A cardiologist is a specialized physician who specializes in heart disease. Typically, you would be referred to a cardiologist by your primary care physician or your concierge medical doctor depending on their medical assessment. With heart disease being the number one leading cause for Americans, it is important to stay vigilant about your heart health and seek a cardiologist if you have signs of heart disease.
Common Reasons To See a Cardiologist
Symptoms That Are Concerning
The most common reason that patients begin to see a cardiologist is due to concerning symptoms. Chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, fainting episodes, extreme fatigue, and difficulty swallowing are some of the most concerning symptoms that could indicate that there could be a cardiac issue. Some symptoms, like nausea, is a symptom that is not typically a concern on its own. However, when these symptoms are combined with cold sweats or chest pain, they should be evaluated immediately.
Whether you see a traditional doctor or a concierge medical physician, lab work is used in order to gauge levels in your system such as cholesterol, electrolytes, cardiac biomarkers, blood sugar, and more. Depending on the results, doctors are able to tell if you are at greater risk for certain cardiac diseases or events and figure out a treatment plan to best suit your healthcare needs.
Family History of Heart Disease
Have you ever wondered why patient intake paperwork usually includes extensive family history? This is due to hereditary ties between families. A thorough family history can help physicians determine the health risks that they should be aware of. The American Heart Association found through their studies that patients who have genetic risks for heart disease have double the risk for a cardiac event such as a heart attack or stroke. There are actionable steps that you and your medical provider can take to prevent cardiac issues with lifestyle changes such as: diet, exercise, and medication management.
Related Conditions or Diseases
Your concierge medical doctor or traditional physician may refer you to a cardiologist if you have conditions such as: diabetes, kidney or liver disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other conditions that may affect the heart. Having any of these conditions may put you at risk for cardiovascular problems. It is best to check with your doctor if you would benefit from seeing a cardiologist once diagnosed with a related condition.
Find a Cardiologist in Chicago
A cardiologist will be able to help screen, prevent, and treat cardiovascular events or conditions. If you feel that you could benefit from seeing a cardiologist, ask your healthcare provider for a referral to see the specialist. Most specialists work with your current health team, so that everyone can remain on the same page regarding your care.