World Heart Day
Health today has embraced a wider dimension; that of wellness. The wellness movement is on everyone’s radar, as we consciously make choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. This dynamic process of change and growth moves beyond just being free from illness, into the realm of holistic physical, mental and social wellbeing.
There is rising trend of people across all ages wearing wearable fitness trackers. The purpose of these devices is primarily to monitor heart rate, during exercise and through the day. A person’s heart rate is a valuable tool in understanding the way the body works.
On World Heart Day, Dr. M Sai Sudhakar, Chief Interventional Cardiologist & Chief Cardiac Transplant Physician, at Gleneagles Global Hospital helps us understand the working of this amazing organ in the human body, as he discusses FAQs in conversation.
What is heart rate?
The heart rate, also sometimes called pulse rate, is the number of times the heart contracts per minute. A normal resting heart rate for an adult ranges between 60-100 beats per minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness. Although conventionally the heart rate was measured by checking the pulse, smart watches and other wrist-based fitness monitors have helped simplify monitoring heart rate.
What are the factors that impact heart rate?
Many factors can influence heart rate, including age, fitness and activity levels, smoking, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol or diabetes, air temperature, body position (standing up or lying down, for example), emotions, body size and medications.
What are the red flags to watch out for while monitoring heart rate?
Although there's a wide range of normal, an unusually high or low heart rate may indicate an underlying problem. Consult your doctor if your resting heart rate is consistently above 100 beats a minute (tachycardia) or if you're not a trained athlete and your resting heart rate is below 60 beats a minute (bradycardia) — especially if you have other signs or symptoms, such as fainting, dizziness or shortness of breath.
What are the different heart ailments to be aware of?
There are many different heart conditions and problems which are collectively known as heart disease. These conditions can affect the heart’s ability to work efficiently. Heart ailments commonly include coronary heart disease, angina, unstable angina, heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, valve disease and congenital heart conditions. It’s always best to discuss heart conditions with a doctor or heart specialist to ensure correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
What happens when the heart rate increases?
The heart rate may be fast simply as a reaction to other processes going on in the body. For example, if the body is under stress from pain, infection, blood loss or general illness then the heart rate may increase significantly, often to provide blood to vital organs. Often a fast heart rate will have no significant effect on the heart. Sometimes, when the heart rate is continually elevated over a long period of time, the heart muscle weakens. It is therefore critical to identify underlying causes for fast heat rate and ensure appropriate treatment.
What are heart attacks?
A heart attack - also known as myocardial infarction or MI, happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is completely blocked. This is most commonly caused because of fatty material breaking off and a blood clot forms within a coronary artery. This can cause damage to the part of the heart muscle which that particular coronary artery was supplying.
What is heart failure?
If the heart’s pumping action doesn’t work effectively, the heart muscle is unable to meet the body’s demand for blood and oxygen. Thus, the body develops various symptoms, like fatigue and shortness of breath. This is called heart failure because of the failure of your heart to work efficiently.
What sort of dietary advice is given to patients who are battling heart disease or at risk?
Those with heart ailments are asked to limit salt in the diet, as it helps to decrease the amount of extra fluid around the heart, lungs, and legs. Extra fluid will make the heart work harder and worsen symptoms. Consult your doctor on the right amount of sodium for you, as it depends on the seriousness of your heart failure. Common limits are 1,500 to 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. Other dietary tips include
- Decrease saturated fats and trans fats
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables
- Eat more fiber rich food
- Substitute animal protein with plant protein
- Increase whole grains
- Limit sweets, desserts and sugary sodas
- Choose low fat or non-fat dairy products
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation
- Practice portion control
- Do not skip meals - more frequent mini-meals are better
- Exercise to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
GLENEAGLES GLOBAL HOSPITAL – A FRONTRUNNER IN OFFERING SUPERLATIVE CARDIAC CARE
Gleneagles Global Hospital was born out of the vision to prioritise patient’s concerns and offer round the clock human, medical and infrastructural services to ensure constant comfort and quick recovery. The hospital was ranked 3rd best hospital in cardiac sciences in the Critical Care Survey conducted by The Times of India, in 2022.
The outstanding heart care destination is strategically located in the heart of the city at Lakdikapul. For over 20 years, the hospital has been renowned for offering expert diagnosis and treatment of complex and rare heart conditions among both adults and children, under the care of some of Telangana’s top ranked cardiologists.
The hospital runs on latest technology advancements which includes varied types of cardiovascular and thoracic surgeries. The patients are offered extensive care and clinical trials by doctors who pledge to serve them better each day.