With the understandable concerns and fears about COVID-19, taking care of your heart health is as important as ever. And for some, concerns of the pandemic could increase the risk for heart problems—especially if you’re already at risk—and lead to very serious problems if unattended.
There are a lot of factors at play with stress and heart health these days:
All of these reasons factor into your heart health. That’s why it’s so important to keep annual physicals—even now—so providers can stay on top on any issues that may be causes for concern or further testing.
Even before the novel coronavirus, Arkansas was at the top of a list that no state wants to be on; heart disease is the leading cause of death in the state. So with the added stress of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to watch your health, keep your appointments and if necessary, take advantage of the cardiac nuclear medicine tests from Howard Memorial Hospital that monitor your heart health—and may even save your life.
Cardiac nuclear medicine is an important tool to help gauge your heart’s health, so you have the information you need to make modifications, get healthy and live a more active, healthier life. Cardiac nuclear testing includes stress testing and cardiac imaging, so doctors have a clearer picture of exact issues that are causing or could lead to serious problems. These procedures involve critical diagnostic tools, not simple screenings, to actually look inside the arteries and valves that deliver blood to your heart.
The good news is, these tests, if necessary, will be ordered directly by your primary care physician, so you’ll have the results with you if you need to see a cardiologist. These detailed images of your arterial and heart activity allow the cardiologist to quickly understand any issues and move you into appropriate treatment plans sooner—so you can start the journey to your better heart health right away.
At HMH we're proud to feature a number of improvements to our cardiac nuclear medicine, including a dual head gamma camera, and same day echocardiograms for a smoother, more convenient patient experience.
As always, take care of your health—but be especially mindful of your health during this difficult time. Make efforts to reduce your stress by taking time for healthy lifestyle decisions. There are resources online, or books, to learn techniques to deal with added stress. Ask your provider for ways to better handle the ever-changing stressors of life during this time—at work, as a parent, or just as a someone dealing with factors you’ve never had to navigate before. Keep moving. Take walks or choose an activity that you find enjoyable. And make modifications in your diet to improve your heart health. Small steps lead to bigger lifestyle changes when it comes to healthy eating, and there have never been more recipes—many even mimic our favorites that have been reinvented with a healthier twist. Ask your provider about the HMH services available to help you learn how to make better dietary choices and incorporate healthier recipes. All of this will help your heart during the pandemic—and beyond.
Of course, in the event of an issue or concern, our expert staff is here to help you throughout your journey, from diagnosis through rehab. Start by making an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss any concerns you have about your heart health. He or she may recommend a cardiac nuclear medicine diagnostic so you’re able to get the help you need. And if you’re experiencing heart issues, working with a cardiologist, or considering surgery or other procedures, learn more about the resources and support from HMH at https://www.howardmemorial.com/our-services/cardiac-rehabilitation.Posted in: Cardiology, Health