If you are like most people, you want to keep your heart as healthy as possible. You may know that heart disease is common, according to the American Heart Association, which says that more than 85 million Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or after-effects of stroke.
Your doctor can be one of your best allies when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. You may not be getting all the help you need from your doctor, though, simply because you do not ask the right questions while you are at the office. Here are seven heart health questions to ask at your next doctor visit.
7 Heart Health Questions to Ask at Your Next Doctor Visit
How high is my cholesterol?
High cholesterol can lead to the accumulation of fat and plaque in your blood vessels, which increases your risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems. There are several types of cholesterol, including “bad” LDL, “good” HDL, and triglycerides. Ask your doctor if your cholesterol levels are within normal limits.
What is my BMI?
You may know that your body mass index (BMI) has a lot to do with your heart health. BMI is a measurement of body fat based on your height and weight. A high BMI means you may be overweight or obese, and carrying excess weight increases your risk for heart problems. If you are like many people, though, you may not know how to calculate your BMI.
Am I at high risk for heart disease?
Some people are at higher risk of heart disease than others. Certain risk factors increase the chances that you will develop cardiovascular disease. The key risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Nearly half of all Americans have at least one of those risk factors. Other risk factors include being overweight or obese, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, and excessive alcohol use.
Should I see a nutritionist or registered dietitian to learn more about healthy eating?
Nutrition plays an important role in heart health. If you are like many people, you want to eat healthier but you may not be sure what foods you should eat.
What can I do to lessen my risk of heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke?
Your doctor can help you review your risk of heart disease and suggest ways to reduce that risk.
Should I undergo heart screening?
A heart scan can detect the development of plaque in the arteries and, if plaque is present, determine how much plaque has built up.
How often should I undergo screening?
People at high risk of heart disease because of a personal history of heart disease, a family history of cardiovascular disease, or high risk factors for heart disease should undergo screening more often than those who are at average risk.
Print out your list of questions and take the list with you when you visit your doctor. Be sure to bring a pen so you can write down the answers as needed. Schedule an appointment with Virtual Imaging, Inc. today and take steps towards protecting your heart.