Cardiac Services at Wise Health System can diagnose and treat a wide range of heart conditions and diseases.
Acute renal failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. It can develop over a few hours or days.
- Body swelling
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
- Metallic taste
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle weakness / cramps
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and unusually rapid heart rate that can come and go in episodes, or can be chronic. This condition causes poor blood flow to the body.
If you notice that your blood pressure has decreased, feel weak or lightheaded, have shortness of breath and chest pain, you may be experiencing atrial fibrillation.
Aortic valve regurgitation or aortic valve insufficiency occurs when the heart’s aortic valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood that is already been pumped to leak back in.
These conditions do not allow your heart to efficiently pump blood to the rest of your body and may lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of ankles and feet, chest pain, irregular pulse, heart murmur, and heart palpitations.
Aortic valve stenosis is when the heart’s aortic valve becomes narrow and obstructs blood flow from your heart to the rest of your body. Because the valve is not able to open fully, the heart has to work harder for your body to get the blood needed.
The over-exertion resulting from aortic valve stenosis leads to fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, heart murmurs, and chest pain. This condition could lead to heart failure, so consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart function when the heart’s electrical system (how the heart knows what to do) malfunctions due to arrhythmias (abnormal or irregular heart rhythms). CPR and use of a defibrillator may be able to reverse a cardiac arrest if performed within minutes of the heart stopping.
Cardiac arrest can result from a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack typically include chest or other upper body discomfort and shortness of breath.
Cardiogenic shock happens when your heart suddenly can’t pump enough blood for your body and is usually caused by a heart attack. Though it is a rare condition, it is important to catch and treat cardiogenic shock early. If you have cardiogenic shock, you may experience rapid breathing, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, confusion, fainting, weak pulse, sweating, pale skin, cold hands or feet, urinating less than normal or not at all.
Because cardiogenic shock and severe heart attacks are linked, it is important to know the signs of a heart attack. During a heart attack you may notice pressure in the center of your chest, pain that could extend to your chest, shoulder, arm, teeth and jaw, shortness of breath, pain in the upper abdomen, fainting, nausea and vomiting. If you have these signs or symptoms, seek medical attention quickly to decrease your chances of developing cardiogenic shock and increase your chance of survival.
Chest pain can be anything from a sharp stab to an ache, or a crushing or burning sensation. There are many things that can cause chest pain, the most concerning are those that involve the heart or lungs.
Because there are many medical conditions that can cause chest pain, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you feel tightness in your chest, pain from your chest to your back, neck, jaw, shoulders and arms, pain that comes back in spurts of a few minutes at a time, shortness of breath, sweating, lightheadedness, or nausea.
Chronic renal failure is the slow process of your kidneys being unable to filter waste products from your blood. This can lead to a build up of fluid and waste products in the body, affecting blood pressure control, red blood cell production, vitamin D and bone health.
Early signs of chronic renal failure are fatigue, headaches, itching, dry skin, appetite loss, weight loss and nausea. High blood pressure is usually present in every stage. As kidney function continues to decrease, one may experience bone pain, darker or lighter skin, drowsiness, confusion, numbness of extremities, muscle cramps, bad breath, easy bruising or bleeding, blood in stool, excessive thirst, shortness of breath, trouble sleeping, swelling of feet or hands, vomiting, menstrual periods stop, frequent hiccups, and low level of sexual interest and impotence.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) occurs when built up cholesterol causes the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle to become narrowed and hardened. The decreased blood flow means the heart can’t get the blood or oxygen it needs to function properly. This condition can weaken the heart and lead to heart failure and arrhythmias.
Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, or a heart attack. If you think you might be having a heart attack, call 911 immediately.
If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity, you may be at risk for CAD and should talk to your doctor.
Heart blocks occur when the electrical signals from the SA node (located at the top right atrium of the heart) to the AV node (which is used to send electrical signals to the part of the heart responsible for pumping) are too slow. So, a heart block doesn’t mean that the blood is being blocked, rather a block/lack of clear communication between these parts of the heart.
