What Is A Cardiologist And Why Might You Need One?

A cardiologist is a highly-trained doctor that specialises in the heart, blood vessels and the cardiovascular system. Cardiologists diagnose and treat heart-related illnesses and diseases.

The conditions that are most commonly treated by a cardiologist include hypertension, heart disease, a heart murmur and heart attacks. Cardiologists usually practice preventative medicine and can diagnose then treat the disease. They also perform heart surgery and are often at the forefront of developing new procedures.

What Is A Cardiologist And Why Might You Need One?

What Is Preventative Medicine?

Most heart conditions are chronic and usually classed as long-term. The cardiologist will try to minimise or reverse the effects on the body from heart disease.They will perform a physical examination to evaluate the current condition of a patient’s heart and from there they will be able to predict any future heart complications or may decide to do further tests to diagnose a potential heart related problem.

A cardiologist may prescribe medicine to lessen the effects of heart disease as well as offering lifestyle guidance that includes changes to diet and exercise habits to improve and prevent heart problems.  

Diagnostic Testing

The most common diagnostic tool used by cardiologists is called an echocardiogram, most commonly referred to as an ECG. An ECG will be able to determine the health of the patient’s heart and the cardiologist can then interpret the results to form a long-term health plan for the patient. Other diagnostic testing may include blood tests, urine tests and stress tests. Sometimes a cardiologists may even decide to conduct a cardiac catheterisation which means that they use a tiny camera to have a look inside the heart.  

Electrophysiology

This is a specialist treatment that is confined to cardiology. It focuses on treating heart rhythm disorders like a heart murmur. Cardiologists implant pacemakers during a short surgical procedure. The electrophysiology can also mean that the heart will receive an electric shock that will either restart the heart or help it maintain a natural rhythm.  

When Do You Need A Cardiologist?

Here are the top 10 reasons why you may need to visit a London Cardiovascular Clinic;

  1. Family history-This is pretty self-explanatory but if anyone in your immediate family has a heart problem then there’s a high chance you could have one too. A trip to the cardiologist will put your mind at ease. Early diagnosis aids successful treatment.
  1. You’re diabetic-If you think you experience any heart problems and you’re a diabetic then it’s best to see a cardiologist straight away before it gets even more serious. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease considerably.
  1. You have heart pain-Have a look online for symptoms of heart disease and see if they link up. If you’re unsure if it is your heart, make an appointment to see your GP and they advise if you need a referral.
  1. Your GP recommended it-This one is a given. If another health professional has recommended that you see a cardiologist then make an appointment.  
  1. You’re a smoker or used to smoke-Smoking is contributing factor to heart disease. If you smoke then you’re at risk and should get checked out.  
  1. High blood pressure-If you have high blood pressure or a high systolic measurement then you should take a trip to your cardiologist to make sure everything is functioning properly.
  1. Preeclampsia-this is a dangerous condition that can occur during pregnancy. If you have preeclampsia you’re two times more likely to have heart disease, thus you may be advised to see a cardiologist.
  1. Gum disease-people who have swollen or inflamed gums can have or develop heart disease.  
  1. High cholesterol-The higher your total cholesterol the more likely you are to experience heart problems.   
  1. You’re starting to exercise-if you’re over 40 and have decided to start a new exercise program, then make sure your heart gets checked over first.

Hopefully now you have a better understanding of why you may need to see a cardiologist and what’s involved in the process. Remember, heart disease is often very treatable, so take the advice of a cardiologist seriously – they have spent years in training to give you the best chance of better heart health.

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