Americans are often playfully jabbed about how our bad habits make us overweight and unhealthy, but the reality is that heart problems are serious and there are questions you should be asking a doctor to make sure you’re not making things harder on your body.
Every 33 seconds, someone in America passes away from cardiovascular disease. Despite these alarming statistics, we continue our bad habits and general neglect in finding a doctor and diagnosing our health problems. Here are three questions to ask a cardiologist to be more informed on how to keep your heart healthy and strong:
1. Is my weight affecting how healthy my heart is? This should be at the top of your list of questions to ask a cardiologist. Depending on just how overweight you are, your heart could be on the brink of failure and you may not even realize it. Since 1988, the average weight of an American has increased by about 16 pounds, and it is estimated that 43% of Americans will be considered obese by the year 2018. Carrying around extra weight puts unnecessary strain on your heart, increases blood pressure, and elevates your risk of other diseases such as diabetes.
2. How does my cholesterol level affect my heart? Having normal cholesterol is certainly important in maintaining a healthy heart, but it doesn’t make you immune from having problems. In fact, half of patients who suffer their first heart attack are considered to have “normal” cholesterol levels. If you do have high cholesterol, this increases your chances to have a heart attack and you should understand the importance of routine check ups to make sure your levels are where they should be.
3. I think I eat healthy. Should I still be worried about heart disease? You can eat carrots and celery for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and still have the same risk of heart disease as someone who lies off of donuts and marshmallows. Genetics plays a huge role in many cases of heart disease. An estimated 80 million Americans have some type of heart disease, and a large portion of them are not overweight at all. There is preventative medicine you can be prescribed if a doctor determines that you have a stronger genetic predisposition to heart-related ailments.
Find a doctor near you to determine how healthy your heart is. Come up with your own questions to ask a cardiologist and make sure your habits or genetics isn’t holding you back from living a long and fulfilling life.