Health & Wellness

Guest Column

The Doctor is In: February is National Heart Month

febca4a4abf19ea41e10_o.jpg
Dr. Brendan J. Mulholland Credits: BJM
febca4a4abf19ea41e10_o.jpg

 The Doctor is In - Guest Column by Dr. Brendan J. Mulholland            

February is National Heart Month

     February, the time when many celebrate love as St. Valentine's Day approaches, is the perfect time to take stock in one's own health. To truly love someone an individual must love themselves first. Keeping oneself healthy is a key ingredient to love, so much so that the American Heart Association has declared February as National Heart Month. The purpose is to raise awareness for cardiac health issues.

Sign Up for E-News

     It's no secret that the number one cause of death across America is heart disease and yet it is so often preventable. Inevitably, many individuals needlessly succumb to heart disease due to their hectic lifestyles and taking their health for granted.

     As primary care physicians we find our cardiologist colleagues to be an invaluable resource in assisting in the care of our cardiac patients. Caring for a patient with heart disease is one thing but preventing and detecting early heart disease is a whole different story.

     Heart disease in many instances is a silent killer. It's not until chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling in the legs occur do people seek medical attention. At this stage detection is simple but often very late as heart damage may have set in. So what should an individual do? The best advice we physicians can give is to simply recommend for an individual to come in for an annual physical exam.

      A physical should include a comprehensive examination and even more importantly a detailed history. This, along with an electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood tests, will enable a physician to correctly identify an individual's risk factors that may promote heart disease. Having an annual physical is really a simple endeavor, many individuals will schedule it around their birthday so they won't forget. Most insurance companies recognize the importance of such an exam and waive the patient's co-pay, thereby eliminating any financial burden on an individual. 

     There are many causes of heart disease from rare disease states like autoimmune conditions, infections, and congenital defects but lets focus on the common causes most of which are preventable.

      We physicians are always interested in the metrics; blood pressure, weight, activity, and cholesterol levels to name a few. Additionally, a key risk factor is a pertinent family history especially if parents or siblings have known heart disease. We all know the dangers of smoking when it comes to heart disease but an even greater risk which has exploded to epidemic proportions is Diabetes. Specifically, Type II Diabetes is a leading cause of heart disease and is especially dangerous as many of the warning signs like chest pain are absent in the Diabetic patient.

     At the conclusion of an annual physical exam a physician will now have enough information to make an accurate risk assessment of one's heart health. Recommendations can be as simple as eating healthier, losing some weight, and perhaps increasing daily exercise. The findings in certain circumstances could justify the use of prescription medicine to perhaps lower blood pressure, cholesterol, or glucose levels.  On occasion the exam findings warrant further investigation. It is at this point a primary care physician may request additional cardiac tests such as an Echocardiogram and a Treadmill Stress Test.  

     An Echocardiogram is an invaluable tool to assess the overall function of the heart, the size of the heart, the thickness of the heart walls, and whether the heart valves are working properly. The stress test adds complimentary information by assessing one's coronary arteries. During a stress test changes found with the electrical activity from the heart muscle can ultimately lead to a diagnosis of blocked or partially blocked coronary arteries. Without the benefit of a stress test, many times blocked heart arteries or Coronary Artery Disease will go undetected until a heart attack occurs. At the completion of these tests a physician will have the necessary information to determine whether a significant heart issue exists or not.  It is at this point a primary care physician will the consult their cardiologist colleagues if an issue was detected.

     So there you have it, a heart to heart conversation on the basics of heart disease prevention.  As February is the time for love remember to love yourself. Take the advice from the American  Heart Association and see your doctor!

                                    

About the Author: Brendan J. Mulholland, MD has been a primary care physician serving Monmouth County for the past 20 years. As a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine and a shareholder of Integrated Medicine Alliance, Doctor Mulholland owns and operates 2 primary care offices; Red Bank Family Medicine and River Road Primary Care. He also owns Hazlet Family Care an urgent care center.

Integrated Medicine Alliance (IMA) has been Monmouth County's leader in primary and urgent care services for the past 25 years. Servicing the needs of over 70,000 patients, the corporation also provides cardiac diagnostic services and cardiology services.  With 6  primary care offices and three urgent care locations the company is owned and operated by local physicians.  For more information please contact 732-460-9840.

 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Holmdel & Colts Neck

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Mortgage Matters

Market Update

Retail Sales and CPI reports for January just released.  Both stocks and bonds selling off.

Consumer inflation has been benign for most of 2017.  In some months consumer inflation even dropped on month over month basis.  This morning CPI report shows a strong reversal to last year’s trend.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January rose 0.5% month over ...

The Negative Voices Inside Your Teenagers Head

This is what a teen might say about his or her self-talk:

I’m mad. I don’t know why. Sometimes I wake up mad, other days it creeps up me. I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel good. I wish I wasn’t so mad but I am. I can’t help it.

Everyday is a prison, trapped inside this changing body, doing the same day over and over. My whole life is made up of things ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, February 23, 6:30 PM

On the Deck Restaurant and Bar, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Hearts for Horses

Giving Back

Fri, February 23, 7:45 PM

Temple Shalom, Aberdeen

Shabbat Speakers Series at Temple Shalom

Other Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_9ea4da22a6705728e85e_20180204_204805

Fri, February 23, 8:00 PM

Saint Leo the Great, Lincroft

Knight of Columbus Council Presents Seamus ...

Arts & Entertainment

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblyman Ned Thomson Launch Effort to Safeguard Police Officers and Firefighter Pensions

February 21, 2018

O’Scanlon & Thomson Launch Effort to Safeguard Police & Fire Pensions, Protect Property Taxpayers.

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblyman Ned Thomson have launched a joint effort to safeguard the pensions of police officers and firefighters, and to increase protections for property taxpayers.

Legislation sponsored by Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asm. Ned Thomson ...

Learning Express Toys Partners with Local Schools and Scouts, Including Holmdel

Learning Express Toys Partners with Local Schools, Scouts

Shrewsbury, NJ, Feb. 17, 2018 – Learning Express Toys of Shrewsbury will partner with local Girl Scout troops and Parent-Teacher Organizations in the coming months. On fundraising days, customers can purchase Girl Scout Cookies while they shop, or mention their local PTO to donate a percentage of sales to the ...

Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Feb. 23 benefits SPUR

Come in from the cold and join Special People United to Ride, Inc. (SPUR) at its Hearts for Horses Fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit the SPUR Scholarship Fund. The event will be hosted by On the Deck Restaurant and Bar and will feature live music and a 50/50 raffle. Food will be available for purchase.

Tickets can be obtained for $25 at ...

Colts Neck's King Advances to the Semifinals of the Region 6 Tournament

February 23, 2018

BRICK, N.J. -  The outstanding senior season for Colts Neck High School wrestling team’s Joey King continued on Friday night, when King punched his ticket into the semifinals of the Region 6 tournament.

 

King won in his match in quick and impressive fashion, using a single leg  takedown into a cradle to pin Ellery Perfect of North Burlington in 19 seconds to ...

Obituaries

John Patrick Walsh, Sr. died peacefully at Delray Beach Medical Center on February 6th, 2018 at 87 ...
Read more