Dr. Paula Montana de la Cadena, Cardiovascular Specialist with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, says any patient above 20 years of age should have a regular checkup of their blood pressure, at least once a year if it is normal, and it should be more often if it is above 140/90. She also explains a 30-year patient should not have a blood pressure of 135/85; an ideal blood pressure for them should be around the 120/80.
Dr. Paula Montana de la Cadena, Cardiovascular Specialist with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, explains there are a lot of reasons why the chest can hurt, but not all of them are coming from the heart. "The important thing with chest pain is where it goes to. So, if it stays in the chest, goes to the neck, goes to the arm or both arms, and it is associated with shortness of breath, dizziness and sweatiness, they are really concerning when it comes to an acute chest pain that is constant," she says.
Stop smoking, controlling blood pressure, checking cholesterol, keeping diabetes under control and exercising are some of the lifestyle changes and home remedies you can do for your heart health. Dr. Paula Montana de la Cadena, Cardiovascular Specialist with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, recommends starting slowly in those changes: "They should know what healthy things they should eat, and also what are the things that they should avoid. So, start with that instead of starting to cut calories like crazy, because it's very hard to stick to a very strict diet."
Lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, controlling diabetes and treating heart rhythm disorders are common heart disease medications. "I cannot emphasize enough lifestyle modification will be key, but if we do not get to the point that we want just with lifestyle changes, then that is when we need to start some medication," says Dr. Paula Montana de la Cadena, Cardiovascular Specialist with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute. She explains the first-line of medication for hypertension should be diuretics, but if the patient is diabetic, there are other medications that would be a better choice for that patient, because doctors choose those medications based on history and guidelines.
There are diagnostic tools in cardiology to know if there is any problem with your heart. Some of them are electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), holter monitoring, echocardiogram, stress test, cardiac catheterization, cardiac CT and cardiac MRI. Dr. Paula Montana de la Cadena, Cardiovascular Specialist with Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, points out EKG is a tool that allows doctors to see the electrical activity of the heart. This doesn't necessarily mean that every time you have an EKG you will be able to diagnose underlying heart disease; it is a good tool depending on the setting, but a normal EKG doesn't necessarily rule out any heart disease.