How to Take Care of Your Heart Health

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You can do a lot to take care of your heart and reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular problems in the future. Even if you just start by making a few simple changes, you should soon start to feel healthier and more in control of your health. You might find it easier to make more or bigger changes once you’ve succeeded with some small ones first.

Cut Out Your Bad Habits

Smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do to your heart. Giving up smoking can make a significant difference to your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Other bad habits that can be harmful for your heart include drinking too much alcohol and overindulging in unhealthy foods. Cutting back is a great way to take care of your heart.

Manage Your Stress

Stress can take a heavy toll on your physical health. It can make you more likely to indulge in your bad habits, temporarily raises your blood pressure, and can trigger certain heart conditions such as arrhythmias if you are at risk. You should try to eliminate sources of stress in your life, when possible, or find ways of managing them. Talking about your worries, practising mindfulness, or setting some time aside to relax or do something you enjoy can help.

Lose Any Excess Weight

Being overweight can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular problems but you can reduce the risk by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. It can be a good idea to focus on eating well so that you can achieve this goal steadily rather than trying to rush it with a strict diet. Try to make changes that you’ll be able to stick to in the long term in order to keep your heart and body healthy.

Keep Active

Exercise is great for your heart. As well as helping you to lose any extra weight, regular physical activity can strengthen your heart, improve blood flow, and help reduce blood pressure. Most people should aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, but you should ask your doctor for advice if you have any health problems or you’re new to exercising. Good activities for your heart including walking, swimming, jogging, and cycling, but there are plenty of other types of exercise that can help to get your heart pumping. You should gradually increase the amount and intensity of exercise as you get fitter.

Understand Your Cardiac Risks

Following these general tips on cardiac care will help everyone, but you can also get more personalised advice through heart screening. Cardiac Screen can check for any underlying issues such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure that could increase the chances of developing certain conditions. We’ll provide personalised advice on what you can do to address the specific risk factors identified during screening. Cardiac screening tests can also detect any hidden heart problems that might need treatment to prevent them from becoming worse. We’ll provide all the cardiac care you need to look after your heart.

Cardiac Care in London During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Many of us have been inspired to take better care of ourselves by the events of the last year, but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has also deterred many people from seeking cardiac care when they need it. Improving your diet and lifestyle can prevent heart disease but it is also vital to be aware of the signs that you need expert help. You can find world-class cardiac care in London even while we are managing a global pandemic.

Cardiac Care in an Emergency

During the first UK lockdown in 2019 there was a significant drop in the number of people attending hospitals with heart problems. The number of patients admitted with heart attacks or heart failure dropped by more than 50%. Many people were worried about going to A&E during the pandemic in case they became infected. Others were concerned about overwhelming the health services and tried to cope with their symptoms at home. Similar effects were seen again during the autumn and winter as COVID-19 rates rose again and it is feared that this could lead to further rises in avoidable deaths from heart disease.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack should call an ambulance right away. Signs of a possible heart attack include sudden chest pain or tightness, pain that spreads along the arm or jaw, and suddenly becoming sweaty, lightheaded, or breathless. A heart attack is a medical emergency so it is vital to get help as quickly as possible, even during lockdown.

Seeing a Heart Specialist

Although other cardiac symptoms may not require emergency medical care, they still need to be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible. You shouldn’t ignore symptoms such as heart palpitations or dizziness because of COVID-19 anxieties. It’s also important to be aware that symptoms such as breathlessness, a persistent cough, and fatigue can be caused by heart problems if you have tested negative for COVID-19. You could have a serious heart condition that requires prompt treatment, so you should make an appointment with your GP or see a heart specialist directly.

Cardiac Screen is taking all the necessary measures to keep you safe when you seek cardiac care in London. If you’re experiencing any cardiac symptoms then we can run tests to find out the cause. We may recommend some of the following tests:

  • echocardiogram – an ultrasound scan to check your heart’s structure and movements
  • ECG – measures the electrical activity in your heart that controls its beating
  • exercise tests – monitoring your heart while you are on a treadmill
  • blood pressure – to check how well your heart is functioning
  • lung function tests – measuring your lung capacity and function
  • blood and urine tests – to check for metabolic problems, infections, and other issues

If we do detect a problem then we’ll talk you through the treatment options, which could include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery. We provide complete cardiac care in London so we’ll be here to provide all the support you need.

