3 Reasons Why Seeing A Cardiologist Is Important
Your cardiovascular system provides oxygen and nutrients to the cells and organs in your body by maintaining blood flow from your heart. It helps your body during times of activity, exercise, and stress. Keep reading to find out why cardiology evaluation may be important!
1. Cardiovascular Tests Could Save Your Life
Have you ever experienced shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or a feeling of tightness in your chest? These are some of the common signs and reasons you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist.
Your cardiologist might order a test consisting of a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram), vascular/carotid ultrasound, EKG (Electrocardiogram), or an exercise treadmill test (stress test) to determine the cause of your symptoms.
Echocardiography uses sound waves (ultrasound) to create an image of the heart beating. It can determine heart and valve function and identify areas of damaged muscle and any leaky or blocked valves.
During a vascular ultrasound, sound waves are also used. This shows large and medium blood vessels.
Using this form of ultrasound testing can detect blockages (cholesterol build-up in the arteries) and aneurysms, which can then be further monitored to help prevent strokes.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
During an EKG or ECG, your heart is checked for problems with electrical activity and can detect an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). It can also help identify unexplained chest pain or pressure, which may be due to a blocked coronary artery (see stress testing below). An EKG can also help determine whether or not the medicines you’re taking are working or causing dangerous side effects.
Exercise Treadmill Test (Stress Test)
A blocked coronary artery can lead to a heart attack. An exercise treadmill test (aka stress test) uses exercise to increase demand on the heart that can help identify heart artery blockage before it’s too late! It can also evaluate if symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath or fatigue are due to angina pectoris – another name for symptoms due to blocked arteries.
Only your cardiologist would be able to determine this by providing this test.
2. Preventative Care
Does one of your parents, siblings or grandparents have a history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure? If you know that you have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, you could benefit from a visit to see a cardiologist.
Cardiovascular testing can help monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac electrical responses. Using a treadmill or stationary bicycle lets a cardiologist measure how your body reacts while warming up, during peak exercise, resting, and then recovery.
You should schedule an appointment with a cardiologist if any of the following applies to you:
- You have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure
- You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
- You have a history of smoking
- You have diabetes
- You had congenital heart disease as a child
- You have gum disease as bacteria can cause infection in the heart valves and inflammation in the heart vessels
- You’re a cancer patient or survivor since some cancer treatments can damage the heart and strains heart muscles and blood vessels
With regular visits to see a cardiologist, you may be able to prevent heart attacks. Cardiovascular services help with the prevention or diagnosis and treatment of:
- Heart rhythm disorders
- Heart valve problems
- Blood vessel disorders
3. Before Starting A New Health Regimen
Are you thinking about starting a new exercise regimen? A new diet? Maybe you’re hoping to lose weight quickly by joining the low carb or gluten-free craze.
Or maybe you finally bought that piece of exercise equipment that you’ve been eyeing? Whatever your reasons, being proactive about your health is a great thing!
Our cardiology team can help determine whether your body is up to the challenge or not. Schedule an appointment at Men’s Health Boston in Boston, MA, to see how our doctors can help you live up to your fullest potential!