Cardiology Clinic Questions and Answers
At Personal Physician Care, our cardiologist is available to help diagnose and offer preventative treatment measures to help with your heart issues in Delray Beach, FL. For more information, call us or book an appointment online.
What is the role of a cardiologist?
Cardiologists are specially trained doctors who diagnose, assess, and treat their patients with diseases and defects of the heart and blood vessels, also known as the cardiovascular system.
Cardiologists manage many patients with conditions such as:
- Heart murmurs
- Coronary artery thrombosis or myocardial infarction
- Diseases of the arteries
- Hole in the heart and any other forms of congenital heart disease
Much of the work that cardiologists improve on is the survival rates and quality of life following heart attacks, heart failure, or heart rhythm disorders, as well as understanding the disease processes and disease prevention.
Who needs to see a cardiologist?
Your heart is one of the most important muscles in your body, beating more than 100,000 times a day, it is important that you take crucial preventative care of this special organ.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Several reasons it is time to start seeing a cardiologist include:
- Experiencing chest pain
Chest pain is one of the largest signs of a heart issue. While there are many causes of chest pain that are not related to the heart specifically, chest pressure that occurs or becomes worse with activity is particularly concerning to cardiologists and doctors alike, as it can be a sign that the heart is not getting enough blood to function properly.
- High blood pressure
Blood pressure is what forces the blood against the artery walls. Elevated blood pressure causes the heart to work even harder to circulate blood, and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke in individuals with high blood pressure.
- Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or dizziness
Our cardiologists can determine if a heart condition is the cause of your shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or dizziness. These symptoms can be a sign of abnormal heart rhythm or coronary artery disease.
Poorly controlled blood sugar can affect how your blood vessels function and will greatly increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease in the future. Our cardiologist can work with your primary care physician to help determine a treatment or prevention plan to help lower your risk.
- History of smoking
Smoking is one of the main preventable risk factors for heart disease and can help contribute to high blood pressure and cancer. Talk to your primary care physician about quitting today.
- Chronic kidney disease
Heart disease can increase if your kidneys aren’t able to function properly. Kidney disease is tied to high blood pressure as well as arterial disease. Our cardiologist can discuss how your condition may affect your heart and how you can help to reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Family history is kidney disease
Unfortunately, certain types of heart disease can be genetic. If you have a relative with early-onset heart disease, our cardiologist can help to determine how this affects your risk of getting it, as well as may order some tests and recommend preventative strategies.
- Peripheral arterial disease
The arteries in your body are the blood vessels that help to deliver oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. If you have any known diseases in other arteries including leg arteries or the large blood vessels to the brain, you are more likely to also have coronary artery disease.
- Inactive and planning to start exercising
Exercise offers a large number of health benefits and helps to play a key role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. If you are considering a new workout regime after being inactive, it is highly recommended to talk to a cardiologist before starting.
What are the signs of an unhealthy heart?
There are a large number of signs that can show you have an unhealthy heart including:
- Chest discomforts like tightness, pain, or pressure
- Stomach pain
- Pain that spreads to your arms
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Throat or jaw pain
- Easily exhausted
- Breaking out in a sweat for no real reason
- A cough that will not go away
- Legs, feet, and swollen ankles
- Irregular heartbeat
What kind of tests do cardiologists do?
If you are suspected of having any heart-related issues, our cardiologist may require a few tests to review including:
- Transesophageal echocardiography
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- CT scan
- Exercise cardiac stress test
- Pharmacologic stress test
- Tilt test
- Ambulatory rhythm monitoring test
- Coronary angiogram