Heart disease is easiest to treat when it is identified and treated early. If you’re concerned about developing heart disease, that’s a discussion you should be having with your doctor now. In most cases, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the leading cause of death in the U.S.
Patients in the cardiology care option at Lake Oconee Concierge Medicine can see a board-certified cardiologist for consultations, testing, treatment, and appropriate follow-up care. When you join our membership-based personalized medicine experience, you get VIP medical attention unlike anything you’ve experienced before, including 24/7 doctor availability when needed.
Your cardiologist will take the time necessary to understand your concerns and utilize thorough assessments and diagnostic testing to identify the underlying cause of your symptoms. We can help you get the specialized treatment you need – and we’re here to help you make changes that can halt progression of the problem or even prevent it altogether.
If you or a loved one notice the primary symptoms of heart disease – chest pain and shortness of breath – seek immediate medical attention.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
Many people already have the risk factors for heart disease, which include:
- Lack of exercise
- Uncontrolled diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of all Americans have one of the three most critical risk factors associated with heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking).
Diagnosing Cardiovascular Issues
If your examination, symptoms, health history, or other tests (e.g., blood work) indicate you may have a heart problem, your cardiologist may recommend one of the following ultrasounds – which are among the most common imaging tests used to diagnose a variety of cardiovascular issues.
Ultrasounds are a particularly valuable imaging test for heart issues because they produce clear images of soft internal tissue much better than X-rays and sometimes even better than MRIs. Benefits of diagnostic ultrasound include:
- Clear, detailed images of the heart and blood vessels
- Painless and noninvasive
- Safe – no radiation exposure is involved
- Conveniently performed right here in our office
- Quick – the entire process takes under 30 minutes
The two carotid arteries are located at either side of your neck. These arteries deliver oxygenated blood from your heart to the brain. If plaque builds up inside these critical blood vessels, blood flow becomes restricted and could result in a stroke.
A Doppler ultrasound of the carotid arteries can help your doctor assess the amount and speed of blood flow – and may identify the presence of blood clots. Your doctor may recommend this imaging test if you have a high risk of stroke or have suffered transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), which are sometimes called “mini-strokes” with no known cause.
An echocardiogram, commonly called an “echo,” is a type of ultrasound used to create moving images of your heart as it beats and pumps blood. A Doppler echo can also measure blood flow speed in your heart.
An echocardiogram can provide your doctor with valuable information about cardiovascular issues such as:
Your aorta is the largest artery in the body, extending from the heart down into your abdomen, where it splits into two smaller arteries. The aorta carries oxygenated blood from your heart to the rest of your body.
An ultrasound of your abdomen may be performed to identify the presence of an aneurysm – when an area of the blood vessel distends, ballooning out, due to weak, damaged, or defective artery walls. Aneurysms most often occur in the part of the aorta in the abdomen. The most common cause of an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is arteriosclerosis, a type of cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up on artery walls, which causes the artery walls to harden.
An AAA ultrasound is recommended for adults between 50 - 70, especially those who smoke.
Do you suspect you or a loved one has heart disease or another cardiovascular issue? Make sure to get the care you need from a dedicated specialist.
Learn About Our Membership-Based Cardiology Care
For more information about the membership-based cardiology care you can get at Lake Oconee Concierge Medicine in Eatonton, Georgia, call us at (706) 484-9824 or sign up now for the very best in personalized medicine.