Archive for the ‘ Healthy Heart ’ Category

Coping Strategies for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Congenital Heart Disease

Wednesday, February 14th, 2024

Congenital heart defects (CHDs) stand as the most prevalent form of birth defect. They are present at birth and have an impact on the heart’s structure and functionality. They can disrupt the normal flow of blood through the heart and its distribution to the body. Ranging from mild instances, such as small holes in the heart, to severe cases involving missing or improperly formed heart components, CHDs present a spectrum of complexities. In India alone, more than 200,000 children are born annually with congenital heart defects, with a striking 20 percent necessitating life-saving interventions within their first year of life.

Unique Parenting Challenges

Parents of children with CHD face unique challenges, such as:

  • Learning specialized parenting skills
    In addition to the usual challenges and adaptations that come with welcoming a newborn, parents of infants with CHD often find themselves grappling with the unique circumstances of caring for a baby who might have endured lengthy stays in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and may still rely on tubes or attachments to support their fragile bodies.
  • Living with persistent uncertainty
    Even if their child no longer requires procedures, doctor appointments often stir up past memories and new worries. As children mature, parents naturally grapple with concerns about the ongoing risks associated with CHD and uncertainties surrounding their child’s lifelong care. The journey continues indefinitely requiring constant parental support.

Coping Strategies for Parents and Caregivers

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) in children can be a challenging diagnosis for parents and caregivers to navigate. It requires a blend of medical management, emotional support, and lifestyle adjustments to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child. Coping with the complexities of CHD demands resilience and proactive strategies. Here are some helpful tips to follow:

  • Educate Yourself
    Understanding your child’s condition is crucial. Take the time to learn about CHD, its various types, potential complications, and treatment options. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and effectively communicate with healthcare professionals.
  • Build a Support Network
    You are not alone in this journey. Connect with other parents and caregivers of children with CHD through support groups, online forums, or local organizations.
  • Establish Open Communication
    Foster open and honest communication with your child’s healthcare team. Ask questions, voice concerns, and actively participate in decision-making regarding your child’s care. Clear communication promotes collaboration and ensures that everyone is working towards the same goals.
  • Prioritize Self-Care
    Caring for a child with CHD can be physically and emotionally taxing. Remember to prioritize your own well-being. Take breaks when needed, engage in activities you enjoy, and seek support from friends and family members to prevent burnout.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
    Encourage healthy habits for your child, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise (as recommended by your healthcare team), and sufficient sleep. These lifestyle factors can contribute to overall well-being and help manage potential complications associated with CHD.
  • Stay Organized
    Managing appointments, medications, and treatment plans can be overwhelming. Keep a detailed calendar or planner to track appointments, jot down questions for healthcare providers, and record important information about your child’s health.
  • Advocate for Your Child
    Be your child’s strongest advocate. Speak up for their needs, rights, and preferences within the healthcare system, school environment, and community. Ensure they receive appropriate accommodations and support to thrive.
  • Celebrate Milestones
    Each small achievement is important. Whether it’s reaching a developmental milestone, successfully completing a medical procedure, or simply sharing moments of joy together, acknowledging these milestones can boost morale and strengthen your bond as a family.
  • Monitor Emotional Health
    It’s natural to experience a range of emotions when caring for a child with CHD, including fear, anxiety, and sadness. Acknowledge your feelings and seek professional support if needed. Therapy or counseling can provide coping strategies and emotional resilience.

Congenital Heart Defect Treatment at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Our Children’s Heart Centre stands as a premier healthcare institution, dedicated to delivering unparalleled care for neonates, infants, children, and adults grappling with a spectrum of heart conditions, from common to complex congenital defects. Equipped with state-of-the-art Heart Lung Machines for surgical interventions, ECMO for critical care, and advanced 3D Echo machines for precise diagnosis, the Centre ensures cutting-edge treatment modalities. Our team comprises highly skilled paediatric cardiologists selected from the nation’s finest talent pool. Reach out to our team of experts for specialized congenital heart disease treatment. Please find below our website details:

Women’s Heart Health: Understanding the risk factors, symptoms and preventive measures

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Heart disease is not selective and affects both men and women, crossing all boundaries of age and ethnicity. However, many people still perceive it as a ‘man’s disease.’ This misconception can be dangerous. In India, heart disease claims approximately 25% of all lives, with a significant impact on women. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study, heart disease is the leading cause of death among Indian women, responsible for nearly 18% of female mortality. Alarmingly, the mortality rate surpasses that of breast cancer and other cancers combined. Journal of the American College of Cardiology studies reveal a prevalence of coronary artery disease in Indian women ranging from 3% to 13%, with a staggering 300% increase over the past two decades. These statistics highlight the urgent need to raise awareness about heart disease in women and address the unique risk factors that affect them.

