So often we overlook our heart health...which is crazy because your cardiovascular system is what provides oxygen and nutrients to all the cells and organs and maintains the flow of blood from your heart. And not just when we are exercising or active, but also when resting and during time of stress too. So why is that we go to the doctor for immunizations and infections and other symptoms, but we often ignore the symptoms that could threaten our life? Consider these 3 ways our Cardiologist can save your life:
1. Cardiovascular Tests Can Be A Life-Saver
If you have ever experienced heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or tightness in your chest, you should make an appointment. These are some of the common signs that shouldn't be ignored and may be your body's way of telling you that it needs some attention.
The most important tests can be done right here in our office, including a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram), vascular/carotid ultrasound, EKG (Electrocardiogram), or an exercise treadmill test (stress test) to help determine the cause of your symptoms.
Echocardiography is an ultrasound (uses sound waves) to create an image of your heart while it's beating. This test can help rate your heart's function and identify areas of damaged muscle as well as any leaks or blockages in the valves of your heart.
A vascular ultrasound shows both large and medium blood vessels. This form of ultrasound testing can detect blockages (such as cholesterol build-up in the arteries) and find potential aneurysms, which can help prevent strokes.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)
An EKG or ECG, can detect an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia) by checking your heart's electrical activity. It can also help identify unexplained chest pain or pressure, which can sometimes be due to a blocked coronary artery. An EKG can also help us determine whether or not the medicines you’re taking are working or causing unwanted side effects. Again, this test can be given by our Cardiologist in our office.
Exercise Treadmill Test (Stress Test)
Most heart attacks are caused by a blocked coronary artery. An exercise treadmill test (aka stress test) uses exercise to increase stress on your heart that can help us identify a blockage before it’s too late! It can also determine 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 anyone in your family have a history of heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure? If you know a close relative who has this kind of medical history, then the Cardiologist should be your best friend. We can use these tests to help monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and cardiac electrical responses.
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 (even if it was a long time ago)
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
3. Before Starting A New Health Regimen
It's a new year, so if you're one of the many people who are thinking about starting a new exercise regimen or a new diet, seeing a cardiologist is strongly recommended. Our cardiology team can help determine whether your body is up to the challenge or not.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ken Francez, give us a call:
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