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Heart Disease

Rhode Island Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Woonsocket, RI & Pawtucket, RI

There are many types of heart disease, all of which can threaten your well-being or even your life. Skilled internist Irfan Ahmad, MD, at Rhode Island Medicine, can help you manage your heart disease with healthy lifestyle changes and the appropriate medications. To book an evaluation for heart disease, call the office in Woonsocket or Pawtucket, Rhode Island, or use the convenient online scheduling tool today.

Heart Disease Q & A

What is heart disease?

Heart disease isn’t a single condition. Instead, it refers to a range of conditions affecting your heart and blood vessels. You might have heart disease because of a congenital disability or because of lifestyle factors like a sedentary lifestyle or a sodium-heavy diet. 

A few of the most common types of heart disease are:

Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease refers to heart disease that comes from a heart deformity you’ve had since birth. For example, you might have a hole between your two heart chambers. 


Arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, appears when the electrical impulses controlling your heartbeat are too fast, too slow, or erratic. 

Heart failure

Heart failure isn’t what it sounds like. If you have heart failure, your heart still works, but it cannot pump blood through your body efficiently.

Myocardial infarction

Myocardial infarction is a technical term for a heart attack. It usually happens when a blood clot or narrowed artery interrupts your blood flow, and your heart muscle becomes damaged as a result. 

What are some early signs of heart disease?

Symptoms of heart disease vary widely depending on the type of heart disease you have. They might include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Labored breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Tiring easily from exercise
  • Swollen legs and feet
  • Irregular heart rhythm

Some forms of heart disease come without any discernible symptoms. The team at Rhode Island Medicine can identify signs of heart disease during your regular physical exams. 

If your type of heart disease comes with early signs and symptoms, you should report them to your provider right away.

How is heart disease diagnosed?

Rhode Island Medicine uses advanced diagnostic technology to find out whether or not you have heart disease and start treatment early based on your results. 

One valuable tool is an echocardiogram, a device that creates an image of your heart and its chambers. Your provider uses information from this imaging technique to view your heart’s shape, size, and functioning.

They might also use a biometric fingerprint scanner to record information about your body's functioning and identify early warning signs of a heart condition. 

How is heart disease treated?

In many cases, you can manage your heart disease with some healthy changes to your lifestyle. Your provider might recommend dietary changes or adjustments to your exercise routine to help promote a healthy heart. They may also tell you to stop smoking if you smoke. 

If your heart disease requires further treatment, it might include medications like blood thinners or statins. Your provider tells you how your medication works to prevent complications associated with your heart disease and how you can get the best possible results from it. 

If you’re concerned about your heart health, call Rhode Island Medicine or book your evaluation for heart disease online today.