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Posts for: October, 2018

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
October 29, 2018
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension   Chest Pain  

HypertensionHypertension—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it afflicts 75 million adults in the United States, often without the carrier's knowledge. This "silent killer" could seriously damage your health, with you being none the wiser. At Grand Rapids Cardiology, Dr. Ronald VanderLaan treats high blood pressure for better cardiovascular health and overall well-being. Learn the signs and dangers of this chronic health condition and how to manage it.

What is high blood pressure?

As your blood moves through your circulatory system, perfusing your bodily organs with oxygen and nutrients, your blood vessels experience substantial pumping forces. Measured either at home or at your physician's office, your blood pressure indicates how hard your heart and blood vessels are working. Blood pressure within a certain range is healthy, while measures that are too high indicate excessive physical strain on the heart, lungs, and other organs such as the kidneys, liver, and brain.

The American Heart Association indicates that people with high blood pressure often don't know they have it as they are relatively asymptomatic. Other people, however, experience troublesome signs such as:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Mental confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Pounding heartbeat

Clinically, any blood pressure reading higher than 120/80 is considered elevated and measurements beyond that are diagnostic for hypertension. Hypertension is a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease, and as such, our Grand Rapids office will carefully monitor hypertensive patients and craft individualized care plans to help them manage their numbers and their symptoms.

Treating hypertension

Possible treatments may necessitate that you take your blood pressure regularly with an at-home blood pressure monitor. Keeping a log of your readings and any symptoms can help you manage your numbers. Other approaches may require that patients take blood pressure medications to keep their blood pressure within normal ranges. Also, all individuals who are pre-hypertensive or who have the actual diagnosis should:

  • Quit all tobacco usage
  • Limit their alcohol consumption
  • Eat a low fat, low salt, high fiber diet
  • Exercise three to five times a week (simple walking for 30 minutes is fine)
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce stress
  • Control their blood sugars (if diabetic)

Although hypertension can run in families, heredity can be overcome with careful management of other risk factors and lifestyle elements.

It's your life

Protect it from the harmful side effects of hypertension. For expert help, contact Grand Rapids Cardiology for an assessment. Dr. Ronald VanderLaan and his team excel at personalized care plans and communication. Call today for an appointment: (616) 717-5141.


By Grand Rapids Cardiology
October 23, 2018
Category: Cardiology

Heart ProblemsCardiac conditions affect over 84 million Americans according to the American Heart Association and almost half of Americans have at least one risk factor according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is one of the top health concerns for American adults. Visit Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI for a cardiac risk assessment and details on how you can prevent heart problems. 

What is a Cardiac Risk Assessment?
The purpose of a cardiac risk assessment is to determine your current heart health and evaluate your likelihood of developing a heart problem or “cardiovascular event.” You’re rating on a scale from slight to high risk. The evaluation includes a blood test, blood pressure checks, an EKG, stress test, and a series of questions about your medical history and lifestyle choices. One of the questions your doctor will ask is if you have a family history of heart problems or cardiovascular diseases. Age and the diagnosis of other medical conditions, like diabetes, may also raise a patient’s risk.

Preventing Cardiovascular Problems
The result of your cardiac risk assessment will let your doctor know what steps to take to help you prevent heart-related issues. These are some of the treatments that may be suggested when you visit Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI:

- Medication to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Dietary counseling to promote weight loss.
- Stent placement in case of vessel blockages.
- Bypass surgery in cases of advanced heart disease.

Heart Health Tips
Your cardiologist is a great resource when it comes to keeping your heart healthy, but there are also actions you can take daily to reduce your risk of cardiac problems:

- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, even if it’s just a walk around your local park.
- Avoid excessive alcohol and tobacco use.
- Reduce stress by observing self-care techniques.

Call for an Examination
Take a bold step toward good heart health and go to Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI for a cardiac risk assessment. Call (616) 717-5141 today for an appointment with Dr. Ronald Vanderlaan.


By Grand Rapids Cardiology
October 01, 2018
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Cardiologist  

Discover the Reasons Why People See Their Cardiologist and How They Can Help.

CardiologistWith heart disease being the number one killer of both men and women in the US, chances are good that at some point you’ve wondered whether you should see a cardiologist. As you might imagine, our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan specializes in diagnosing, treating and preventing all conditions related to the heart. Here are some things to consider when it comes to whether or not you should visit a cardiologist like Dr. VanderLaan:

Your Primary Care Referred You

Your regular doctor may be able to check your overall health and provide treatment for a lot of conditions; however, if you are dealing with a heart problem, then your doctor may recommend further testing and treatments. More comprehensive medical care means seeing a cardiologist in Grand Rapids, MI, who has the specific training and knowledge to treat any heart problem.

Your Family History Raises Some Red Flags

If you’ve checked into your family history and discovered that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease runs in your family, then the most preventive step you can take for your health is to see a cardiologist for regular checkups. After all, genetics does play a huge role in the development of heart disease.

You’re a Smoker

Whether you are still a smoker or used to be a smoker, it’s a good idea to visit a cardiologist for routine checkups. This is because smoking can greatly increase your chances of developing heart disease. In fact, it’s one of the biggest contributing factors. While quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health, if you were a heavy or long-time smoker in the past, it’s a good idea to see a cardiologist.

You Have Diabetes

Did you know that people who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes are far more likely to develop heart disease than those without it? Since diabetes increases your chances of developing heart disease, it’s important that you have a cardiologist you can work with to keep your heart health in check.

You Have High Blood Pressure or High Cholesterol

Most of the time these two serious issues do not cause any symptoms; however, if you see your doctor for annual checkups and blood work, they can usually tell you whether you are dealing with either of these problems. From there, you’ll want to work with a cardiologist who can provide you with the medications and lifestyle modifications that will reduce your risk of a heart attack.

Contact Us Today!

If you are experiencing chest pain, this is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate medical care. For non-life-threatening issues, call Grand Rapids Cardiology at (616) 717-5141 to schedule an appointment today! We are proud to provide comprehensive cardiology services to Grand Rapids, MI, patients of all ages.