Factors Contributing to Heart Disease in Women

Factors contributing to the heightened risk of heart disease in Indian women are multifaceted. High prevalence of risk factors like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes is notable, with diabetes rates surpassing global averages. Unique challenges, including sedentary lifestyles, poor nutrition, and societal stressors, amplify these risks. Pregnancy-related conditions like gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders elevate heart disease risk. Postmenopausal women face increased susceptibility, and early menopause adds an extra layer of risk. Lack of awareness, societal norms discouraging healthcare-seeking, and healthcare disparities, especially in rural areas, compound the challenges in addressing and preventing heart disease in women.

Top of Form

Understanding the Risk

Women face unique risks when it comes to heart disease, largely due to differences in hormones, body size, and even societal roles. For instance, women often experience a spike in heart disease risk after menopause due to a decrease in protective estrogen levels. Heart disease can affect women at any age, but the risk increases with age, particularly after menopause around the age of 55.

Identifying the Symptoms

Women’s heart disease symptoms may differ from men’s and can often be misunderstood or misdiagnosed.

They may experience pain or discomfort in their:

  • Chest (most common)
  • Left breast
  • Back or between their shoulder blades
  • Neck or throat
  • Arms or Legs (one or both)
  • Shoulders

Other symptoms include:

  • Unusual fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Feeling hot or flushed
  • Nausea or Vomiting

Preventive measures for Heart disease in Women

About 80% of women aged 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for coronary heart disease.   However, many of these risks, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, can be controlled with lifestyle changes and medication if necessary. Here are some specific things you can do to reduce your heart disease risk:

  • Control your health numbers – cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Manage your blood sugar levels
  • Be regular with heart health checkups

Cardiac Care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Women must be regular about their heart health checkups. Don’t overlook or dismiss symptoms that could indicate heart disease. If you experience any troubling symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Our Centre for Cardiac Sciences is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, top-notch infrastructure, and an expert team of cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. We offer a comprehensive program for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease across all age groups, from infants to adults. Our team specializes in advanced treatments, including minimally-invasive surgeries, beating heart coronary artery bypass grafting, and awake cardiac surgery. Please find below website link for further details:

Healthy Habits for better Heart Health

Thursday, September 28th, 2023

Every day, your heart pumps about 2,000 litres of blood, supplying the body’s cells and organs with essential nutrients and oxygen. The easier you can make your heart’s job, the longer it can keep you alive. Practicing heart-healthy lifestyle habits consistently plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease – the leading cause of death among men and women worldwide. According to statistics, India is accountable for over 60% of the global burden of heart disease. Some of the risk factors for heart disease are modifiable, and adopting healthy habits can significantly improve your heart health.

The Adverse Effects of Heart Disease

Heart disease is a major global health concern, and its adverse effects can be devastating. Heart disease encompasses various conditions that affect the heart’s structure and function and can be life-threatening and debilitating. Here are some of the potential consequences:

  • Heart Attack
    Coronary artery disease can lead to a heart attack when the blood supply to the heart muscle is blocked, causing damage to the heart tissue. This can result in chest pain, shortness of breath, and even death.
  • Stroke
    Heart disease can increase the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke. Strokes can lead to paralysis, speech difficulties, and cognitive impairment.
  • Heart Failure
    Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently, leading to fatigue, shortness of breath, and fluid retention in the body.
  • Arrhythmias
    Abnormal heart rhythms can cause palpitations, dizziness, and fainting. In severe cases, arrhythmias can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, a life-threatening condition.
  • Reduced Quality of Life
    Heart disease can significantly impact your quality of life by limiting your physical abilities and causing chronic pain and discomfort.

