Heart and Vascular

What to Ask Your Primary Care Provider About Heart Care

Feb 14 2024

The following piece was written by Dino Morello, MD, a primary care physician at Mercy Health – Kings Mills Primary Care.

Discussing heart care with your primary care provider is crucial in your journey to optimal health and preventing cardiovascular conditions. From understanding risk factors to managing overall cardiac well-being, an informed discussion with your primary care provider can pave the way for proactive heart care.

Here are some essential questions and topics I think you should consider as you engage in this vital conversation.

Start by understanding the basics of heart health.

Ask your primary care provider about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and a balanced diet to keep your heart in good shape.

Find out about the risk factors associated with heart disease.

Talk to your provider about factors, like high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diabetes and your family history of heart problems. It’s also important to ask about screenings that can help identify these risks early on.

Ask for guidance on lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.

Your provider can advise you on quitting smoking, managing stress and maintaining a healthy weight.

Learn about the warning signs and symptoms of heart disease.

Ask about things like chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and any other unusual changes in your physical well-being. Knowing when to seek medical attention for these symptoms is crucial.

If you need to, please ask when to see a cardiologist for further evaluation.

Your provider can explain the criteria for a referral to a specialist, especially if you have risk factors or concerning symptoms that require specialized care.

Discuss the development of a personalized prevention plan.

Talk to your provider about creating a plan tailored to your health needs. This plan may include risk assessments, health screenings and interventions to address any modifiable risk factors you may have.

Having open conversations with your primary care provider about heart health helps you take a comprehensive approach to caring for your heart. It gives you the knowledge to make informed decisions and take proactive steps toward a healthy lifestyle.

And don’t forget to schedule regular follow-ups to keep track of your progress and address any new heart concerns that may come up. Together, you and your provider can work toward a heart-healthy future.

Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our online heart risk assessment today.

Also, learn about the primary care and heart and vascular care services we provide at Mercy Health.

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