What is a cardiologist?
A doctor that has received special training to develop a specific skill in finding, preventing or treating diseases that affect the blood vessels and the heart is known as a cardiologist. The cardiologist acts as a consultant to the other doctors. For instance, a physician might recommend you to see a cardiologist.
The cardiologist is responsible for planning tests to diagnose heart disease and also in treating the same. According to the procedure, the cardiologist will review a person’s medical history and also perform certain physical examinations such as checking the weight, heart, blood pressure and the lungs.
When should you see a cardiologist?
If you experience constant chest discomfort
Chest pain could often have many other causes like heartburn. But the repeated occurrence of any discomfort in the chest should definitely be investigated by the cardiologist to rule out serious problems.
If you have been a smoker
If you are a smoker or if you were a smoker in the past, you have an increased risk of developing heart diseases. Smoking not only damages the arteries’ lining but also adds to the buildup of plaque which could potentially cause serious blockages.
If you have high blood pressure
Blood pressure is indicative of the blood’s force against the walls of the artery as it passes by. If the pressure is high for a long period then the arteries will narrow or become damaged.
If you have diabetes
The blood glucose levels are elevated in diabetics. This can damage the blood vessels and the nerves responsible for controlling the heart. People who have Type 2 diabetes are more susceptible to suffering increased risk factors like high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure.
If you have high cholesterol
The body produces both good and bad cholesterol. The bad cholesterol or LDL contributes to the build of plaque in the arteries. The good cholesterol or HDL is supposed to carry this plague away to break it down and have it eliminated from the body. If there is an imbalance in the levels of HDL or LDL then this will negatively impact your heart’s health.
If there is a family history of heart problems
If you are able to confirm that there have been serious cases of heart problems running through the family, then you should definitely see a cardiologist. If you have a first-degree relative who has experienced heart problems, this increases the odds that you probably will too.
Other conditions that run in the family like diabetes or high blood pressure could also increase the risk of heart disease.
If you have Preeclampsia
This is a condition where an expectant mother has developed high levels of blood pressure. This condition is linked to a fourfold increase for heart failure risk. This makes pregnancy a dangerous time. Consulting with a good cardiologist is crucial is such stages.
If you have gum disease
Gum disease causes inflammation which is a threat to the heart. A harmful bacteria known as periodontitis is produced when there is gum disease. This flows into the bloodstream and causes inflammation in other body parts. Pain or swelling in the leg could also be a bad sign.
It is important to take all these factors into consideration if you are wondering whether you need to see a cardiologist.