Heart Disease Specialist

Vein & Cardiovascular Center

Ashish Pal, MD, FACC

Cardiologist & Vein Specialist located in Orlando, Sebring, & Davenport, FL

Heart disease causes around 650,000 deaths in America every year. However, with diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment at Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD, you can stay well and enjoy a full life. Experienced cardiologist Ashish Pal, MD, FACC, has three offices in Orlando, Sebring, and Davenport, Florida, and each is equipped with the latest in cutting-edge diagnostic and treatment equipment. Call the office in your area, or click the online scheduling tool to make your appointment.

Heart Disease Q & A

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a broad term for any of the many conditions that affect your heart muscle. Today, heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States. 

Heart disease often occurs when you have reduced blood flow to your heart or brain because of either a blockage or spasms. 

Some of the many types of heart disease include:

  • Coronary artery disease: Narrowing in arteries in your heart
  • Carotid artery disease: Narrowing in arteries supplying your brain
  • Cardiac valve dysfunction: Malfunctioning valves in your heart
  • Arrhythmias: Heart rhythm problems
  • Congenital heart disease: Disease present from birth
  • Congestive heart failure: Heart pumping problems

Although women and men can both suffer from heart disease, certain women’s heart diseases, including coronary microvascular disease and broken heart syndrome are more common among females. 

What causes heart failure?

Your heart has four main chambers: the atria (upper chambers) and ventricles (lower chambers). While your atria receive circulated blood, your ventricles pump blood to the organs and tissues throughout the rest of your body. 

The four chambers of your heart work together to keep healthy blood flowing. If your ventricles can’t pump enough blood through your body, fluid can build up in your lungs, abdomen, and liver, leading to heart failure.

Certain factors that put you at risk of heart failure include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart defects
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart)
  • Cardiomyopathy (damage to the heart)
  • Diabetes
  • Certain medications
  • Sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • Binge drinking
  • Viral infections

When left untreated, heart failure can lead to kidney damage, heart valve issues, and even liver damage. 

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

Heart disease doesn’t always cause symptoms, at least in its early stages. You may develop symptoms as plaque builds up inside your arteries. 

It’s possible to have angina — chest pain, pressure, or tightness — without clogged arteries. You may also develop symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and nausea if you have heart disease.

Some heart attack and stroke sufferers find out that they have heart disease only after a medical crisis. So, it’s very important to schedule regular heart evaluations and to take symptoms like angina and shortness of breath very seriously. 

What is a cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET)?

A CPET is an effective test to identify blockages in the small (microvascular) or large (macrovascular) blood vessels in your heart. During CPET, you ride a stationary bicycle while the Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD team monitors you closely.  

CPET checks your heart, lung, and muscle function individually and together. It’s a highly specific and sensitive test that goes far beyond an ordinary exercise stress test, which checks just the heart.  

CPET monitors oxygen used, carbon dioxide produced, heart rhythm and rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen level. With CPET, Dr. Pal can diagnose: 

  • Heart failure
  • Blood flow problems 
  • Blockages 
  • Cardiac valve dysfunction
  • Slow heart rate

Dr. Pal can also use CPET to identify deconditioning, which means your heart isn’t functioning as well as it used to. You can improve deconditioning with regular exercise.

CPET can also diagnose lung function problems, pulmonary vascular disease, muscle metabolic disorders, and other serious or life-threatening health issues. 

By diagnosing heart disease as early as possible, Dr. Pal can help you take the right steps to avoid a heart attack, stroke, or even more serious outcomes.

Call the Vein & Cardiovascular Center: Ashish Pal, MD office or use online scheduling to book your appointment.