Are you at an increased risk for vascular disease?
Vascular disease is any condition that affects the blood vessels, which circulate blood throughout the body. When there is a problem with how the blood vessels function, serious and even life-threatening complications can occur. Therefore, it’s important to know when to visit our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a screening.
While there are certain risk factors such as obesity that can increase your risk for vascular disease, anyone at any time in their life can develop a vascular disease. Plaque can even begin to buildup in the arteries as early as your teen years.
Common Types of Vascular Diseases
Common vascular diseases include,
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Aortic aneurysm
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot)
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
- Varicose veins
Signs and Symptoms of Vascular Disease
Since vascular disease can happen to anyone it’s important to be aware of common warning signs so that you can visit your Grand Rapids, MI, heart doctor right away. While different types of vascular disease present with different symptoms it’s important to schedule an appointment with us if you are experiencing any of these issues,
- Painful cramping in your hips, calves or thighs during activity
- Weakness or numbness in the leg
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot compared to the other leg
- Sores or open wounds on the foot or leg that won’t heal
- Sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Changes in vision
- Speech problems (e.g. slurred speech), which is a sign of a stroke
Should you be screened for vascular diseases?
You may be at an increased risk for vascular diseases if:
- You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes
- You have high cholesterol
- You are a smoker
- You have high blood pressure
- You are obese
- You lead a sedentary lifestyle
- You have a family history of vascular disease
If you have any of these risk factors then it’s time to talk to your cardiologist about getting a vascular screening test to check the health of your arteries and blood vessels. Of course, everyone can benefit from routine vascular screenings.
Remember, even those without risk factors may still develop vascular disease so it’s important that you turn to our Grand Rapid, MI, heart specialists if you are experiencing any changes to your health. Call Grand Rapids Cardiology today to learn more.
Cardiology is the branch of medicine that deals with heart health, fitness, and wellness. Being that the heart is the center point of the body, having a trusted cardiologist is extremely important—especially considering that approximately half of American adults have some form of heart disease according to the American Heart Association! Is it time for your cardiological consultation and evaluation? If so, talk to a doctor at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI.
What Happens at a Cardiology Consultation and Evaluation?
Seeing a cardiologist is similar to going to see your primary care physician, with a few differences, of course. You will have your blood pressure and weight checked. An EKG (electrocardiogram) reading will likely be taken, especially if you have a history of heart-related problems. You will discuss with your cardiologist the medications that you’re currently taking as well as your family history, health history, diet, and any recent symptoms that you've been having. If your doctor identifies a point of concern, you may be referred for further testing.
Cardiology Tests and Treatments
If you are diagnosed with a heart condition or have a possible issue that needs to be addressed, these are some of the tests and treatments that may be prescribed by your Grand Rapids cardiologist:
- Stress tests (your doctor will recommend the specific test you should take).
- Electrocardiograms (check heart activity).
- Head Up Tilt Table (HUTT) Test (this provides your doctor with information about heart rhythms and blood pressure).
- Blood tests.
- Blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart regulating medication.
- Referral for angioplasty and stent placement if needed.
- Nutritional consultations.
Managing Your Heart Health Successfully
Regularly visiting our Grand Rapids cardiologist is one of the steps that you can take to ensure that your heart stays strong and healthy. Here are a few other tips for changing your lifestyle habits for the better:
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vegetables and eat less saturated fats. Consider leaning toward a more vegetarian or vegan diet.
- Introduce moderate exercise into your daily routine each week, such as brisk walking, aerobics, and yoga stretches (talk to your doctor about what’s acceptable for your unique case).
- Monitor your blood pressure regularly to ensure that it is within the limits recommended by your cardiologist.
Schedule a Checkup
Whether you’ve been referred by your primary care physician or have decided to get a heart checkup on your own, Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids can help! Call (616) 717-5141 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ronald VanderLaan!
Are you suffering from high blood pressure?
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common long-term condition that forces blood against a person's artery walls, which causes health problems like coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Your Grand Rapids, MI, doctor can tell you more about high blood pressure.
