So, after years of avoiding doctors and serious medical issues (and perhaps some amount of serious medical care), you’ve found yourself in a situation where you can’t really make it without one. Perhaps your heart has weakened and you’ve developed shortness of breath – this is something to take seriously, by the way.
Perhaps you’ve gained weight in a short period of time and you’re worrying about the wear and tear on your body. Hopefully, you’re not managing a condition like heart failure.
Whatever the reason or cause may be, there’s no avoiding the fact that regular follow-ups with a cardiologist are just a part of your life now. So, what do you do next?
We understand how overwhelming the idea of consulting with a cardiologist might seem at first. After all, no one really wants to know that their heart is giving them trouble. But, if you take a little time to understand how a cardiologist can help and how to prepare yourself for your consultation, you may be able to manage the “heart doctor” jitters a lot better.
Who is a Cardiologist and Why do I Need One?
A cardiologist is a doctor who deals with heart disease and disorders. Considering how common heart ailments have become lately, we definitely need to be prepared with how to manage a sudden arising of symptoms.
It’s also important for all of us to understand that developing cardiovascular disease is not necessarily an individual’s fault. Sometimes, despite all your efforts to stay fit, healthy, and balanced, you will still develop cardiovascular disease. While there are an array of factors that go into developing these diseases, a person’s genetics and family history also play a significant role here.
The reason you’ll need to consult with a cardiologist is that because of its nuanced and critical nature, cardiovascular disease cannot be treated with home remedies or self-medication. Unfortunately, in this instance, off-the-shelf medication and a quick Google search for treatment will not help.
With heart issues, the course of treatment and care differs according to the nature of the heart problems and will most definitely require a qualified cardiologist to detect and resolve the root cause. What you can do, in terms of self-help, is turn to your family and friends for referrals, so you can find the right doctor for your needs. At DocGenie, our panel of highly qualified heart specialists can help you with a full and proper evaluation, heart-related tests, and an individualised treatment plan.
Questions to Ask Your Cardiologist
Whether you’re scheduling your first cardiologist consultation online or you’re going to go meet a doctor in person, it’s important to be prepared before you head in. If you have an upcoming consultation or you’re considering one for a friend or family member, please take a moment to read through the list of questions below. They will help make your consultation with a cardiologist a lot more productive.
- What symptoms of heart disease should I look out for?
Whenever you make your next online doctor consultation with a cardiologist, make sure you ask them what signs of heart disease you should be watching out for.
- Do you have a history of blood pressure issues?
- Has anyone in your family ever had a congenital heart defect?
- Have you recently felt a pain in the middle of your chest?
- Are you a habitual smoker with high cholesterol levels?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then do make an effort to check with your doctor about warning signs.
- How does family history affect my heart health?
Are you familiar with anyone in your immediate or extended family who has developed coronary heart disease? Have your parents or grandparents had high blood pressure or high cholesterol problems?
If heart disease runs in your family, the unfortunate reality is that you are also at a risk of developing cardiovascular issues, so do speak with your cardiologist about a prevention plan or how your family history is likely to affect you.
- What levels are my cholesterol numbers at? And how do they affect my heart health?
Once your cardiologist or general physician orders your lab tests, take a moment to understand your cholesterol levels and what they imply for your overall heart health.
What’s your breakdown of “good” vs “bad” cholesterol? What kinds of medication do you need to take? How do you need to adjust your lifestyle and eating habits? All of these are valid questions to ask in your cardiologist consultation, online or offline.
- Am I living a heart-healthy lifestyle?
If there’s no urgency to the matter, then try and schedule your cardiologist appointment a week after it’s been recommended.
During that week, take note of details such as:
- Your morning habits and rituals
- When you eat your first meal and what it usually is
- How much of your diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables
- How much movement do you usually get in a day
- How you feel when you move
- How your breathing and heart rate feel to you
All of these will help you have a candid and valuable consultation with your cardiologist.
- What can I do to live a healthier life?
Let’s be honest, none of us really enjoys taking medication. However, if you’re someone who truly is averse to medication and would much rather rely on lifestyle changes to improve your health, then make a pointed effort to ask your cardiologist what steps you can take to create a healthier body for yourself.
- What is included in a heart-healthy lifestyle?
If you’re largely a sedentary person, you may need to move more. If you have a work-heavy lifestyle, then you may need to use some creative thinking to fold exercise into your life.
Perhaps you prefer lighter forms of exercise or you’d much rather hit the gym and lift weights. What works better for you? How can you create a heart-healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise?
Your cardiologist is the best person to answer these questions for you.
- How can I manage my stress better to live a healthier life?
Whatever your personality type may be, as human beings all of us are prone to stress because our external influences and internal conditioning can create a great deal of friction in our lives.
Over time, as unmanaged stress accumulates, it can result in more serious complications, part of which include heart disease and complications.
Therefore, learning how to manage our stress in a healthy manner to live a happy life is extremely important. Ask your cardiologist how you can get started with these changes.
If you or your family members are looking for a highly qualified cardiologist, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Vinayak Agarwal. He is a senior doctor who has over 23 years to his name in his chosen field. While he consults through DocGenie, he also serves as the Director and HOD of Clinical Cardiology and Imaging at Fortis Heart and Vascular Institute in Gurgaon.
Visit www.docgenie to learn more.