too much alcohol and an unhealthy lifestyle are the biggest culprits.

Very often a cardiac arrest catches you unawares but it is possible to recognize early symptoms and not be caught unawares.

Symptoms of Heart Attack:

The following symptoms may be indicative of “A Cardiac Arrest On Its Way”

Shortness of Breath- Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath just means a heart attack around the corner. As your heart  gets less blood, your lungs do not get enough oxygen. This is a critical indicator and if you suddenly feel short of breath, just make a dash to your doctor.

Dizziness-  Less blood flow means less blood circulation to the brain as well and hence the dizziness. Though it could be an indicator of other problems, it could be an indicator of an upcoming heart problem as well

Cold Sweat- Breaking into cold sweat is a big red flag and calls for an immediate visit to the doctor

Fatigue- General weakness is often a result of poor blood circulation and less oxygen due to narrowed arteries.  As the heart gets reduced blood supply, there is  subsequent less oxygenation and consequently fatigue and weakness.

Chest Discomfort- Most patients with heart attacks often complain of tightness, discomfort in the chest over months and the tightness may  build up till an actual heart attack happens.

Angiography or an angiogram can tell us on the number of blocked arteries, in which case stenting or angioplasty may be required.

Sometimes, an open heart surgery may also be required.

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How Does High Blood Pressure Affect Your Heart

Blood Pressure,Open Heart SurgeryUncontrolled blood pressure can damage the heart , the main organ responsible for pumping blood in the body in a number of ways.

Cause narrowing of arteries- As the pressure of blood flowing from your arteries increases. it damages the inner lining of your arteries. Fat from food collects in the damaged part of your arteries causing further narrowing and damage. Eventually arteries become less elastic limiting proper blood supply to the body.

Coronary heart disease-  As the arteries get damaged due to narrowing, a high blood pressure can lead to sudden chest pains  and subsequent heart attack or even arrhythmias.

When the damage becomes extensive, angioplasty, stenting also may not help and an Open Heart Surgery maybe required.

Enlarged Left Heart– As high blood pressure forces the heart to work harder to pump blood , the left ventricle or the left heart becomes thicker and tougher increasing risk of heart attack,  heart failure or a cardiac arrest.

Heart Failure-  Over a period of time, the heart becomes, weaker, less efficient and begins to fail.

If you know of someone suffering from High Blood Pressure,  coronary heart disease,  email us your medical reports on info@ihealthkonnect.com and Consult Now.

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Understanding High Blood Pressure , The Silent Killer

Blood Pressure Symptoms, Heart Attack

Blood Pressure:

Highly Blood pressure or hypertension  is a common ailment which many of us suffer from.
High Blood pressure is often called a silent killer and many of us wonder why?
Let’s start with what s a normal blood pressure and when we tread into danger zone and what does a tread into the danger zone mean for our bodies.

Hypertension damages our heart, brain and kidneys and quietly so for years, before high blood pressure symptoms develop.

Half of those suffering from high blood pressure die of heart disease due to poor blood flow. Another 30% die of stroke.
With uncontrolled hypertension, one may wind up with a disability,  a fatal heart attack, stroke, kidney failure.
Watch out for more from us  in the coming weeks on how hypertension damages our heart, arteries, brain, eyes, kidneys and even causes sexual dysfunction.
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Silent Heart Attack

Silent heart attack,Cost of open heart surgery in India

And most importantly, it is good to get a check up done every 6 months post the age of 30.

The maximum damage during a heart attack occurs in the first one hour.
It is important to reach a good cardiac care hospital as soon as possible.
Sometimes coronary angioplasty is done immediately and very often open heart surgery may also be advised.
Cost of a coronary angioplasty with 1 stent may vary from US$ 4000 to US$ 5500 depending upon the type pf stent. Open heart surgery in India costs between US$ 6500 to US$ 7500.

 

Congenital Heart Disease in Children, What to do if your child suffers from one

Congenital heart disease (CHD) in children,is your child suffering from one

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease is a problem with the heart’s structure and function that is present from birth.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) can describe a number of different problems affecting the heart. It is the commonest type of birth defect. Congenital heart disease causes more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects.

Congenital heart disease is often divided into two types:

Cyanotic (blue skin color caused by a lack of oxygen) and non-cyanotic or acyanotic.

In non cyanotic congenital heart defects, blood flows from the left side of the heart to the right side of the heart due to a structural defect often known as a hole  in the septum.

The following lists cover the most common congenital heart diseases:

Cyanotic

  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Hypoplastic left heart
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Tetralogy of Fallot ( TOF)
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Transposition of the great vessels
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Non-cyanotic:
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Atrioventricular canal (endocardial cushion defect)
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

These problems may occur alone or together. Most children with CHD do not have other types of birth defects. However, heart defects may be part of genetic and chromosomal syndromes. Some of these syndromes may be passed down through families.

Examples include:

  • DiGeorge syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Noonan syndrome
  • Trisomy 13
  • Turner syndrome

Often, no cause for the heart problem can be found. Congenital heart diseases continue to be investigated and researched. Drugs such as retinoic acid for acne, chemicals, alcohol, and infections (such as rubella) during pregnancy can contribute to some congenital heart problems.

Poorly controlled blood sugar in women who have diabetes during pregnancy has also been linked to a high rate of congenital heart defects. Symptoms depend on the condition. Although congenital heart disease is present at birth, the symptoms may not appear right away.

Defects such as coarctation of the aorta may not cause problems for years. Other problems, such as a small VSD, ASD, or PDA may never cause any problems. Most congenital heart defects are found during a pregnancy ultrasound.

When a defect is found, a pediatric heart doctor, surgeon, and other specialists can be there when the baby is delivered. Having medical care ready at the delivery can mean the difference between life and death for some babies. Treatment of the baby depend on the defect and the severity of symptoms.

Very often, the baby does not reach critical milestones such as speech, walking etc due to lack of oxygen which hampers brain development and overall growth.

Children with CHD( Congenital Heart Defect) also fall sick very often with pneumonia, breathlessness and are in and out of the hospital.Though it is a tough choice for a patient, getting a surgery done often takes care of the above problems and recovery is quick and the babies are able to make up for lost time and reach age appropriate milestones.

Therefore it is in the child’s best interest to get surgery done within 1 year or a little below 2 years before the pulmonary pressure increases and the medical condition becomes irreversible.

Cost of most surgeries for CHD  varies from US$ 4500 to US$ 11000.

Ihealthkonnect as India’s 1st price discovery and comparison platform empowers not only Indian residents but also overseas patients in connecting to the best doctors and hospitals for open heart surgery.

Patients are not only able to search ,discover best heart hospitals in India and take a free 2nd opinion and estimated cost of surgery from some of the best doctors, best cardiologists in India but also save on cost of surgeries as well.

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Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. In CAD the coronary arteries (tubes) that take blood to the heart are narrow or blocked. This happens when cholesterol, plaque , calcium deposits build up inside the arteries.

Plaque is caused by:

  • Fat and cholesterol in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Too much sugar in the blood (usually because of diabetes)

When plaque blocks an artery, it’s hard for blood to flow to the heart. A blocked artery can cause chest pain or a heart attack

Common symptoms of a heart attack

A heart attack happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked. Common signs of a heart attack include:

Chest pain (or feeling pressure, squeezing, or fullness in your chest)

Pain or discomfort in the upper body – like the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach (above the belly button)

  1. Trouble breathing (while resting or being active)
  2. Feeling sick to your stomach or throwing up
  3. Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or unusually tired
  4. Breaking out in a cold sweat

Part of the heart may die if the person is not given help quickly