Steps to Take When You Think You Are Having a Stroke

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A stroke is a medical emergency so it is important to be aware of the signs and to call an ambulance immediately if you think that you (or someone else) might be having a stroke. The faster that you get treatment for a stroke, the better the chances of limiting the effects and saving your life.

Signs of a Stroke

A stroke occurs when one of the blood vessels that supplies the brain becomes blocked, preventing oxygen from reaching it. Without a good supply of oxygenated blood, the brain cells can be damaged or even killed. The effects can depend on how long the blockage persists and which parts of the brain have been affected.

Common symptoms of a stroke include:

  • drooping or weakness on one side of the face
  • not being able to smile normally
  • arm weakness – if you lift both arms up then one of them may slowly droop down even while you’re trying to hold it up
  • speech problems such as slurring or difficulty understanding words
  • changes in the vision of one eye
  • a very severe headache
  • feeling confused
  • not being able to walk or balance properly due to dizziness or lack of coordination

The symptoms of a stroke often appear suddenly, but in some cases, they can develop more slowly over the course of several hours. Sometimes the symptoms can disappear quickly as the blood flow to the brain is restored. This is known as a ministroke and it can indicate that you are at high risk of having a more serious stroke soon, so it is important to seek medical help even if you start feeling better.

What to Do If You Suspect a Stroke

If you think that you or someone else might be having a stroke or ministroke then you should call an ambulance right away. You need medical care as soon as possible to confirm what is happening and to ensure you get the right treatment. If you’re alone and having trouble speaking then you should try to make some noise, tap on the phone, or press “55” when you are prompted to, in order to ensure the operator knows you need help.

The operator will advise you on what to do while you’re waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It is important to stay calm and avoid any strenuous activities. If someone is there with you then they can help you to loosen any clothing around your neck that could make it harder for you to breathe and assist you to lie down on your side with a cushion or other support to keep your head slightly raised and a blanket to keep you warm. They can also ensure that the door is unlocked and guide the ambulance crew to you when they arrive. You shouldn’t try to drink water or take any medicine (even aspirin). The best thing you can do is to wait and rest as much as possible.

What is Involved in Gynaecology Screening?

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If you’re visiting Cardiac Screen for gynaecology screening you might be wondering what to expect during the examination. Many women feel anxious about gynaecological check-ups or worry that they might need to have painful tests. Finding out a bit more about gynaecology screening should reassure you that it will be just as safe and simple as any other kind of check-up.

Continue reading What is Involved in Gynaecology Screening?

Who Should Have Their Cardiovascular Health Assessed?

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Heart disease affects approximately 7 million people in the UK, but many of us are unaware that we are living with a cardiovascular condition. Cardiac screening can detect these hidden conditions so that we are able to get treatment. It can also reveal who is at risk of developing heart disease in the future, which can enable us to take steps to prevent these kinds of problems. Should you have your cardiovascular health assessed to find out if you could be affected?

Continue reading Who Should Have Their Cardiovascular Health Assessed?

Could New Blood Tests Help With Heart Screening?

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Heart screening often includes blood tests to measure your cholesterol levels, but new types of heart tests could soon be available that could provide additional information about your health. Although it will be a while before these new heart tests become available in London, they may one day help to make cardiac screening even more effective than it is now.  Continue reading Could New Blood Tests Help With Heart Screening?

Who Should Have Sports Screening?

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Heart screening can be beneficial for everyone, but if you are an active person it might be a good idea to consider a more specialised form of screening instead. Sports screening at the Cardiac Screen clinic in London is designed for fit and active people who want to perform at their best. The screening package includes tests that can detect potential risks that could affect you while you exercise. The results can also help you to improve your performance and keep yourself healthy while you work out. Continue reading Who Should Have Sports Screening?

What Happens After a Stroke?

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The treatment you receive when you have a stroke is just the beginning. After you have recovered, you may need tests such as a carotid Doppler scan to help understand what happened and how you’ve been affected. You may also need ongoing care and treatment to prevent further problems. Continue reading What Happens After a Stroke?