More About Hypertension
Many people who suffer from high blood pressure don't even know it. You need to visit your doctor on a regular basis for medical check-ups, which usually starts at age 3. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easily detected and controlled.
You need a blood pressure reading from your Grand Rapids physician every two years, starting at age 18. If you are 40 years or older, or have a high risk of high blood pressure, you need a blood pressure reading every year.
Your doctor checks both arms to determine if there's a difference.
You can also measure your blood pressure at home and/or at a pharmacy, a helpful place to get information about your blood pressure, although going your to your doctor is a better option. Your Grand Rapids physician's machine is more accurate because it depends on several factors like cuff size and the proper use of the machines.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Pounding in the head or chest
- Sharp chest pains
There are several reasons that result in high blood pressure.
Some of those reasons include:
- Being overweight
- Diet high in saturated fat and/or sodium
- Physical inactivity
- Being male
- High stress levels
- Excessive drinking
Some people naturally have high blood pressure but you need to be tested in order to figure out if that's the case or if there's an issue. You'll need to call Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment or ask any questions about hypertension today!
Keep your blood pressure in check with the help of Grand Rapids Cardiology
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious problem. After all, having high blood pressure can put you at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime. Read below to learn some lifestyle habits that you can adapt to keep your blood pressure in check, and contact the Grand Rapids, MI, office of cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a personal consultation on the subject.
Maintain an Ideal Weight
Weight is a major factor when it comes to being at risk for high blood pressure. If your heart doctor in Grand Rapids, MI, has told you that you are overweight or obese, it’s important that you lose the weight safely to prevent high blood pressure. Even losing 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. Before starting a new diet or exercise regimen, consult our cardiologist to find out the best approach for losing weight safely.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Another major factor that contributes to your health is your diet. A healthy diet consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. If you have high blood pressure or borderline high blood pressure, following the DASH diet may help you manage your blood pressure more effectively.
Get Regular Exercise
Getting yourself up and moving is a great way to stave off hypertension. Of course, when people think about physical activity they often think they have to hop on a treadmill or go to the gym. If that isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are many ways to get moderate exercise without having to purchase a gym membership. You can ride your bike through the local park or grab a walking buddy to walk 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Just as salt can have a major impact on your blood pressure, so too can alcohol. If you are having trouble getting your blood pressure under control and you drink alcohol, you may want to cut back. This means having only one drink a day for women and no more than two for men.
Give Us a Call!
Whether you have questions about maintaining a healthy blood pressure or you are dealing with high blood pressure right now, it is a great idea to turn to the medical team at Grand Rapids Cardiology for the care that you need. Call us today at (616) 717-5141.
Though preventative healthcare is crucial to your overall well-being, many people tend to skip potentially life-saving routine screenings and testing. Luckily, your cardiologist offers a heart screening — a specialized test which detects problems with the heart — which can ensure that your cardiovascular system is functioning correctly. Find out more about student heart screenings and what they can do for you with Dr. Ronald VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI.
What is a heart screening?
A heart screening is a simple, noninvasive procedure which scans the heart and its arteries for issues. Problems with the heart can lead to heart disease or a major event such as sudden heart failure — even in young, healthy athletes. The screening takes less than 30 minutes and can ensure that you or your student athlete is in good condition and give you peace of mind that your body is functioning correctly.
What can I expect during a heart screening?
A heart screening will include a full physical check-up and electrocardiogram, which charts the heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. In some cases, an echocardiogram, which uses a type of ultrasound procedure to examine the heart and the nearby blood vessels, may become necessary to further investigate the heart’s functionality.
Why is a heart screening important?
Heart screenings ensure that you or your child’s cardiovascular system is working normally. This preventative check-up gives your doctor the chance to find and catch abnormalities or issues early, at their most treatable stages. Additionally, heart screenings give you peace of mind that your heart functions correctly during physical activity. Heart screenings take only about half an hour and can reduce your risk of developing serious heart conditions.
Heart Screenings in Grand Rapids, MI
Do not hesitate to receive your routine heart screening. For more information on student heart screenings and what they can do for you, please contact Dr. Ronald VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI. Call (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment with your cardiologist today!
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