Heart problem is one of the most dreaded diseases in the world. Managing its risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high total cholesterol, or high blood glucose, is the best way to avoid heart problems. But how do you know if you have any of these risk factors? Heart check-ups are the way to find out.
Some heart check-ups should ideally begin as early as age 20, however, others can begin later in life.
Your doctor from a heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh can advise you on which tests to get depending on any symptoms that you have. These symptoms may include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, swelling in feet, nausea, unusual pulse rate, dizziness, etc.
During your heart check-up, your cardiologist may check your weight, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels to monitor your heart health. The cardiologist can also inquire about your medical history and lifestyle patterns, all of which have an effect on your risk of heart disease.
Key Tests in Heart Check-up
1. Blood Pressure Test
2. Cholesterol Test
3. Blood Glucose Test
4. Weight and BMI
5. Other heart tests
Following are the key screening tests that are recommended for determining your heart health:
- Blood Pressure Test: A blood pressure test helps in diagnosing the risk of high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts a greater strain on your heart and can lead to artery damage. If treatment is not sought in time, blood clots can form, which can lead to severe problems such as a heart attack or heart failure.
Starting at the age of 20, one should get a blood pressure test done at least once every two years. High blood pressure can be regulated with medications and lifestyle modifications.
- Cholesterol Test: One should get their cholesterol tested once every 4-5 years after the age of 20. It is important to get a cholesterol test because high cholesterol has no signs, therefore, you can’t even realise that you are at risk unless you get this test done.
This test measures Total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and triglycerides. If your cardiologist diagnoses that you have a higher risk of heart failure or stroke, you may need to be tested more often.
In this case too, medications and lifestyle change can help in managing cholesterol levels.
- Blood Glucose Test: This test determines the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood. A blood glucose test can also be used to determine whether or not you have diabetes. Diabetes, if left unchecked, can lead to heart disease and stroke.
A blood glucose test should be taken every three years starting at the age of 40 for most people.
- Weight and BMI: After the age of 20, your doctor can ask for your waist circumference or use your body weight to measure your body mass index (BMI). This test helps in determining whether you have a healthy body weight and composition.
Obese people are generally at a greater risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues than people with healthy body weight.
- Other heart tests: After the above routine tests, if your doctor diagnoses that you may have heart disease, you may be asked to get tests such as electrocardiography (ECG, EKG), echocardiography, coronary catheter angiography, coronary CT angiography (CTA), cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring, nuclear stress test, and exercise cardiac stress test.
If you are diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor can suggest a range of lifestyle changes, medications, and other treatments to help you manage your heart condition.
Some risk factors such as heredity, increasing age, and gender (men have a greater risk of heart problems according to most studies) cannot be changed. However, there are also some risk factors that can be modified such as weight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle, stress and diet.
Controllable or not, all these risk factors need to be identified to get proper treatment and prevention on time. Regular heart check-ups can help in determining these risk factors, thus maintaining optimum heart health.
To book an appointment with the best heart specialist hospital in Chandigarh, click here: https://healinghospital.co.in/cardiology-department/