A Cardiologist is a Board-Certified Doctor who treats and diagnoses all conditions and problems of the heart. They also diagnose and treat conditions related to blood pressure. When searching for a Cardiologist, it is very important that you choose a physician that you feel comfortable with, and are able to easily communicate with. Your primary healthcare provider (Internal Medicine or Family Medicine) can facilitate a referral to a cardiologist, and you can also do your due diligence by checking the credentials and practice style of the doctor. At myDoqter, you have access to patient feedback about doctors, and you can also see the professional recommendations given by other physicians who have witnessed first-hand the expertise and professional competency of your doctor.
Medical doctors who specialize in Cardiology undergo a strict educational and training curriculum, in order to acquire the level of expertise required to provide you with the highest level of medical care. The following illustrates the training requirements of a Cardiologist:
CARDIO from the Greek word ‘cardio’ for ‘heart’ + LOGY from the Greek word ‘logia’ which means ‘logic’ or ‘the study of’.
Cardiologists treat an extensive list of heart conditions, including:
Cardiovascular or heart disease: heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.
Heart disease, related to the atherosclerosis process, which refers to plaque buildup in the arteries. A buildup of plaque can narrow the arteries, and then lead to a Heart Attack or Stroke from loss of supply of blood and oxygen to the heart or brain, respectively. This is particularly worsened if a blood clot forms.
Heart attack, which occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart gets obstructed by a blood clot and/or due to the narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart.
Chest pain: Acute, unexpected pain in the chest. This may be the case with a heart attack, but also with conditions like pericarditis (inflammation or swelling of the membrane that surround the heart, and which is often caused by viruses).
High blood cholesterol and triglycerides: These disorders are associated with lipid (fatty substances) in the blood stream, and could eventually build up and cause hardening of the blood vessels of the heart (atherosclerosis).
Stroke, which occurs when the blood flow to a part of the brain gets obstructed by a blood clot and/or due to the narrowing of the arteries that supply the brain.
Heart Failure, which is associated with the heart not being able to pump enough blood, and therefore not meeting the body’s requirements for blood and oxygen levels.
High Blood Pressure, also known as Hypertension, given by increased pressure of the blood within the blood vessels, which can lead to stroke, heart disease and many complications.
Arrhythmia, which refers to an abnormal heart rhythm that could be either too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or simply be irregular.
Heart valve problems, having to do with irregularities of the opening or closing of these valves which guide the flow of blood within the heart chambers.
Ultimately, Prevention is the key to long lasting health, and is a most important step when dealing with the health of your heart. During your visit to the cardiologist, you will also receive important information regarding how best to prevent heart disease and stroke. Important topics will be:
Make sure to discuss all these options and other preventive medicine recommendations with your doctor.
For more information about Cardiology and on Heart Disease and Prevention, you can visit the following sites: