A cardiologist specialist falls within the broader term of a cardiovascular specialist.  This means a cardiologist is just one type of cardiovascular specialist, also known as a heart specialist.  If you have recently been referred to a heart specialist, then you must be experiencing chest discomfort or symptoms related to the heart.  At an initial appointment, an evaluation consisting of symptoms, medical history, and possible diagnostic tests will be performed so that the cardiology team can formulate the best treatment plan for you.  

Symptoms suggesting you may need to visit a cardiologist specialist:

  • Chest pains.  Also known as angina, often occurs when the heart does not get enough oxygen.
  • Shortness of breath.  Being unable to catch your breath can be a warning sign of a heart condition.
  • High blood pressure.  This has no symptoms but over time can cause heart disease and a stroke if left untreated.  
  • Dizziness.  Feeling unsteady such as swinging or spinning, can be associated with a heart condition or high blood pressure.
  • Fainting spells.  Having a sudden loss of consciousness can be caused by low blood flow to the brain.  
  • Swelling in the legs.  If you have congestive heart failure, also called CHF, your legs, ankles, and feet can swell due to your lower heart’s chambers lack of ability to pump blood effectively. 
  • Abnormally fast or slow heart rate.  Fluttering, racing, or slow sensations can be a sign of heart disease or disorder.   
  • Leg pain stemming from blood vessel disease.  If one or more arteries in the leg are blocked, the blood supply to the leg will be reduced so the onset of pain, redness, and numbness may occur.
  • Family history.  Heart disease or disorder is hereditary but making lifestyle changes early on can decrease your risk.

Cardiologist specialists are physicians who concentrate on diagnosing and treating heart and blood vessels disease or conditions of the cardiovascular system.  Cardiologist can specialize in many different fields such as general cardiology, vascular medicine, cardiovascular health, and pediatric cardiology to name a few.  They usually work in hospitals as well as private practices.  If your cardiologist specialist decides that surgery is needed, you may then be referred to a cardiovascular surgeon.  Once the surgery is performed, you will resume checkups with your cardiologist specialist for long term monitoring and care.

Cardiologist specialists treat:

  • Heart attacks.  Also known as a myocardial infarction, occurs when a part of the heart muscle does not receive enough blood.  The longer this is left untreated, the greater the damage.
  • Heart failure.  When the heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to support other organs in the body, the heart weakens.  Heart failure can affect the right or left side of the heart or both at the same time.
  • Heart valve disease.  This occurs when the heart valves do not work properly.  When one or more heart valve does not keep the blood flowing in the correct direction, surgery may be required to repair or replace the valve.
  • Arrhythmia.  If electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats do not work correctly, then the beats can become too fast, too slow, or irregular.  This can sometimes be fatal. 
  • High blood pressure.  Also known as hypertension, is when the blood pressure is high causing the heart and blood vessel’s workload to become harder and less effectively.  Over time, this damages tissues inside the artery walls.

Embracing a heart healthy lifestyle at any age can help to prevent heart disease.  It can also lower the chances of having a heart attack or stroke.  Changing bad habits to good habits can have a huge impact on your health, even if you’ve already suffered a heart attack.  Two of the best habits to incorporate to improve your heart health is eating healthier foods and exercising.  Even if you have a family history of heart disease, adjusting the way you live your life can decrease your risk.  

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, finding a cardiologist specialist you are comfortable communicating with is vital to having a successful treatment.  Dr. Corwin Thomas is a board-certified interventional cardiologist who will understand the heart problems you are experiencing and can answer any questions you may have.  He and his highly skilled, competent staff believe in improving the quality of life for all their patients.  To schedule an appointment today with Dr. Corwin Thomas at CT Cardio, call 337-234-3163.  You can also visit the website https://www.ctcardio.com to learn more about the various services they provide.  Be kind to your heart and call CT Cardio today!

Resources:

When to See a Cardiologist – https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org

What is a Cardiologist – https://www.webmd.com

Keeping Your Heart Healthy – https://www.familydoctor.org