Whether you’re visiting a heart specialist for the first time or just going for a follow-up on your test results, there are certain things that your cardiologist wants you to know. Since heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in Singapore, being educated about the disease and the treatment options for it is crucial. To help you prevent developing a heart disease – or lead a healthy life even if you’re suffering from the disease – we have listed down some of the important things that your practitioner wants you to know even before your consultation period begins.
1. A Heart Disease Diagnosis is a Step-By-Step Approach
Regardless if you’re a first-time or a follow-up patient, understand that diagnosing and dealing with a heart condition is a process. For instance, first-timer patients should provide a detailed information about their current health condition. This is then followed by some investigation and screening tests, and once the condition has been diagnosed, your Singapore cardiologist will now proceed to treating it accordingly.
For follow-up patients, however, the case might be slightly different since the specialist will check on any changes that might have occurred since your last visit. Hence, the approach to diagnosing and treating a heart disease varies from person to person.
2. Take Medications as Suggested By Your Cardiologist
If you have been experiencing a heart problem or have high blood pressure and cholesterol, then it would be best to take medications as recommended by your cardiologist. If you failed to take the prescriptions for a while, then bring it to your doctor’s attention on your next visit. Also, if any side effect occurs, stop taking your medications and inform your practitioner about it so he will be able to prescribe a new set of medicines for you.
3. Never Ignore Any Symptoms of Heart Disease
Most people often ignore acidity thinking that it’s not a symptom of heart attack – but failing to recognize it a symptom before you see a cardiologist doctor in Singapore is what will land you in the hospital when it’s already too late and you have already suffered from a heart attack. So if you ever experience suffering from acidity, take it seriously and bring it to your doctor’s attention on your next visit.
4. Exercise is Crucial for a Healthy Heart
The role of exercising and eating healthy foods in maintaining a healthy heart can’t be emphasized enough. So if you are at risk of experiencing a heart problem or is already suffering from a heart disease, make sure that you lead a physically active lifestyle. If performing a brisk walking routine is not advisable for you, then walk for 30 to 45 minutes for five days a week. It is believed that walking 10,000 steps a day is the key to being healthy and fit. Not only will it help you maintain your weight, it also lowers your risk of diabetes, regulates your blood pressure and keeps your cholesterol level in check.
5. Get Into a Balanced Diet
As far as diet is concerned, make sure that you stick to a basic diet pattern – 60 percent of carbohydrates, 30 percent from fats and 10 percent from proteins. Consume a filling meal for breakfast and a light one for lunch and dinner. As much as possible, avoid snacking or drinking caffeinated drinks between lunch and dinner. If you have undergone surgery or is currently suffering from a heart disease, then it would be best to consult a dietician to know the right amount of calories, minerals and vitamins that you should eat.
6. Don’t Miss Any Blood Tests and Health Check-Ups
According to a cardiologist in Singapore, people who suffer from cardiac ailments like coronary heart block are advised to take blood tests for their follow-up visits and thus, should get it done before their next check-up. Some of the recommended tests include electro angiogram, electrocardiogram (ECG), fasting lipid profile and blood sugar test of the first three months. In some cases, kidney profile tests might also be done especially if you are already suffering from a heart disease and diabetes.
Recently, there have been reported cases of people developing a silent heart attack even if they did not have any history of a heart disease. This is why a routine ECG is recommended to reveal any changes in the heart function and to prevent any risk of heart problems from occurring in the future.
7. Invest in an At-Home Blood Pressure Monitoring Machine
If you are suffering from hypertension, which is a common cause of a heart problem, then it would be best to have your blood pressure checked once a week. In fact, it’s preferable if you check it more often. That said, it would be best to invest in an at-home digital BP machine so you can check your blood pressure frequently or whenever you feel something is wrong. After all, it’s not feasible for anyone to consult a heart specialist every week just to get their blood pressure checked.
A digital blood pressure machine hardly costs a hundred bucks in any health apparatus shops in Singapore, and they work efficiently for more than a year. Although it won’t always give you accurate readings, it will still be able to given some information about the status of your blood pressure – whether it’s low, high or under control.
8. Use Google for Research, Not for Treatment
With today’s technological advancements, getting any information about certain things became easier. Hence, whenever a person falls ill, he or she prefers searching for a treatment option online instead of consulting a Singapore cardiologist. However, self-medication for heart conditions like coronary heart disease or hypertension is not advised as the information found in the internet is generalized and not based on every person’s individual needs.
Google, or the internet as a whole, only acts as a platform to help you better understand your condition but not to give you treatments. That said, make sure that you ask your doctor whether or not the information you found on the internet is valid.
Being educated is crucial in achieving a better heart health. So make sure that you keep these information in mind to make your visit to your cardiologist in Singapore more worthwhile.