March 25, 2017
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. This is a troubling statistic that might make you wonder whether you should do more for your heart health. If this is the case, it might be time to see a cardiologist.
A cardiologist receives specialized training in the treatment of heart diseases and abnormalities. Let’s explore 10 reasons you might need to see a cardiologist for specialized heart care.
1. You received a referral.
If your primary doctor recommends that you see a cardiologist, make an appointment soon. There was something in your assessment that caused concern.
2. You have a family history of heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School report that many different types of heart disease can be hereditary. Ask your immediate family members about your family’s heart health. If heart disease runs in your family, make an appointment with a cardiologist to check your risk factors.
3. You have high blood pressure.
High blood pressure puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Whether your numbers are already high or seem to have risen gradually, it may be time to see a cardiologist.
4. You have high cholesterol.
This is a silent and difficult to treat condition that increases your risk of heart disease. Doctors discover high cholesterol through blood work. If your primary care physician finds high cholesterol levels, you need to discuss a referral to a cardiologist.
5. You smoke.
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes is unhealthy for your lungs. Did you know cigarette smoking increases the risk of heart disease too?
6. You have diabetes.
Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or stroke than adults without diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should see a cardiologist to treat any heart problems and lower future risks.
7. You had congenital heart disease.
Many people believe that fixing a congenital heart condition at birth eliminates any long-term heart concerns. This is not true. If your heart condition required surgery after birth, it’s important to maintain lifelong heart care.
8. You have a history of preeclampsia.
High blood pressure during pregnancy may lead to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
9. You experience chest pain.
Chest pain is a scary symptom that you should never ignore. If you have chest pain with or without shortness of breath, make an appointment with a cardiologist today.
10. You experience swelling in your legs or feet.
Do your feet and legs swell after a long day? This could be a sign of peripheral artery disease, which increases your risk of other heart-related problems.
If you have any of the 10 symptoms listed above, it may be time to see a cardiologist. Call your primary physician for a referral, and get a cardiology appointment on your calendar soon.