Top 10 reasons to consult a Cardiologist
1. DOCTOR RECOMMENDATION
If your family-care doctor recommends you see a cardiologist, do it. Don’t put it off. You’ll regret it.
2. CHEST PAIN
This is pretty much a given. You can see a full list of heart disease symptoms below. If you have any doubts about whether or not you are experiencing a symptom, however, get checked out.
3. FAMILY HISTORY
If anyone in your family has or has had heart problems, you should be aware of heart disease symptoms and consider talking to a cardiologist about them.
4. HIGH TOTAL CHOLESTEROL
Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. The higher your total cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart disease (a cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher)
5. HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
You have high blood pressure or a high systolic number. The systolic number on your blood pressure reading is the first number. (For example, if your reading is 120/80 (120 over 80), your systolic blood pressure is 120.)
6. YOU ARE (OR WERE) A SMOKER
Smoking is a huge risk factor for heart disease. It lowers the flow of oxygen to the heart and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and blood clotting as well as damages the cells lining the arteries.
Unfortunately, diabetes can contribute to heart disease. If you experience symptoms of heart problems and are diabetic, you should see a cardiologist.
8. DIFFICULT PREGNANCY, PREECLAMPSIA
Preeclampsia is often a hidden risk factor for heart disease. The two times a woman is most likely to develop heart disease is during pregnancy or post-menopause.
9. STARTING A NEW EXERCISE PROGRAM
You are over the age of 40 and starting a new exercise program. You may already be working with a doctor on being more active, but a cardiologist can check your heart health and recommend exercises that would be good for your heart.
10. GUM DISEASE
Believe it or not, gum disease can happen when the body is inflamed. Patients with swollen gums often have heart disease.
What are the symptoms of heart disease?
Many of us are familiar with the symptoms of heart diseases, such as a heart attack or stroke. However, there are other symptoms you should be aware of:
- Severe pressure, squeezing, pain or discomfort in the chest
- Pain or discomfort that spreads into the shoulders, neck, arms or jaw
- Chest pain that becomes more intense
- Chest pain that isn’t relieved by rest
- Chest pain combined with the following symptoms:
- Sweating, cool, clammy skin and/or paleness
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or fainting
- Unexplained weakness or fatigue
- Rapid or irregular pulse
- Pain in the jaw, neck, upper back and/or chest
- Hoarseness because of pressure on the vocal cords
- Difficulty swallowing
- Heart palpitations
- Low blood pressure
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, or if your primary care doctor recommends you see a cardiologist, don’t wait… Your heart is the most important muscle of your body, so take care of it!