Is It Time to See a Cardiologist?
While each of the human body’s organs, tissues, cells (and more) play an essential role, some are more important than others. For example, you can live without a limb but you cannot live without a heart.
So, it’s imperative to know when it’s time to give your heart the attention and “love” it needs and deserves. A perfect way to approach this is to enlist the help of a cardiologist.
Reasons a Cardiologist May Be in Order
There are a few different reasons why a person might need to have a cardiologist on board. Perhaps the most pressing one is if you’ve already experienced a history of heart problems. Your primary care provider (PCP) may also suggest seeing a cardiologist based on your personal health history—even if you don’t have alarming symptoms.
“They know your heart history and your medical problems, and they might realize you are someone who needs to see a cardiologist. If they put that referral in, it’s always a good idea to listen to their advice and see a cardiologist,” states Dr. Amit Zachariah, interventional cardiologist at the Riverside Heart and Vascular Institute.
If you have a family history of heart disease, it’s within your right to seek out a cardiologist’s advice without prompting from your PCP.
Symptoms of a Potential Heart Issue
Classic signs of a future heart event warrant a visit with a cardiologists. Chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness all indicate a heart issue may be afoot. Each symptom relates to different systemic problems, such as blocked arteries, narrowing or leaking heart valves, and atrial fibrillation.
Individuals who are living with other medical conditions may also be at a higher risk of developing heart disease. For instance:
- Chronic kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Peripheral artery disease
Medications might be necessary to mitigate these conditions and reduce heart disease risk. Advances in pharmaceuticals allow patients to better tolerate side effects and reduce the frequency in which they need to be taken.
“A new injectable medicine is available where patients get it once every six months as an injection in the office. It’s very convenient to take and it decreases your cardiovascular risk,” shares Dr. Zachariah. He also strongly urges patients to implement lifestyle changes such as eating healthfully and exercising.
If You’re Concerned, Don’t Delay
Physicians are averse to using “scare tactics,” but there are some very real risks in delaying cardiovascular-related care. Ignoring symptoms could eventually lead to heart attack or heart failure.
Even a slow progression of high cholesterol accumulates over time and may cause danger down the road. It’s crucial to get cholesterol and blood pressure under control as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary complications.
If you’re in the Riverside Healthcare community, Dr. Zachariah encourages you to visit the website.
“There’s actually a link right on the website where you can click to schedule an appointment. I think it’s always good to discuss this with your primary care provider. But, you don’t necessarily need a referral. You can schedule it yourself through the website, or you can even call the office and they can schedule you that way too.”