February 09, 2016
Everyone wants to avoid heart disease, but many people don’t start living a healthier lifestyle until it’s already too late. The best way to prevent heart disease is to determine if you are at risk sooner than later. Here are some early signs to look out for.
Begin by researching your family’s history of heart disease — starting with your mother and father, and then your grandparents. Ask if anyone has or has had heart disease. Then, with your doctor, make a plan for healthy eating, exercise, and other lifestyle changes to manage your health.
“Just because your family has a history of cardiovascular disease, does not mean that you will certainly have the same diseases, it just means that you are more likely to have them. Heart disease is not imminent, and your health can be managed by making lifestyle changes,” said Michael Miller, MD, professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Both women and men should pay attention to physical symptoms, and any new or continuing health concerns that may hint at underlying heart problems. While signs of heart disease may vary, the following should not be ignored, and should be discussed with a doctor:
In all cases, it is best to sit down with your doctor to discuss signs and symptoms. With your doctor’s advice, map out a conclusive preventative plan that will work best for you, and in today’s technical society, sometimes your doctor is just a click away.
“More and more physicians are encouraging patients to email questions and concerns between medical visits,” said Barry Jacobs, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and Director of Behavioral Sciences at the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pennsylvania. “Whatever the mode of communication, patients still need to be willing to voice doubts and confusion to work effectively.”
Observation, communication and following a doctor’s plans are key to preventing heart disease.