Questions from a Seminar on September 3, 2005
1. Does walking for a distance of between one and two kilometers a day help cure heart diseases?
Answer: Yes. However, some more exercise may give greater health benefits. Also, your age, heart conditions as well as overall health will determine how much you should exercise.
2. What should we eat and what should we do to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL)?
Answer: Presently, there is no food that clearly increases HDL. Only regular exercise can help. So far, many researches are now ongoing to determine the ability of some food and the effectiveness of some medicines in raising HDL level. We have to keep abreast of these research findings.
3. How does red wine affect our heart?
Answer: Moderate consumption (a few glasses of red wine a day) causes no harm. At the same time, it remains inconclusive as to whether it has any benefit. In some cases, drinking more glasses of red wine a day may weaken the hearts.
4. Does stent treatment cause injuries to blood vessels?
Answer: Yes, sometimes. However, these are minor and controllable injuries. These injuries can heal finely, especially when we use drug-eluting stent.
5. Why does coronary artery disease hit young people?
Answer: The disease happens among younger people because risk factors such as overweight, obesity, high-blood cholesterol have become increasingly common among them. The problems arise from changes in food, environment and less exercise.
6. How reliable MDCT or heart scan is when compared with cardiac catheterization?
Answer: For no-stenosis results, the heart scan is between 95 and 98 per cent accurate when compared with cardiac catheterization. For results of stenosis detected, the heart scan’s accuracy is between 80 and 85 per cent.
7. What is the chance of congenital mitral valve turns into valular deficiency? And what are symptoms of the valvular deficiency?
Answer: Patients with the congenital mitral valve prolapse has 15-per-cent chance of developing the valvular deficiency. Symptoms may not show if the deficiency is not severe. Exhaust from slight physical effort is symptomatic of the valvular deficiency. Therefore, if you have congenital mitral valve, it is recommended that you visit doctors regularly to check if the valvular deficiency has developed.
8. Are dizziness, whirling sensation, pale face and sweating symptoms of heart diseases at their onset?
Answer: These symptoms are associated with many diseases including heart diseases. Doctors will check their patients’ health records or give them more check up to determine the exact causes of these symptoms.
9. How can patients know if they are cured after receiving Enhanced External Counterpulsation or EECP? What can guarantee that no cardiac emergency will arise while they are receiving such treatment?
Answer: First of all, the patients’ own symptoms will show whether their conditions are improving: whether they have less chest pain and become less exhausted.
Secondly, the patients can undergo blood tests, echocardiography and MRI checks before and after they receive EECP treatments. The results will show whether their conditions have improved.
10. Is holy mushroom useful to heart-disease patients?
Answer: Modern medicine has no clear proof to support this belief.
11. Is there any difference between exercise on treadmills or treadmill bikes and exercise on the ground?
Answer: Walking and jogging is a kind of aerobics that is good to both lungs and hearts. Exercise on treadmills is good in that one can avoid road accidents and pollutants. Aside, quality treadmills will have features for no-impact exercise and this will be good to joints. That is an advantage over exercise on the ground. However, one can choose to exercise in a way of their preference and convenience. The best thing is to start doing exercise.
12. Can people with risks of coronary artery diseases drink coffee?
Answer: People with coronary artery diseases can drink coffee if medicines have helped control their symptoms. In fact, they can live a normal life. They can drink coffee, but not more than four cups a day.
13. Can people be rest assured that they will not develop coronary artery disease if annual checkups show that their blood cholesterol level has always been in normal range?
Answer: - No, this is not a 100-per-cent guarantee that they won’t get the disease.
- As we have known, there are many other risk factors of coronary artery disease especially heredity. Aside, some of them are unknown.
- Many patients with coronary artery diseases have normal blood cholesterol level.
14. Does searing chest pain like being pierced by pins an abnormal symptom even if it arises once in ages?
Answer: The coronary artery disease usually causes choking chest pain. The searing pain like pin attacks is rather symptomatic of inflammatory muscles and nerve endings.
15. I have already undergone a bypass graft surgery, but today need regular hemodialysis because of kidney diseases. When I exert some force such as walking fast or gardening, why do I feel so tired? Is there any solution to stop such problem? And which medicine should I take?
Answer: Tiredness from the use of physical force can stem from heart or lung abnormality, or anemia, or kidney failure. Such symptom indicates that people with hypertension may start to develop heart diseases, coronary artery disease or heart valvular diseases. In case of kidney patients, such symptom suggests that they may start to develop anemia due to the decrease of bone marrow function.
The solution is to consult doctors who will help determine the symptoms’ root cause. Then, proper treatments will be given:
- Anemia: taking hormone to stimulate the bone marrow function
- Fluid-volume excess: more hemodialysis sessions and reduced consumption of salted food
- Hypertension: Reduced consumption of salted food, more hemodialysis sessions and hypertension medicines
- Coronary artery disease: Even with a history of bypass graft surgery, it is possible that the patients may develop restonosis. Therefore, they should receive CT scan, or angiography check. If restonosis is detected, the patients should receive EECP session or Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).
16. What does heart failure mean?
Answer: Heart failure is a condition in which the heart's ability to pump blood is inadequate to meet the body's needs at a particular point of time. If this happens, the patients easily feel exhausted when they are using physical force. Even if they do nothing, they pant. They can’t lie down horizontally. They suffer from swelling and have bubbly pink phlegm.
With heart failure, the patients should avoid salted food, too much water and too much exercise. Also, they should take enough rest and stay clear of stress. They should be cautious about using medicines that may affect the heart function such as some antibiotics.
17. What is the service life of a pacemaker? Does it require the change of battery?
Answer: Pacemaker’s service life is between eight and 10 years. The patients who use a pacemaker should receive a checkup once every six months. If the checkup shows that the battery is running out, the battery should be replaced. The replacement can be done without the change of the pacemaker line if the line still works normally.