Like many doctor visits, you may feel rushed or flustered during a one-on-one with your doctor. You might even find that once you get home, you have another question you forgot to ask.
When it comes to your cardiologist, your appointment might be one of the most important meetings you have about your health. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association. Being prepared with written questions ahead of time just might help save your life.
But, which questions are the best to ask? Which answers will help you build a stronger heart once you leave the office and get back to your normal routine? Below is a list of the top three questions you should be asking your cardiologist. Your cardiologist is certainly a better source than Google!
1. What is my potential risk of having a cardiovascular issue in the future?
This question is essential because it will give you insight into the future of your heart health. If you know your future risk, you will know what preventative measure you should be taking. For example, your doctor says you have high blood pressure and it is increasing your chances of a future heart attack, and you need to act fast. You may want to stop smoking, get out of the house more to increase your activity level and add some veggies to your diet.
2. What symptoms indicate that my condition is becoming worse?
Many times, symptoms of heart disease or heart attack can go ignored. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a serious disease affecting the blood flow to your feet and legs, and it often goes undiagnosed. One reason it can go undiagnosed is because patients often chalk up their symptoms to age or leg pain. Heart disease symptoms are so broad and different for each person depending on age, risk factors and even gender. Knowing your symptoms can save your life.
3. What lifestyle changes can I make to improve my condition?
Although you should always be taking the medicine prescribed to you correctly, lifestyle changes are just as important in many cases. For example, for heart failure, it is primitive that you take your medications, aggressively reduce your sodium intake, eat healthier, exercise and make sure you are getting enough rest. These changes can improve the quality and longevity of your life.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified cardiologists, please reach out to First Coast Cardiovascular Institute at 904.493.3333.
Sources: American Heart Association, CardioSmart, EverydayHealth