5 best questions to ask your cardiologist

            Humans are indeed marvel creatures. Starting from cells to the system, all of this works efficiently allowing humans to live and survive. Any disruptions to the cells, organs and system of the body can lead to minor or major health issues. One of the vital organs such as the heart plays an important role in a human life. A healthy heart starts from good heart health. You might be wondering what to ask your cardiologist when you meet them.

            Before answering that, did you know that the leading cause of death in the world is heart disease? Approximately 19 million people around the world dies from heart diseases annually. Heart disease is a common disease of the modern day. Thus, asking these 5 best questions to ask your cardiologist can make a huge difference for your life in taking care of the heart:

Question 1: What is the risk of having heart disease in the future?

Risk is higher when a person has an unhealthy lifestyle such as eating food in low nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Smoking and excessive alcohol drinking are also other risks for having heart diseases. Many might think that having genetic predisposition or having family history of heart disease, makes it a definite factor or concrete risk for having heart diseases in future. However, this actually depends on the lifestyle. This means that although a person does have a family history of heart diseases, this alone is not enough to act as the highest risk.

Question 2: What can I do to protect my heart?

There are many things that can be done to help protect the heart and lower the risk for heart diseases. This includes practising healthy eating habits consisting of a high fibre diet, plenty of fruits and vegetables and low in fat by eating lean meats such as poultry or fish and drinking low-fat dairy products. Beside eating habits, you should also avoid a sedentary lifestyle by making sure you are having an active lifestyle of exercising at least 30 minutes for most days of the week at least a total of 150 minutes a week. Best exercises are aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, running and swimming. You should also maintain a moderate body weight by ensuring your body mass index (BMI) is within the healthy range.

Question 3: What kind of lab work or testing do I need to evaluate my heart function?

The most basic test is checking blood pressure. From here, doctors may proceed to check for cholesterol and other blood profiles through blood tests. Electrocardiogram is usually done to evaluate heart rhythm and any possible sign of heart damage. At times, doctors may order cardiac stress tests to evaluate heart function better. Echocardiography, an imaging test, is usually recommended to get a closer look of the heart structures and function.

Question 4: What symptoms may indicate my heart is having problems?

Since heart disease itself is a broad term, symptoms can vary for a lot of reasons. While it is perfect to obtain an answer for this by asking doctors, it is understandable that knowing at least some obvious signs of heart diseases can help you decide to get medical attention immediately or soon enough. Common symptoms of an unhealthy heart are chest pain, pain that spreads to the left arm, jaw pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, feeling dizzy or light-headedness, swelling of the lower limbs and irregular heartbeat. Uncommon symptoms include persistent cough, indigestion, heartburn and stomach ache. Since symptoms can be mild to severe and symptoms may resemble other health conditions aside from the heart, it is best for you to get checked by doctors once there are any of the symptoms. This is important as it can help you receive early treatment or management before the situation gets worse.

Question 5: What treatment options are available for me?

Treatment options will always depend on the symptoms and severity of the disease. Most of the time, doctors will prescribe medications such as antihypertensive medication, anticholesterol agents, blood thinning medication and antiarrhythmic medicine. You may receive more than one kind of medication at a time. It is important to take medicine as instructed by doctors, even when you feel well. Medication is usually given when lifestyle changes fail to improve the heart problems. Beside medication, surgery may be recommended when medications are ineffective. Common surgery includes coronary artery bypass surgery, coronary angiography, valve replacement or repair and device implantation such as pacemakers and balloon catheters.

        These 5 questions can help you understand more about what can be done to help improve your health. The best way to prevent heart diseases is to take preventative measures which mainly revolve around a healthy lifestyle. It is necessary for you to follow all doctor’s advice and attend all follow up or appointments if you are diagnosed with any of the heart problems.

Also read – Dengue Prevention.