By: Dr. Soto
As a cardiologist I take care of the human heart in three different areas: the heart as a pump, its electricity and its circulation.
Each of these areas interact with each other, as well as depend on each other to function effectively. The heart muscle needs proper and strong circulation to be able to perform adequately; the rhythm has to be steady for the arteries to bring the nutrients to the heart muscle.
The most common arrhythmia (rhythm disorder) is atrial fibrillation. This is an irregular rhythm. A fast heart rate may lead to congestive heart failure (the heart is unable to pump the blood forward, and fluid builds up in the lungs and the legs). The patient becomes short of breath, fatigued and unable to perform his or her routine activities.
Another consequence of atrial fibrillation may be a stroke (a blood clot forms in the heart and travels to the brain); other vital organs may also be affected by this type of rhythm, including the kidneys and heart vessels. This may lead to severe complications including kidney failure, heart attacks, and even death.
Our goal in treating atrial fibrillation is threefold:
1. Slow down the heart rate
2. Give the patient an anticoagulant to prevent a stroke.
3. Restore the normal rhythm.
The heart vessels may become clogged through a process called atherosclerosis (build up of blockage inside the heart arteries) This blockage may lead to a heart attack. Our job is to keep the coronary arteries clear of blockage. Through balloon angioplasty and stents we may restore the blood flow to the heart muscle, and save the heart from permanent damage. Heart muscle, heart electricity, and its circulation need to be in perfect harmony for a healthy life.
As humans we are body, soul and spirit. We have to exercise and eat properly to keep our body functioning in an optimal way. Our soul which includes our emotions, feelings and will, need proper nourishment including rest, healthy relationships, and wise decisions.
Probably the most neglected area is our spirit. Just like the heart needs adequate circulation, our spirit needs highways free of resentment, envy, pride,and unforgiving attitudes. A person who loves, gives and forgives, brings oxygen to his life.
Good nutrients include reading God‘s word, talking to God, and listening and obeying His commands. Just like the human heart needs a free and open circulation, a steady rhythm, and a strong muscle, so our lives need a balance in our body, soul and spirit to function in a harmonious way. Otherwise sickness, pain, loneliness and depression may be the result.
The best prescription for a healthy heart:
“May your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless.” The result is joy, love, peace, patience, hope, faith
Welcome to the balanced life.
Luis F. Soto, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Diplomate in Internal Medicine
Diplomate in Cardiology
4300 Houma Blvd., Ste. 107, Metairie, LA 70006