Posts for: July, 2019
Find out when it might be time to see your Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist.
When health problems occur we often turn to our family doctor for the answers; however, sometimes the symptoms we are experiencing require an evaluation from a cardiology specialist. Wondering whether you could benefit from visiting our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan? Here’s when you should turn to a cardiologist.
For Preventive Measures
The goal of medicine is to prevent health problems from happening in the first place, and there are instances when turning to a cardiologist for routine checkups is actually important for preventing problems. You may want to come in once a year for a routine checkup if:
- You have a family history of heart disease or other heart problems
- You have a family history or personal history of high cholesterol
- You are obese
- You lead a sedentary lifestyle
- You’re a smoker
Your lifestyle greatly impacts your health and can increase your risk for heart disease. Therefore, everything from smoking to a poor diet can impact the health of your heart. Luckily, these are simple enough to fix. By improving your lifestyle we can help reduce your risk for heart-related complications and enhance your health and well being.
If you are over the age of 40 and want to start a new exercise routine, or if you have certain conditions like diabetes and want to start working out, it’s important to consult a cardiologist who can evaluate your heart health and then come up with an exercise plan that is safe and effective.
To Treat Issues and Evaluate Symptoms
Most people don’t actually turn to a cardiologist until they are dealing with certain symptoms. You will want to see a cardiologist if you are dealing with:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath or tightness in the chest
- Rapid or irregular heart beat
- High cholesterol
If you notice that your heart palpitations are also accompanied by clammy skin, nausea, fainting, or weakness you should also see your doctor right away, as these could be symptoms of heart disease.
If chest pain is sudden and severe this could be a sign of a heart attack. If you are dealing with symptoms of a heart attack it’s important that you seek immediate medical attention.
No matter if you are dealing with heart palpitations or you just want to schedule a routine heart evaluation, our Grand Rapids, MI, cardiology team is here to make sure you get the care you need. Schedule your next appointment with Grand Rapids Cardiology today.
How your cardiologist in Grand Rapids, MI, can help protect your heart
A stress test and electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG, are important tools to diagnose a variety of heart problems, including heart disease. They are a quick, easy, and non-invasive way to diagnose changes in your heart muscle, heart rhythm, and critical heart functions. Dr. Ronald L. VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, offers a wide range of services to help protect your heart.
If your cardiologist orders a stress test, you will be hooked up to equipment which can monitor your heart. You begin walking slowly on a treadmill, increasing your pace gradually. The treadmill will also be placed at an incline to further stimulate your heart. Your blood pressure and heart rate are recorded at various points during the test.
If you have arthritis, foot problems, or other issues which interfere with walking, your cardiologist may recommend a nuclear stress test. This test involves taking medication which stimulates your heart just like walking on a treadmill.
The American Heart Association recommends a stress test to:
- Diagnose coronary artery disease
- Diagnose causes of chest pain or breathing problems
- Predict the possibility of a future heart attack
- Determine how much activity you can do safely
An EKG is another common test that may be ordered to check for signs of heart disease. Small electrodes are attached to the skin on your arms, legs, and chest. The EKG monitors the electrical activity of your heart and is used to check for:
- Abnormal changes in heart rhythm
- Decreased blood flow to your heart muscle
- Thickened heart muscle and other abnormal changes
- Signs of a heart attack
Stress tests and EKGs are completely painless, non-invasive, fast, and easy, and they can save your life. Don’t take chances about the health of your heart. Your cardiologist can help protect your heart. To find out more about cardiology services, call Dr. Ronald L. VanderLaan at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, today!