If you have a history of heart disease in your family and you don't feel that your heart is functioning at its best, and your family physician can't do enough for you, it's time to see a heart doctor. If you know you need to make changes in your life and you worry your life could be in danger, you could be near having a heart attack and not know it.
You'll want to talk with your regular doctor about the suspicions you're having, or talk with a cardiac specialist to see what needs to be done before the appointment with the heart doctor. Do the following before you get to the appointment so you don't waste any more time.
Get Blood Work
Have blood work taken so the heart doctor can see your cholesterol levels, your sodium levels and other things in the blood that may determine you have a heart problem. The heart doctor will want recent reports to accurately put you on medicine, or to diagnose the problem. The blood work may also show if you have other problems that affect your ability to exercise, digest food and more.
Do an Ultrasound
If the heart doctor wants you to have an ultrasound of the heart completed, ask if you can get the order before your appointment so the doctor can go over the test with you. The ultrasound may show there is a major blockage and you need to have immediate surgery, or that there are other problems that need addressing. Your family doctor may be able to order this in advance.
Complete a Stress Test
The stress test will show how your heart responds to physical stress and exertion, and if you haven't had one recently you'll want to do one before your trip to the doctor so they can see how strong or weak the heart is. You'll need an order for this from the specialist or your regular doctor.
If you already know you have heart problems and your family physician isn't being aggressive enough with treating your condition, don't mess around and see a cardiac expert. You want to know that your heart is doing what it needs to so you can keep living and you want to get on any medication necessary to keep it healthy. Make an appointment with a specialist and try to get all of these things taken care of right away.
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