Healthy Heart Habits

Your heart is a precious organ that deserves the best care. By adopting these healthy habits, you can significantly improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. These include:

  • Adopt a Heart-Healthy Diet
    You must increase your intake of fruits and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that support heart health. Choose whole grains in your diet over refined grains to provide sustained energy and are heart-friendly. Limit salt intake and avoid processed foods and include healthy fats in your diet.
  • Stay Physically Active
    You must strive to engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week. Incorporate strength training exercises to build muscle, boost metabolism, and support overall heart health.
  • Manage Stress
    Engage in relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to lower stress hormone levels and protect your heart.
  • Quit Smoking
    Smoking is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Seek help from a healthcare professional or support group to quit smoking for good. Second-hand smoking is equally dangerous.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption
    Excessive alcohol intake can increase your risk of heart disease. It is best to say “No” to all forms of alcohol.
  • Manage Chronic Conditions
    It is essential to track your health numbers such as your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure levels, your cholesterol as well as your weight and manage them with lifestyle changes and medicines.
  • Regular Check-Ups
    Schedule regular health screenings to monitor your heart health. Early detection and management of risk factors can prevent heart disease.
  • Get Enough Sleep
    Aim for atleast 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep can contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease. Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy and insufficient sleep increases your heart disease risk.
  • Don’t sit for long hours
    Medical research suggests that sitting for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much exercise you do. Individuals with a sedentary job must take regular breaks.
  • Practice good dental hygiene
    Protect your heart health by practicing good oral hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily to maintain good dental hygiene.

Cardiac Care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Our Centre foe Cardiac Sciences is dedicated to providing comprehensive preventive care to ensure the well-being of our patients. With a focus on early detection and management of cardiac risk factors, our specialists offer a range of preventive services, including routine cardiovascular screenings, advanced diagnostic tests, and personalized risk assessments. They work closely with patients to develop tailored heart health plans that encompass lifestyle modifications, diet recommendations, and exercise regimens. The Centre for Cardiac Sciences is equipped with cutting-edge technology, world-class infrastructure, and a highly skilled team of cardiologists to provide cardiac care across age groups. By emphasizing preventive care, our cardiac specialists aim to reduce the incidence of heart disease and promote heart-healthy living among our patients, ultimately contributing to longer, healthier lives. Your heart health is our priority, please find below our website link for more details:

These bad habits can harm your Heart health!

Monday, February 27th, 2023

India accounted for more than 28,000 deaths due to heart attacks in the last three years. Statistics suggest that there has been a 54% rise in heart attacks in India in the last decade. Cardiologists have noticed a sharp increase in sudden cardiac death in India in the past few years, with young adults being the worst sufferers. What is the reason behind these disturbing statistics?

Heart disease, which encompasses conditions like heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and irregular heart rhythm, is when your heart and blood vessels don’t function as they should (arrhythmia). Your heart works tirelessly throughout the day to circulate blood throughout your body. Even as you read this on your screen right now, it is pumping while you exercise, walk, eat, sleep, and are awake.

Apart from planning regular cardiac health checkups and knowing your family history, your actual heart health is determined by what you do in your daily life. Your everyday lifestyle choices, the food you eat, your daily activity levels have a great impact on your heart health. Your heart is always working hard for you — you too can choose to lead a heart healthy lifestyle to protect your heart.

Why is you heart health important?

The human heart is a complex organ that plays a vital role in the functioning of our body. As the primary organ, it is responsible for pumping blood to every part of our body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to our cells and organs, and removing waste products.

You cannot change some heart disease risk factors, such as your age or family history. However, better lifestyle choices at any age can avoid heart disease and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Watch out for these poor lifestyle choices that increase your risk of heart disease and stay away from them:

  • Smoking – and not just cigarettes 
    Every time you inhale a cigarette, you are breathing over 5,000 chemicals – many of which are harmful to your health and are carcinogens. Some people use e-cigarettes —called “vaping” which is equally harmful. Smoking damages the lining of the arteries, and may increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • High levels of Stress
    Stress is known to increase the levels of cortisol, a hormone that can increase blood pressure and blood sugar levels, leading to inflammation and damage to the blood vessels. Chronic stress can also lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as smoking, overeating, and lack of physical activity, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Make healthy changes to cope better with stress.
  • Eating an unhealthy diet
    Good nutrition can go a long way in lowering your risk of heart disease. A diet that is high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity. These conditions can increase the risk of developing heart disease. Choose to eat a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Leading a sedentary lifestyle
    Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help improve heart health by reducing inflammation, improving blood vessel function, and reducing the risk of developing other chronic conditions. Just 150 minutes per week – of moderate-intensity physical activity can help lower your heart disease risk.
  • Having too many drinks
    Drinking too much alcohol can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and damage to the heart muscle. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to obesity, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease. It is best to avoid all forms of alcohol.

Cardiac care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai

Concerned about your heart health? Meet highly experienced cardiologists at our Centre for Cardiac Sciences for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease in people across age groups. We are also equipped with cutting-edge technology, world-class infrastructure and a great team to help manage the most complex cases. Please find below our website link for further details:

Heart disease in the young

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

The leading cause of death among Indians, heart disease kills close to three million lives annually! Heart attacks and cardiac arrest are both sudden cardiac events that can happen at any time. According to the Indian Heart Association, 50% of all heart attacks in Indian men happen before the age of 50, and 25% happen before the age of 40. The number of heart attacks and cardiac arrests are rising every day, especially among young Indians.

