Heart Disease

Primary Care Doctor located in Hampstead, NC

Heart disease is very common across the world and especially in the US.  Heart disease can mean many different things.  For instance, disease of the heart valves from congenital (since birth) problems can cause heart disease, or rheumatic fever as a child can cause heart disease.  Some patients develop blockages in the arteries that bring blood to their heart.  This is called coronary artery disease.  Other people may develop a weakened heart muscle, or an enlarged heart.  This is called congestive heart failure.

Common signs and symptoms of heart disease include swelling in the legs, trouble breathing, decreased exercise tolerance, or chest pain and tightness.  If you have any of these symptoms it is important to see a doctor like Dr. Manning or Holly Kilian, FNP, at Hampstead Internal Medicine.  He will take a medical history and perform a physical exam looking for signs and symptoms of heart damage, heart function, or blockages of the arteries around your heart.  Depending on your symptoms we can do EKGs to look at the rhythym of your heart, X-Rays to look at your heart and lungs, or blood tests.

Heart disease can be deadly, and there are really great medicines to treat heart disease, so it is very important to get a good diagnosis and get treated.

Dr. Manning Heart Disease FAQ

I have high cholesterol.  Do I have heart disease?

High cholesterol is a risk factor for developing hardening of the arteries, or coronary artery disease.  Having high cholesterol by itself does not mean you have heart disease, but you may be at risk for developing heart disease prematurely as you age.  It is important to talk to your doctor about how to lower your cholesterol to prevent heart disease down the road.

How do I know if I have heart disease?

Common symptoms include chest pain or tightness, difficulty breathing, swelling in the feet and legs, or skipping or racing sensation in your chest.  If you have any of these symptoms you should get checked out.  Often anxiety or a pulled muscle can cause chest pain and tightness, so it may not be your heart, but it is a good idea to get checked out.

Is heart disease fatal?

Untreated you can die of heart disease.  The good news is that now there are great treatments for all kinds of heart disease.  See your doctor or call the experts at Hampstead Internal Medicine and discuss options.  Many, many people now lead long and healthy lives with heart disease.