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By Grand Rapids Cardiology
March 12, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Are you suffering from high blood pressure?

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is a common long-term condition that forces blood against a person's artery walls, which blood pressurecauses health problems like coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Your Grand Rapids, MI, doctor can tell you more about high blood pressure.

More About Hypertension

Many people who suffer from high blood pressure don't even know it. You need to visit your doctor on a regular basis for medical check-ups, which usually starts at age 3. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easily detected and controlled.

You need a blood pressure reading from your Grand Rapids physician every two years, starting at age 18. If you are 40 years or older, or have a high risk of high blood pressure, you need a blood pressure reading every year.

Your doctor checks both arms to determine if there's a difference.

You can also measure your blood pressure at home and/or at a pharmacy, a helpful place to get information about your blood pressure, although going your to your doctor is a better option. Your Grand Rapids physician's machine is more accurate because it depends on several factors like cuff size and the proper use of the machines.


  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Pounding in the head or chest
  • Sharp chest pains
  • Tiredness
  • Confusion

There are several reasons that result in high blood pressure.

Some of those reasons include:

  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Diet high in saturated fat and/or sodium
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being male
  • High stress levels
  • Age
  • Excessive drinking
  • Diabetes


Some people naturally have high blood pressure but you need to be tested in order to figure out if that's the case or if there's an issue. You'll need to call Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI, at (616) 717-5141 to schedule your appointment or ask any questions about hypertension today!

By Grand Rapids Cardiology
February 27, 2019
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Hypertension  

Keep your blood pressure in check with the help of Grand Rapids Cardiology

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a serious problem. After all, having high blood pressure can put you at an increased risk for heart cardiologistdisease or stroke. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults will develop high blood pressure during their lifetime. Read below to learn some lifestyle habits that you can adapt to keep your blood pressure in check, and contact the Grand Rapids, MI, office of cardiologist Dr. Ronald VanderLaan for a personal consultation on the subject.


Maintain an Ideal Weight

Weight is a major factor when it comes to being at risk for high blood pressure. If your heart doctor in Grand Rapids, MI, has told you that you are overweight or obese, it’s important that you lose the weight safely to prevent high blood pressure. Even losing 10 pounds can help lower your blood pressure. Before starting a new diet or exercise regimen, consult our cardiologist to find out the best approach for losing weight safely.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Another major factor that contributes to your health is your diet. A healthy diet consists of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, and salt. If you have high blood pressure or borderline high blood pressure, following the DASH diet may help you manage your blood pressure more effectively.


Get Regular Exercise

Getting yourself up and moving is a great way to stave off hypertension. Of course, when people think about physical activity they often think they have to hop on a treadmill or go to the gym. If that isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are many ways to get moderate exercise without having to purchase a gym membership. You can ride your bike through the local park or grab a walking buddy to walk 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week.


Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Just as salt can have a major impact on your blood pressure, so too can alcohol. If you are having trouble getting your blood pressure under control and you drink alcohol, you may want to cut back. This means having only one drink a day for women and no more than two for men.


Give Us a Call!

Whether you have questions about maintaining a healthy blood pressure or you are dealing with high blood pressure right now, it is a great idea to turn to the medical team at Grand Rapids Cardiology for the care that you need. Call us today at (616) 717-5141.

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!

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