Karen Grant, 53, received a miracle when she went to see her podiatrist in 2012. Grant thought she was experiencing ordinary foot pain but that was not the case. On that day, her podiatrist informed her that she had blockages in the arteries in her legs causing her to have pain in her feet and recommended she see a cardiologist.
Dr. Sahil Parikh of University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute met with Grant and found that not only did she have blockages in her legs, but also in her heart when Grant acknowledged that not only did she have leg pains, but she also had chest tightness with exertion. Subsequent stress testing was “positive” and cardiac catheterization revealed multiple coronary blockages that were treated with stents. Later that year, Dr. Parikh placed stents in her left leg to allow for better circulation in her legs.
After her stents, Grant went through 12 weeks of cardiac rehabilitation at University Hospitals to improve her endurance and heart strength. Through this process Grant lost 35 pounds and became much stronger. She now sees Dr. Parikh every six months for regular checkups.
Grant’s lifestyle has been greatly improved. She has a stationary bike at home that she uses regularly to keep making her heart stronger. “I can walk up the stairs and not be winded and have to sit down right when I get up there. It really is a blessing,” Grant said.
Grant feels that she has been greatly blessed to have found a doctor that was able to help her. “If you have pain in your foot, hand, anywhere, go see someone. You never know what could be wrong.”
You can start prevention now:
- Know your risk factors – family history of premature heart disease, male gender, age over 65 for women and 55 for men, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for heart disease. Once you identify areas that might put you at risk, you can make lifestyle modifications or take medications to lessen your chance of heart disease.
- Request a screening – a vascular screening will check for disease of the arteries of the legs, the carotid arteries and the aorta. Screenings take less than 15 minutes and can detect your risk of stroke, aneurysms and poor circulation.
For more information from University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, call 216-844-3800 or visit UHhospitals.org/Heart.