Dr. Rohit Bhatheja, a Medical Director at AdventHealth Cardiovascular Services, joined Good Day Orlando on Monday morning at 8 a.m. He answered your questions on cardiology.
To learn more about AdventHealth, click here.
Q: I am young, but I lived a very stressed life, often working 16 hour days. Should I worry about my heart?
A: Based on your age and risk factors you may be at risk. For sure, reducing stress at work or in general will he helpful for your heart health
Q: I don't eat the best but I'm still young -- only 25. Should I start worrying about how this affects my heart now or should I enjoy this while I can?
A: You should absolutely develop healthy eating habits starting now. And consider getting a cholesterol test and blood sugar test.
Q: At what age should I start getting tests that check on heart health?
A: Testing starts as early as teen age and based on your history and risk factors, the testing may be basic or advanced screening.
Q: What changes can I make now to prevent heart disease in the future?
A: Basic things-- proper diet, exercise, stop smoking (if you do), weight loss (if overweight), BP control, cholesterol control, blood sugar control all help reduce heart disease.
Q: Can really tiresome workouts affect my heart?
A: Excellent question-- in some cases it may cause arrhythmias and if you have untreated heart disease, it may be fatal. Good history, exam and certain tests will help answer this question.
Q: Does smoking marijuana affect heart health in the same ways cigarettes do? How about vaping?
A: We don't have a clear understanding of Marijuana. E-cigarettes with nicotine does have affect on heart health.
Q: Diet tips for maintaining heart health?
A: Mediterranean diet has been shown to be excellent for heart health. Generally, olive oil, low carbs, increased lean meat (white meat), plant proteins are the basic ingredients for a healthy heart diet. Based on your weight and occupation and exercise, you will need to see a nutritionist.
Q: As an Asian woman, am I more likely to develop heart issues or disease?
A: Asian descent people may have small arteries and may have high cholesterol lp(a) that may increase the risk for heart disease.
Q: How important is exercise?
A: Very important- even mild/light exercise is very helpful . Please make sure that you see a doctor to evaluate your cardiac risk if planning a high intensity activity.
Q: I'm a young man but very overweight -- weighing about 280 but I'm only 5'8" tall. I'm turning 30 in October. I know this will eventually hurt my heart, but should I be checked by a cardiologist now given my weight?
A: At least start with a physical exam, ECG, cholesterol /blood sugar tests and a good evaluation of cardiac risk, Then see a cardiologist if your doctor recommends.
Q: How does one know if they could be having heart issues or disease?
A: One may have symptoms like fatigue,chest pain, short of breath . or may not have any symptoms. If you have a family history of heart disease or you smoke or have high BP or high cholesterol or history of Diabetes, you may want to see a cardiologist. They can order some test to answer that question.
Q: Does alcohol greatly affect heart health? I tend to drink more than most people, but I'm young so I'm not sure how much I should really worry.
A: Yes, it can cause heart failure, arrhythmias and heart attacks.
Q: Does the KETO diet affect my heart poorly? I know it is high in fats and that could cause some concern.
A: Long term it may have negative consequences.
Q: I frequently meditate for my anxiety and to increase focus. Does that help my heart at all or is it just a myth?
A: Meditation is good - it reduces stress induced hormone release that may have negative consequences on heart health.
Q: How often should my heart get checked? And at what ages?
A: As early as teen age is you have significant risk factors like family history of early heart disease or diabetes or you are a smoker. Basic blood test and ECG with your primary care will help you get to a cardiologist if needed.
Q: As a man, am I at greater risk for heart disease?
A: Man with age 65 usually is at higher risk for heart disease. There are many cardiac risk calculators used that can help define that risk better. Best to see your doctor.