There are three different degrees of heart block:
A 1st degree is the mildest case and there usually aren’t symptoms. This type of heart block is a slow communication between the SA and AV node. It is typically found in well-trained athletes.
A 2nd degree heart block occurs when the electrical signals aren’t reaching the ventricles (part of the heart that is responsible for pumping) and results in “dropped beats.”
A 3rd degree (complete heart block) occurs when no electrical signals are being received by the ventricles. Though they attempt to compensate the missed beats on their own, it is at a much slower and dangerous rate.
Heart failure means that your heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. This condition can be ongoing (chronic) or start suddenly (acute).
Symptoms for chronic heart failure include: fatigue, swelling of legs, ankles and feet, shortness of breath, rapid/irregular heartbeat, persistent cough/wheezing with white/pink blood-tinged phlegm, sudden weight gain from fluid retention, lack of appetite, nausea and difficulty concentrating
Symptoms of acute heart failure include: Chest pain (if failure is caused by heart attack), sudden fluid buildup, heart palpitations (irregular heartbeat), sudden shortness of breath and coughing up pink mucus.
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Left ventricular heart failure is a condition that occurs when the lower left chamber of the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently to the rest of your body. It is one of the most common heart conditions.
Symptoms include, shortness of breath, fluid retention, and fatigue. Coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, valve abnormalities, cardiomyopathy (damage to the heart muscle), and arrhythmias can all be contributing factors left ventricular failure.
Lung disease includes asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), influenza, and lung cancer.
Asthma is when breathing airways become inflamed making breathing difficult when “triggered” by outside factors (weather, chemicals, dust, etc.).
COPD can be caused by other illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, making breathing more difficult over time.
The flu is a respiratory illness and can affect the entire body.
Lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that develop unhealthy tissue in one or both lungs.
Symptoms include: coughing (usually persistent and intense), coughing up blood, coughing up phlegm (may be tinged with blood), recurrent lung problems (bronchitis or pneumonia), change in volume or color of sputum (mix of saliva and mucus), shortness of breath, change in voice, hoarseness, harsh sounds when breathing (stridor), loss of appetite, weight loss, muscle wasting (cachexia), fatigue, blood clots, bleeding, neck/facial swelling, non-accidental injury related bone fractures, headaches, bone/joint pain, and memory loss.
Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing the blood to flow back into your heart.
The condition does not allow your heart to efficiently pump blood to the rest of your body and may lead to heart murmur, heart palpitations, fatigue, light-headedness, shortness of breath, excessive urination, and coughing.
Mitral valve stenosis is the narrowing of the mitral valve opening that restricts blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle (main chamber of the heart responsible for pumping). This condition is usually a result of rheumatic fever (a childhood illness from untreated strep throat/scarlet fever).
Symptoms include: fatigue, shortness of breath, swollen feet or ankles, heart palpitations, coughing (sometimes with blood-tinged phlegm), and in some circumstances, chest pain.
Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) affects the blood vessels outside the heart and brain and often narrows the vessels that carry blood to the arms, stomach, kidneys or legs, resulting in poor blood circulation.
There are two types of PVD:
Functional PVDs, where the blood vessels aren’t damaged physically.
Organic PVDs are caused by changes in the structure of the blood vessel.
- Pain during walking or climbing.
- Cramping, numbness, or weakness in the legs.
- Aching or burning pain in feet or toes.
- A sore on a foot or leg that will not heal.
- Loss of hair on the legs.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the sudden failure of the respiratory system. According to the American Lung Association, 190,000 Americans are affected by ARDS annually. It usually develops in anyone over the age of one who is already very ill. ARDS can be caused by trauma, pneumonia, breathing in harmful smoke or fumes, breathing vomit into the lungs and narcotics.
You may have ARDS if you are experiencing feeling like you can’t get enough air into your lungs, low oxygen levels in the blood, rapid breathing, confusion, cough and fever (if your ARDS is caused by pneumonia), low blood pressure and fatigue.
STEMI stands for ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction, which is a type of heart attack that occurs when one of the arteries that supply oxygen is blocked.
Every second counts, so if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, sweating, palpitations, and nausea/vomiting you need to seek medical attention immediately.