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Posts for tag: heart disease

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
July 05, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: heart disease  

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 heartdisease. 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!

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
July 09, 2018
Category: Cardiology
Tags: heart disease   treatments  
Find out what heart disease treatments are available and which one might be right for you.
 
If your Grand Rapids, MI cardiologist, Dr. Ronald L. VanderLaan, has just diagnosed you with heart disease, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. But know that you don’t have to do it alone. There are so many heart disease treatments available, and we will work together with you to determine which one will be the most effective.
 
Once you’ve been diagnosed, it’s important that you and your heart doctor in Grand Rapids create a treatment plan. The goals of treatment are designed to manage your condition while controlling symptoms for the long run.
 
Some of the simplest changes you’ll need to adopt will come in the form of diet, exercise, stress management, and other lifestyle factors. However, medication and other conventional treatment options are also required when you have heart disease.
 
Lifestyle Changes
 
If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. If you drink, moderation is key. This means no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. But if you can, try to abstain from alcohol.
 
You should also start an exercise regiment, which we would be happy to help you with. You should find exercises that fit with your lifestyle and improve your health. Exercise will help to strengthen both your heart and your blood vessels as well as reduce stress.
 
Managing your stress can also go a long way to both preventing and treating heart disease. Whether this comes in the form of meditation or yoga, we can help you find which methods would work best for you.
 
Being overweight and eating foods high in sodium and trans fat can also put you at a higher risk for heart disease (and cause further issues for those who’ve already been diagnosed). Changing your diet by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, protein, and fibrous grains into the mix and lowering the amount of sodium and trans fats you consume will help.
 
Heart Disease Treatments
 
There are many different types of heart disease including:
 
  • Heart attack
  • Heart valve disease
  • Arrhythmia
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary Artery Disease
 
The type of medications we recommend will depend on the type of heart disease you have. Medication is a standard form of treatment that you will be required to take for the rest of your life. For those with heart valve or arrhythmia problems, a pacemaker or heart valve surgery may be required. Those who have had a heart attack may require a coronary angioplasty (to increase blood flow through the blocked artery).
 
Have questions about your treatment options? Need to schedule your next checkup? Then turn to our Grand Rapids, MI heart doctor at Grand Rapids Cardiology.