Diagnosing Your Heart Health with Echocardiogram
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatments can help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. So talk to your doctor if you experience symptoms that could be signs of heart disease or heart failure. Symptoms might include:
- An abnormal heartbeat (fluttering or racing)
- Shortness of breath after even minimal activity
- A lightheaded or dizzy feeling
- Swelling (edema) of legs or feet
- Pain in chest, jaw, back, or arms and legs
The first step to diagnosing and managing your heart health is to get an echocardiogram (echo). The echo is a widely used, noninvasive ultrasound test. It produces a live video image that allows physicians to see the structures and functioning of the heart. They can then recommend the best treatment for any heart condition.
Alternatively, your physician may recommend a Holter monitor. That’s a device that can monitor your heart rate over a 24-hour period while you’re at home, in school, or at work. KDMC also provides echo services for pediatric patients. That includes everyone from infants born with congenital heart defects to children and adolescents whose heart function has been affected by illness or disease.
- Assess infection, blood clots, or fluid in or around the heart
- Evaluate function of heart valves
- Evaluate heart muscle function and strength
- Measure blood flow through the heart
Heart failure is when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs. Learn what you can do to keep your heart strong and healthy with this brochure.