Something that is always talked about a lot, especially by clinics such as CardioCare for example, is the importance of a heart checkup. We need to keep an eye on the health of our organ so that it works well and, consequently, we have a quality of life. However, other questions also usually arise when this is the subject: how often should you consult a cardiologist? What are the tests prescribed by this specialist, and what will I have to do?
The most recommended thing is to visit the cardiologist once a year and follow his guidelines. But to help you, we’ve also separated some essential information on how to have good heart health. Continue reading and check it out What is Integrative Cardiology here.
When To Start Heart Checkup?
Now that you know how often to check how your heart is doing, you must also check the time to start care. For men, it is recommended to start annual consultations from the age of 45. For women, the age is 50 years. However, in some exceptional cases, the checkup should be done in even younger people, such as those with a family history of heart disease or who have already been victims of these diseases. For example, if your parents suffer from heart failure, arrhythmia, or angina, you should also look for a cardiologist as soon as possible for a consultation.
Other conditions that generate the warning signal, such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, also influence the need to see a doctor.
Have You Had Covid-19?
We must also not forget that covid-19 can generate cardiovascular sequelae, such as myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle) and blood circulation problems. Therefore, if the disease has infected you, look for a cardiologist for a checkup, regardless of age or symptoms.
The Warning Symptoms
You also need to look for a cardiologist when you notice some warning signs. Are they:
- chest pain, which feels like pressure and spreads to the arms, shoulders, and jaw
- rapid heartbeat
- dizziness and fainting
- nausea and vomiting
- persistent cough
- shortness of breath
- difficulty breathing during sleep
- loss of appetite
- excessive tiredness
- cold sweat
- leg swelling
- muscle weakness
- bluish fingers
These are just indications of something wrong with the heart, such as difficulty pumping blood or weakening of the organ. Pay attention!
Your cardiologist will likely ask you to take specific tests during your heart checkup. The main ones are:
Electrocardiogram: with electrodes attached to the chest, it is possible to check how the heart beats;
treadmill test: popularly known as the “treadmill test.” This exam analyzes how the heart works while the patient is exerting himself;
echocardiogram and ultrasound: both procedures show how the heart structures are, for example, the atria and valves. In this way, they can diagnose various problems, such as murmurs and deformities in the arteries;
ABPM and 24-hour Holter: in these tests, the patient has equipment attached to the body that analyzes blood pressure for a whole day. They are recommended to check if the person is hypertensive;
blood tests are also necessary, as they can check glucose levels, blood clotting, cholesterol, and triglycerides, which impact heart health.
Maintain Daily Care
Even if you comply with the heart checkup properly, do not forget to maintain some daily care. These habits are essential for heart health.
- Have a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats
- Avoid the consumption of ultra-processed, sugary, salty, and fatty foods
- Do not smoke and consume alcohol in moderation
- Do not self-medicate
- Control the stress
- Practice physical activity
Is your heart checkup up to date?
After explaining the importance of taking care of yourself, we want to know: do you have your heart checkup up to date? If the answer is “no,” change that now!