How is your heart?
If you experience shortness of breath, persistent coughing/wheezing, and have swelling of the feet, ankles or legs, you could be at risk for heart failure.
February is Heart Health Month and cardiologist Debbie Wright-Thomasson, M.D., wants to make sure you know exactly how your heart is doing.
Her practice, Hamlet Cardiology, has announced a new Congestive Heart Failure Clinic, to be held every first and third Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The clinic will include a full risk assessment, a video, discussions about diet and exercise and one-on-one time with Dr. Wright.
If you have ever been told you have congestive heart failure, or if your family has a history of heart disease, you should plan to attend this clinic.
What is heart failure? Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through the heart to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. In other words, the heart can’t keep up with its workload.
At first, the heart will try to make up for this condition by enlarging; developing more muscle mass; and/or pumping faster.
But these are only temporary measures that mask the problem. The heart failure continues to worsen until those processes no longer work, according to the American Heart Association.
When the heart does not circulate blood normally, the kidneys receive less blood and filter less fluid out of the circulation into the urine. The extra fluid in the circulation builds up in the lungs, the liver, around the eyes, and sometimes in the legs.
This is called fluid “congestion,” and hence the term, “congestive heart failure.”
Eventually the person starts to experience fatigue, breathing problems or other symptoms that causes him/her to see a doctor.
“This Congestive Heart Failure Clinic is a teaching program for those who have heart failure or think they may be at risk,” Wright said. “This is a great month to kick off the clinic since all the attention is on heart disease.”
Self-referrals are welcome, which means you can call yourself to make an appointment for the clinic.
For more information or to make an appointment, call Sandhills Medical Group – Hamlet Cardiology at 910-205-1155.