Whether you are getting older or have a family history of heart disease, taking care of your heart should be a top priority. While eating right and exercising are two huge elements of heart health, it’s also important to get the necessary screenings. Not only will they keep you informed about your body, they could also help prevent any heart diseases and let you know what risk factors you might be facing. Here are a few to request from your provider this year.
Blood Pressure Test
While you might have had this one before, it is important that you take a blood pressure test every time you visit your provider. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so without being measured by a healthcare professional, it cannot be detected. This condition can be controlled either through medication or lifestyle changes. Also, women over the age of 65, have a higher risk of high blood pressure than men.
This test is also called a Fasting Lipoprotein Profile. It measures the good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterols as well as triglycerides. Much like blood pressure, older women have a higher chance of high triglyceride levels than men. Also like blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides can be controlled through medications or lifestyle changes.
Body/Weight Index Test
A body weight test uses your waist circumference or your body weight to calculate your body mass index, also known as BMI. This measurement can be used to tell your physician if you are at a healthy body weight. Considering two in three people are overweight or obese, this test is incredibly important. Being overweight or obese puts you at a significantly higher risk for heart disease, as well as stroke and diabetes.
While it might not be exactly like the physicals you had in high school, it is important to discuss your daily physical activities with your healthcare provider. Do you smoke? Are you active or sedentary? What type of diet do you have? All of these factors are important when trying to discern your risk for heart disease.
High glucose levels put you at a higher risk for developing insulin resistance. This can lead to diseases like type 2 diabetes and eventually heart disease and stroke. Have your provider check your blood glucose levels at your next appointment to ensure you are where you need to be.
Stress is a part of every person’s daily life. We are all busy and that leads to being stressed. A stress test consists of exercising to increase your heart rate. This test will show possible signs for heart disease, like abnormal changes in heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm or even your heart’s electrical activity.
This test is simple and painless. It detects and records your heart’s electrical activity, showing the heart beat and rhythm. It also records the strength and time of the electrical signals that pass through your heart. It can show signs of heart damage due to heart disease or even signs of a previous heart attack.
Your heart health is important to us! If you are concerned for your heart health, call us today to schedule an appointment to get screened.