Tag: best cardiologist in Tucson

Heart Valves: Gateways Inside the Heart

Heart Valves: Gateways Inside the Heart

This week I’d like to start a series of blogs relating to valvular heart disease, starting with a description of the heart valves and how they work.  We have four valves in our hearts and their purpose is to keep blood moving in one direction.  They open during one phase (systole or diastole, depending on which valve it is) of…

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What Should I Bring to My Cardiology Visit?

What Should I Bring to My Cardiology Visit?

OK, so you’ve made an appointment to see a new cardiologist—perhaps you’ve been having chest pain.  Or shortness of breath.  Or palpitations. Or you have had a cardiologist previously and have now moved to a new city, so you need to establish care with a new cardiologist there.  You’ve waited several weeks for an opening and now your appointment is coming…

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Alcohol: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

Alcohol: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

I’d like to tackle a somewhat controversial topic this week: alcohol.  Is alcohol OK to drink in general?  What if you have heart problems?  And how much is acceptable? First, I have to point out straightaway that too much alcohol can cause major toxicity to the body—particularly to the liver, the brain and yes, the heart.  In fact, there is…

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Statins: The Risks and Benefits

Statins: The Risks and Benefits

Statins is the term we use to describe a group of drugs that block an enzyme that is integral to the body making cholesterol.  They include the drugs rosuvastatin (brand name Crestor), atorvastatin (brand name Lipitor), simvastatin (brand name Zocor), pitavastatin (brand name Livalo), pravastatin (brand name Pravachol), lovastatin (brand name Mevacor) and fluvastatin (brand name Lescol). In my 24…

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Heart Attack: What To Look For

Heart Attack: What To Look For

What exactly does it feel like to have a heart attack?  Below I have included a graphic that depicts what the symptoms men and women can feel when they are experiencing a heart attack (which doctors term a myocardial infarction or “MI”).  I’d like to add a few points to that image: The difference in symptoms between men and women…

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Coronary Artery Disease: What the “Risk Factors” Place You at Risk Of

Coronary Artery Disease: What the “Risk Factors” Place You at Risk Of

Way back in January, I started this blog discussing “cardiac risk factors.”  It was an introduction to what we would discuss over the subsequent several weeks: the main factors that increase a person’s risk of developing coronary artery disease, also known as coronary heart disease (abbreviated “CAD” and “CHD,” respectively).  We now return to that disease entity to consider it…

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Wrapping Up Atrial Arrhythmias

Wrapping Up Atrial Arrhythmias

Let’s conclude our discussion of atrial arrhythmias this week with a discussion of some other abnormal heart rhythms arising from the atria.  The simplest and most prevalent are premature atrial complexes (PACs).  We call them “complexes” because that is how we refer to individual electrical impulses seen on an EKG.  Virtually everybody has PACs, some people have more, some people…

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Atrial Fibrillation: The “Irregular” Heart Rhythm

Atrial Fibrillation: The “Irregular” Heart Rhythm

Patients often tell me “I was diagnosed with an irregular heart rhythm.”  But, as we learned in last week’s blog, that doesn’t provide a whole lot of information.  The irregularity may be something benign—and actually normal—like having PACs or PVCs.  Or the irregularity can be something that needs to be taken quite seriously, like atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is an…

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Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC