Perhaps you’ve considered whether or not to see a heart doctor at some point in your life. You’ve probably thought about it, given that cardiovascular disease is the top cause of mortality for both men and women in the US. Read on for the most common reasons you should schedule an appointment with a cardiologist to stay on top of your heart health.
1. You were referred to a cardiologist
During your routine examination, your family doctor can notice something unusual and decide to conduct a more careful inspection of your heart. Alternatively, it’s possible that your medical history warrants a cardiology doctor’s examination. In such a case, it’s best to do as your primary care physician advises and visit a heart specialist.
2. You have a history of heart problems
Investigate, trace your family tree, and find out more information about the health history of your relatives. For example, if you spot a trend of cardiovascular diseases like high cholesterol or hypertension, act accordingly and visit a cardiologist.
3. You’re dealing with hypertension
Blood pressure should be checked on a regular basis, beginning around the age of 20. If your blood pressure is growing or has always been high, it is critical that you control it. In addition, understanding your blood pressure numbers is critical for avoiding a cardiac event since hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke.
4. You have high cholesterol
High cholesterol is not symptomatic and might be challenging to treat. However, keeping cholesterol under control is crucial since it is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease.
5. You have a history of preeclampsia
Preeclampsia, or hypertension during pregnancy or the postpartum period, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease in women. The risk may be significantly higher for women with premature babies or those who have had this disease more than once. Therefore, it is advisable to examine your heart if you experience preeclampsia throughout your pregnancies.
6. You’re a smoker or used to smoke
Smoking increases your chance of having cardiovascular disease at any point in your life. Making an appointment with a heart doctor would certainly not be a waste of time if you smoke or have ever smoked.
7. You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
Individuals with diabetes are up to four times as likely as those without diabetes to have cardiac disease. Diabetes is one of the seven main manageable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Take the initiative and strive to keep your diabetes symptoms at bay.
8. You had congenital heart disease in childhood
One myth about people with congenital heart disease (CHD) is that once it is treated as a kid, ongoing treatment is not required. It is untrue. In reality, regular check-ups with a skilled cardiologist in adulthood dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals who underwent CHD surgery as children.
9. You’re starting a new exercise routine
If you already lead a sedentary lifestyle or if you have cardiovascular disease, renal disease, or type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the American College of Sports Medicine advises that you seek medical advice before beginning a program of moderate to intense exercise. A cardiologist can make sure you don’t participate in an exercise program that is too hard for your lifestyle and can check for any underlying cardiac conditions that you might not know about.
10. You have swollen and bleeding gums
Oral infections and cardiovascular disease are interconnected. The bacteria that cause gum disease can spread throughout your body and infect heart valves and cause heart vessel inflammation. Besides seeing a heart specialist, prioritize maintaining proper dental hygiene and visiting your dentist once a year for a checkup and cleaning.