Ideally, every patient would have a team of specialists working to promote their health and wellness, from dermatologists to cardiologists. However, between budgeting for copays and finding time for appointments in an already busy schedule, most people only seek a specialist when they realize they have no choice. But, even then, they may not realize that they need this level of medical intervention. Knowing the signs that you should speak to a cardiologist can ensure you can catch any issues before they start and maintain a healthy lifestyle regardless of risk factors.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to see a cardiologist if you’re facing symptoms that may impact your heart health. Are you dealing with chest pain, for example? What about dizziness, heart palpitations, or shortness of breath? These symptoms and others like them may reflect your physical health, whether that’s your heart health or otherwise. Do some research into common cardiovascular symptoms, and if you begin to notice any of them yourself, contact a cardiologist as soon as possible.
Obvious symptoms aside, you should still speak to a cardiologist if your personal history puts you at risk for common cardiovascular conditions. Do you practice health-promoting behaviors, like maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and learning stress management skills? From forming healthy interpersonal relationships to avoiding vices like smoking, alcohol or substance abuse, and inactivity, these health promotion behaviors determine not just your heart health and overall well-being but your quality of life on an everyday basis. So, if your history turns away from these healthy behaviors and points to riskier lifestyle behaviors, consulting a cardiologist can offer a significant difference in your heart health.
No matter your current health status, your family history is an important factor in your prospective health, just as much so as your physical activity or other healthy or unhealthy behaviors. Talk to your parents, grandparents, or other family members to determine what risk factors may lurk in your family history. Or, if you don’t have family connections or records to consult, consider genealogical testing to help determine what hereditary risk factors will play an important role in your heart health. Depending on what you learn, you may decide to consult a cardiologist to determine your best next steps, especially if you uncover a family history of heart disease or related conditions.
You may have near-perfect behaviors, a clear family history, and no cardiovascular symptoms but still benefit from seeing a cardiologist. One significant example is if you have preexisting health conditions, such as hypertension or high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic kidney disease, or peripheral artery disease. Any of these conditions can impact your heart health, but a cardiologist can help you recognize any risks, environmental factors, or prospective issues before they appear.
Like other specialists, a cardiologist can support your health promotion efforts by recognizing any current issues and implementing preventive measures to protect your health over time. But first, you have to speak to a cardiologist who can help build your treatment plan.