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Posts for: January, 2019

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
January 24, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Heart Screening  

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!

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
January 21, 2019
Category: Cardiology

Find out what a stress test can tell us about the health of your heart.

Cardiology Stress TestHas our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan recommended that you or a loved one get a stress test? If so, you may be wondering what this test involves and why it’s necessary. To put it simply, a stress test is performed so that our cardiologist can see just how well your heart is functioning.


Who needs a stress test?

If you are displaying any symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat, we may advise you to get a stress test to figure out what’s causing your symptoms. A stress test is one of the best tools for being able to diagnose any heart problems.

If you are at an increased risk for heart disease, have diabetes, or possess any other risk factors, your doctor may recommend that you get a stress test. You may also need one to see how well the heart is responding to certain medications.


What is involved in a stress test?

During a stress test at our Grand Rapids practice, our cardiologist will check your vitals such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. We will also evaluate whether you are out of breath or fatigued during certain levels of physical exertion. This stress test can shed light on certain heart issues that may be present such as poor blood supply to certain arteries in the heart.

The test only takes about 15 minutes and patients won’t be allowed to eat or drink for 2 hours prior to the test. Patients should also avoid caffeine, which can impact their results. As you will be walking and running at different speeds on a treadmill, it’s important that you wear comfortable clothes.

Before beginning the test, we will apply electrodes to specific areas of the body, which will allow us to measure electrical activity within the heart during your test. If the patient is unable to perform an exercise stress test, an IV will be administered that will deliver medication to stimulate the heart in the same way as exercise.


Concerned? Give us a Call!

If you are experiencing chest pain or other symptoms in Grand Rapids, MI, it’s important that you don’t ignore these issues. The team at Grand Rapids Cardiology offers a full range of diagnostic testing to figure out what’s going on and how to best treat the problem. Call us today at (616) 717-5141 to learn more about the services we offer!

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
January 10, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

High blood pressure affects about 75 million people in the United States. Known medically as hypertension, high blood pressure can lead to dangerous or even deadly conditions like heart attack or stroke. Knowing the signs and symptoms of hypertension can help you spot its presence early to get the help you need. Find out more about high blood pressure by reading below, and contact Dr. Ronald VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, for personal treatment.


What is hypertension?
Your blood pressure is determined by two factors: the amount of blood that your heart pumps through the arteries and the resistance it meets when doing so. The less blood your heart pumps and the wider your arteries, the lower your blood pressure. Conversely, when the heart pumps more blood through narrower arteries, a higher blood pressure occurs. Though high blood pressure (known medically as hypertension) can occur for years with no symptoms, it is nonetheless a serious health risk and greatly increases your chances of experience heart attack or stroke.


What causes hypertension?
Though doctors do not know the exact cause of high blood pressure, there are factors which are known to contribute to its presence:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Genetics
  • Old age
  • Chronic conditions like kidney disease
  • Too much salt
  • Above-average alcohol consumption
  • Sleep apnea


What happens if high blood pressure goes unchecked?
High blood pressure causes serious damage to your body and puts you at a greater risk of serious health issues like heart attack and stroke. If left untreated, hypertension can damage the arteries, heart, brain, kidneys, eyes, and can even cause sexual dysfunction. Having yourself checked for hypertension and treating its effects early will greatly reduce your risk of serious health conditions which can lead to health complications, emergencies, and even death.


Hypertension in Grand Rapids, MI
If you think you have hypertension, it is never too late or too early to begin treatment. If you are at all concerned about having the condition, please contact Dr. Ronald VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI. Call (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment with Dr. VanderLaan today!