Posts for: June, 2019
Find out the common reasons someone should turn to a cardiologist for care.
Did you know that your heart beats about 115,000 times, pumping about 2,000 galloons of blood every day? That’s a lot of work that your heart has to take on day in and day out. Of course, it’s important to know how to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle and when you might need to turn to a doctor for a cardiology evaluation. Here are some scenarios in which you should schedule an appointment with our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan.
You are Experiencing Chest Pain
While non heart-related issues can cause chest pain, this symptom is typically a classic warning sign of a heart problem. If you find that your chest pain gets worse during activity this could mean that the heart is not getting proper blood flow.
If you are experiencing chest pain along with symptoms of a heart attack it’s important that you call 911 or go to your local emergency room immediately.
You Have High Blood Pressure
According to the CDC, approximately 75 million American adults have high blood pressure, or 1 in every 3 adults. High blood pressure that isn’t managed with medication and a healthy lifestyle could increase your risk for stroke or heart disease.
If you have a family history of high blood pressure it’s important that you are monitoring your blood pressure regularly and seeing a general practitioner at least once a year for an annual exam. Those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure should see their heart doctor in Grand Rapids, MI, regularly for checkups.
You Experience Heart Palpitations
If you are noticing that you heart is fluttering or beating too fast this is known as a heart palpitation. While this issue can be caused by factors such as stress, medication, or exercise, it’s important that our cardiologist evaluates your heart to look for any defects, heart rhythm disorders, or coronary artery disease that could be causing your palpitations.
You’re a Smoker or Have a History of Smoking
If you’re a smoker now or have been in the past you could be at an increased risk for heart disease. Smoking can also increase your risk for high blood pressure and cancer, so it’s important that you find a way to quit smoking if you want to improve the health of your heart.
You Have High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol you could be at an increased risk for a heart attack or heart disease, as this can increase plaque buildup in the arteries. While eating a healthy diet that is low in processed or fried foods can help, you should also talk to your cardiologist about medications that can get your cholesterol levels under control.
Are you living in Grand Rapids, MI, and dealing with any of the issues above? If so, call Grand Rapids Cardiology and let us know what’s going on. We can tell you whether your symptoms warrant further evaluation.
Learn more about cardiac screenings and why students should get screened every year.
Chances are you’ve heard at least one story on the news about a child or teen collapsing or dying of sudden cardiac arrest while playing sports. This is a scary situation, and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, sudden cardiac arrest is the number one cause of death in student athletes. Many students and active adults may have some type of cardiovascular condition and not even know it. It’s time to gain peace of mind about your heart by visiting our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a heart screening.
While anyone can turn to us for a heart screening, children and teens, athletes and those between the ages of 12-40 who are physically active should visit their heart doctor for annual heart screenings in Grand Rapids, MI, to check their heart rate, blood pressure and the overall health of their heart. This simple screening, which only takes about 15-30 minutes to complete, could just end up saving your life or the life of your child.
The Purpose of Student Heart Screenings
The goal of this screening is for our heart doctor to detect any abnormalities or heart conditions that could cause potential issues for the student, especially while being physically active. During the heart screening, we will perform an electrocardiogram (ECG), a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart to pinpoint potential problems such as a congenital heart defect, enlargement of the heart or an arrhythmia.
During an ECG, electrodes are placed on the patient’s chest, legs and arms. These electrodes pick up the electrical currents from the heart. During an in-office ECG, you will most likely lie down while this is performed. An ECG can be completed in about 5-10 minutes, and is completely non-invasive and painless. There are also no complications associated with this screening tool.
After your ECG, our cardiologist will sit down with you to discuss any findings from your screening and review whether you need any further evaluation or if everything is healthy.
If a patient is dealing with dizziness, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, fainting, trouble breathing, or chest pain they should also schedule an appointment with their cardiologist.
If it’s time to schedule your child’s heart screening before another school year it’s time to call Grand Rapids Cardiology today. Our cardiology team here in Grand Rapids, MI, wants to make sure that patients of all ages get the care they deserve for a heart-healthy life.