Is your heart screening appointment coming up? If so, it’s normal to feel anxious and nervous beforehand. However, there’s nothing to worry about as the test is vital in identifying any signs or potential risk factors that could cause heart disease and other heart conditions.
To help ease your nerves, here are five things to expect during your heart check-up appointment.
1. Blood pressure
Expect your private cardiologist to check your blood pressure levels during your heart check-up. This test is vital as high blood pressure is a major sign of heart disease. That’s why it’s crucial to have your blood pressure checked regularly and not only during your heart screening appointment.
2. Family history
Generally, if people in your immediate family have a history of heart disease, you’re at a higher risk of developing it too. So, your private cardiologist will ask detailed questions about your family’s medical history and heart health.
Familiarise yourself with your family’s history before the appointment and be honest with your doctor when answering questions.
During a heart check-up, your doctor will measure the amount of cholesterol in your body to ensure they’re not too high. The ideal total cholesterol is 5mmol/L or lower. If yours is higher, your private cardiologist may prescribe medication or recommend certain lifestyle changes such as eating foods with good cholesterol.
Being obese or overweight increases your likelihood of developing heart disease because of your body’s high-fat content. Therefore, expect your doctor to take measurements of your weight and height to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) to determine whether you’re in a healthy weight range.
If not, they’ll recommend healthy lifestyle changes such as exercising and eating balanced and nutritious meals.
It’s no secret that lifestyle habits significantly impact your overall health, including your heart health. So, don’t feel offended when your cardiologist asks questions about your lifestyle, including how and what you eat, whether you drink or smoke, how you manage stress, and whether you’re physically active or not.
All these questions give your doctor a better idea of your lifestyle and what you can change to help you prevent heart disease.
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