When you are sick or you are just concerned about your general well-being, you visit the doctor. Not all doctors are the same though. There are general doctors who look after your overall health. However, if you have an issue affecting your heart, you will likely visit a cardiologist. These are doctors who specialize in helping individuals dealing with things like heart attacks and other major diseases that affect the heart, including congestive heart failure. In Oakland, NJ, a cardiologist might even help patients who are dealing with heart murmurs, high blood pressure, and conditions like these. The following are three reasons why you may visit a heart specialist.
You Have a Family History of Heart Disease
Your genes say a lot about who you are and who you will be. They say a lot about your health and your health risks. This is especially true when talking about heart disease. Heart disease is something that can run in the family.
The same genetic factors that may lead to you developing heart disease could be the same that give you a propensity to have high blood pressure or other related conditions. Some argue that conditions like heart disease are not merely controlled by a person’s genetics, but they are also controlled by their environment, their diet, and their lifestyle.
This shows why it’s so important for an individual who has a family history of heart disease to visit a cardiologist. Most families live in the same environment, they have similar lifestyles, they eat the same food, and they have the same habits.
Some may wonder how much of their family history they need to know before deciding to visit a heart specialist. It’s important to start with your immediate family. Is there someone in your immediate family who has heart disease or has had a heart attack, be it your brother, sister, mother, father, or grandparents? If so, you should be aware of how old they were when these conditions first developed.
What if you do not have the full picture of your family history? Well, as we mentioned, heart conditions are one part genetics and one part environment. If you know that some numbers of your family have had heart disease, for example, you want to take steps to minimize your chances of developing these conditions. This means healthy living, avoiding habits like drinking and smoking, monitoring your weight, engaging in exercise, and doing other things to improve your health.
Knowing Other Risk Factors
When it comes to treating conditions of the heart, knowledge is power. The more you know about risk factors that could affect you, the more likely you will be to visit a cardiologist and get the assistance needed.
There has been a lot of research done that has helped identify factors that may put a person at risk for coronary heart disease. Some of these factors can be controlled, and other factors cannot. The medical community breaks these factors down into three categories. They are:
• Major Risk Factors
• Modifiable Risk Factors
• Contributing Risk Factors
A major risk factor is something that a person cannot change. The more of these major risk factors you have, the higher your risk of developing heart disease. One risk factor is increasing age. Most people who die as a result of coronary heart disease are 65 years of age or older. A heart attack can strike a man or woman. However, research shows that if women have a heart attack, they are more likely to die within weeks of a heart attack.
Another major risk factor is being male. Man not only have more heart attacks than women, but they have these heart attacks earlier in their life. It is a sobering fact to consider that even when women’s death rates from a heart attack are at their highest point, their risk is still lower than that of men.
Visit a Cardiologist If You Have Heart Disease Symptoms
If you have symptoms of heart disease, you should visit an Oakland, NJ cardiologist as soon as possible. Heart disease or cardiovascular disease describes conditions where blood vessels that lead to the heart are blocked, resulting in chest pain or stroke. There are other conditions that affect the functioning of your heart muscle, your heart rhythm, or its valves.
Some of the symptoms that you want to look out for are chest pain and chest tightness. It is especially worrying when these are accompanied by chest pressure and chest discomfort. Heart disease is characterized by weakness, numbness, and pain in the legs or arms. A person who is dealing with heart disease often complains about shortness of breath. You may experience pain in your jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back.
Sadly, many people are not diagnosed with heart disease until they have already had a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or angina. This is why it is so important for you to be proactive. Be on the lookout for symptoms of cardiovascular disease. When you see them, talk to your doctor. With regular evaluations, cardiovascular disease can sometimes be identified early.
Symptoms like a fluttering in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, or chest pain should not be taken lightly. They are very serious and may indicate that you are on the verge of experiencing a life and death incident.
Get In Touch with Us for More Information
Your heart is at the center of your existence. You want to do everything you can to keep your heart healthy and strong. To learn more about why you should visit a cardiologist, we warmly invite you to reach out and make an appointment with Cardiac Associates of North Jersey. At our convenient location in Oakland, NJ, our caring and experienced team is dedicated to helping people like you live a healthy life. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!