Indians are said to be genetically inclined to develop coronary heart diseases. A major shift in lifestyle habits over the last two decades have contributed to an increase in other risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, smoking and consumption of junk and processed foods. As a result, it’s critical to promote in young people an understanding of risk factors and symptoms, a healthy lifestyle, and prompt and appropriate medical intervention.

What leads to Heart Attacks in youngsters?

Since the beginning of time, cardiovascular disorders have existed. Cardiac disorders have now started to afflict the younger population as well, deviating from its usual pattern of focusing on the elderly and those with pre-existing heart ailments. The incidence of heart attacks among people in their 30s and 40s is rising due to lifestyle choices, dietary habits, and hereditary problems. Some patients are reporting post-COVID heart problems, clotting difficulties, and complications as a result of the epidemic, putting them vulnerable to heart diseases. Increased stress is another risk factor that has grown to be a major cause of heart attacks, particularly during this pandemic. Your degree of fitness, diet, way of life, and family history all significantly influence your chance of developing cardiac illness. Knowing your health numbers is crucial for taking action to correct any abnormalities especially those including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and hyperglycemia.

Stress and Cardiac disease

Today’s generation definitely leads a more fast paced and stressful life as compared to the older generation. Stress and anxiety have frequently been connected to cardiovascular illnesses. According to studies, having high cortisol levels over an extended period of time may raise a person’s chance of developing high blood pressure, triglycerides, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

How to prevent Heart disease

The most crucial step is to have your cardiac check-up by a specialist. If a person has a significant family history of heart conditions, they should, if necessary, see a cardiologist or cardiac electrophysiologist. It is essential to start leading a healthy life from a young age. Apart from the annual heart health checkups here are some preventive measures that can help reduce your heart-attack risk:

  • Manage your blood pressure
    A significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke is high blood pressure. When your blood pressure, or the force of blood flowing through your blood vessels, is continuously too high, you have high blood pressure, sometimes referred to as hypertension. When your blood pressure is in control it puts less stress on your heart, arteries, and kidneys.
  • Control your cholesterol
    High cholesterol makes plaque more likely to form, and plaque can obstruct arteries and cause heart disease and stroke. Your arteries have the best chance of remaining unblocked when your cholesterol is under control.
  • Reduce blood sugar
    Diabetes increases your risk of developing heart disease. Even slightly elevated blood sugar levels can cause your blood vessels to begin to deteriorate over time, which can result in serious cardiac problems.
  • Stay active
    One of the most wonderful things you can offer your heart and yourself is an active life. Adults should engage in 75 minutes of strenuous exercise, 150 minutes of moderate exercise, or a combination of both, throughout the course of the week. Every day, children and teenagers should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Eat heart healthy
    A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting heart disease. Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, in your diet. Limit your intake of sweetened drinks, sodium, processed meats, refined carbohydrates and trans fats.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    When you maintain a proper body weight, you will reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and other organs. Eat a healthy diet; manage stress and exercise regularly to stay fit.
  • Stop smoking
    The risk of cardiovascular disease is increased in cigarette smokers. The best thing you can do for your heart health is to stop smoking if you currently do so. Stop using all forms of tobacco to protect your heart health.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
    Regular drinking or binge drinking can hurt your heart and lead to diseases of the heart muscle, called as cardiomyopathy. Alcohol use is also known to raise your blood pressure.
  • Heart health screenings
    Heart checkups help identify those at risk of future cardiovascular events of the heart and other major body organs. It also helps ascertain the modifiable risk factors, which are reversible and reduce one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Cope better with stress
    Stress can increase inflammation in your body, which is known to harm your heart by increasing the blood pressure and lowering “good” HDL cholesterol. Manage stress better with strategies that include meditation, pursuing a hobby, spending time in nature or reading a book.

Cardiac care at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital

Are you young and healthy? We truly believe that preventive cardiac care must start at a young age for all. Be proactive about your heart health and take the required steps. Consult our highly trained team of cardiologists for preventive cardiac care, prompt diagnosis and world-class treatment options. Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital is equipped with state-of-the art cardiac facilities. With over 8500 cardiac surgeries, successfully conducted in the past our team is well experienced to handle the most complex cases. Please find below the link for our website details: