Regardless of race or gender, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Although it's a sobering fact, it does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to taking care of your heart. Along with your primary care physician, you can create and execute a plan to either prevent or treat heart disease.
Heart disease risks
A primary care physician wants you to be healthy when it comes to your heart and beyond. They will ask questions and examine your medical history to determine how at risk you are for heart disease or other conditions. Risk factors that increase your chances for heart disease include high blood pressure, tobacco use, diabetes or familial history of diabetes, and obesity.
Lifestyle for your health
Knowing your risk level for heart disease will better enable your physician to set realistic goals for you to prevent heart disease. They can regularly check in to see your progress and offer advice while also having your family members support these changes. Changes that can reduce your risk for heart disease are quitting smoking, increasing how much and how often you exercise, and avoiding foods high in sugar.
Your Care Team
When changing your lifestyle isn't enough, your physician may enlist the help of a cardiologist or cardiac surgeon. Primary care physicians usually have at least one cardiologist they normally work with. This can yield many benefits if they're in the same health system. This will allow you to avoid taking repetitive tests, like blood work, and a quicker treatment process overall.
Given how prominent heart disease is in America, it's never too early to start taking better care of your ticker. If you haven't consulted your physician before about your heart, now is the time to start. They can work with you to assess your risk, ensure you're living the best way you can and keep you on track to stay heart healthy.