In this episode, Dr. G is joined by Ann Davis, MD - Board-Certified Cardiologist, Advocate Medical Group and on staff at Edward-Elmhurst Health, to discuss heart disease and the tests available to detect the disease in its earliest stages.
When it comes to heart disease, there is no one-size-fits-all set of symptoms.
Everybody is different and symptoms can vary. But heart disease is the number one killer of men and women worldwide, so it’s important to get familiar with the possible symptoms and the tests available to detect the disease in its earliest stages.
First, making healthy lifestyle choices and being aware of potential symptoms can go a long way in preventing heart disease. Even small steps — incorporating a daily walk, avoiding processed food, giving meditation a try — can help keep your heart healthy.
If you experience symptoms of heart disease, your primary care physician may recommend tests to figure out what’s going on. Most are easy and relatively non-invasive that can give your doctor a clearer picture of your health.
The bottom line? Take charge of your heart health, because what you do makes a difference. In this episode, Dr. G and his guest, Ann Davis, MD, will detail how to do this and explain some of the tests physicians use to detect heart disease.
Myths vs. Facts
“You can have a heart attack and not know it.” – Fact
Sometimes diabetics can have silent heart attacks that are discovered through later tests.
“Eat healthy, stay active, be smoke-free and limit alcohol to lower your risk of heart disease.” – Fact
A heart-healthy lifestyle can help protect your heart.
“Women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.”– Myth
Sometimes symptoms are hard to recognize. Heart attacks don’t always come with significant chest pain, but can bring symptoms such as nausea, fatigue and shortness of breath.
“If you fail a stress test, you don’t need any further evaluation.” – Myth
Further testing is often required to confirm the test result.
“Heart disease runs in my family, so there’s nothing I can do to prevent it.” – Myth
Family history doesn’t mean you’re doomed to have heart disease. You can do something to prevent it, such as making the right lifestyle choices and checking with your doctor about heart screenings.
“I’m getting older, so fatigue and shortness of breath are normal.” – Myth
If you’re feeling these symptoms, ask your doctor about it.
“A heart scan is a cost-effective way to screen for heart disease.” – Fact
A heart scan is the safest and most accurate screening tool for detecting the early build-up of calcium in the coronary arteries, the most common cause of heart disease.
“There’s a difference between an echocardiogram and an EKG.” – Fact
An echocardiogram provides information about the structure and function of the heart. An EKG provides information about the rhythm of the heart.
“I should wear comfortable clothing for any cardiac test.” – Fact
You’re going to be on a treadmill, so you want to dress for it. Wear athletic shoes and comfortable clothing.
“There are supplements that can help unclog arteries.” – Myth
Also, before taking any supplements, talk to your doctor about your personal dietary plan.
“Exercise is too risky if a woman has heart disease.” – Myth
Exercise is one of the best medicines for heart disease.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
“I lost 100 pounds and feel healthier than ever.” – K.B.