Heart health should be a top priority because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and can lead to heart attack. According to the CDC someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds in the United States. A heart attack is life-altering and can even be fatal. Proper cardiac care provided by a cardiologist is essential for heart health if you are at risk of heart disease, including heart attack.
When meeting with your cardiologist being honest is key to ensure proper cardiac care and optimal heart health. Lying to your cardiologist can lead to further heart problems, including heart attack. There are five secrets that you shouldn’t ever keep from your cardiologist.
You’re Taking Vitamins and/or Supplements
Many people turn to alternative therapies including vitamins and supplements to help them manage health conditions that they have. From a cardiac care stand-point, some of these supplements can actually interfere with heart medications that you may have been prescribed by your cardiologist. Be upfront about all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbal remedies and supplements that you are taking in order to avoid a potentially deadly combination.
You’re Seeing Other Doctors
Many people seek out a second opinion on their condition from another doctor, but fail to mention this to their cardiologist. It is vital that your cardiac care specialist have all of the pieces of the puzzle to provide you with the best care possible. Don’t worry, you won’t offend your cardiologist by getting a second option, they are they to provide you will the best care possible and sometimes this involves multiple healthcare providers.
You’ve Stopped Taking Your Medication (or you didn’t even fill the prescription!)
It’s important to take your medication as prescribed from your cardiologist, but if you haven’t been taking it – tell them. Many patients believe that changing their diet and lifestyle habits (for example -exercising more, quitting smoking, etc.) means that they don’t have to take their prescribed medication. While changing lifestyle factors can have a positive effect on your health, you may still require the medication for optimal heart health. Also, if you’re supposed to be taking blood pressure medication and you aren’t and your cardiologist takes your blood pressure and its high you may be prescribed unnecessary medications.
You’re Stressed Out
Serious life events such as a death of a loved one, the loss of a job, the end of a marriage, etc., can cause extreme levels of stress which can increase your blood pressure significantly. Tell your cardiologist about significant life stressors that may be affecting you so that they can monitor you more closely during these times to help prevent a heart attack from occurring.
You’re Not Following Your Exercise Plan
Saying that you’re exercising regularly when you’re not isn’t going to improve your heart health. And lying about it may actually create more of a problem for you. If your cardiologist asks you if you’re exercising and you say yes – they believe you. If your cardiologist then asks if you have any chest pain and you say no, – they believe that you don’t have chest pain, even when exercising. If you lied about exercising, you could have chest pain if your heart was actually stressed. If you tell your doctor the truth – that you haven’t been exercising – he/she can perform a stress test to determine how your heart will respond under the stress of physical activity. This will give them a more accurate picture of your heart health.
It is important to find a cardiologist that you have a good relationship with and feel comfortable telling the truth to. Don’t feel embarrassed to tell your doctor the truth, lying to your cardiologist will only hurt you in the long run. Being upfront and honest with your cardiologist will help to prevent a devastating heart attack. Do you really want to suffer a possibly fatal heart attack because you were too embarrassed to tell your doctor the whole truth?