It’s important to make the most of the time you have with your cardiologist so you can get all of your health questions answered and receive the best care possible. Coming prepared with a list of questions can help maximize your time and open clear lines of communication between you and your doctor. But how do you know which questions you should ask?
While the specific details of your discussion with your cardiologist will depend largely on your individual medical history, we’ve put together a list of five key questions to get the conversation started.
Question #1: Am I At Risk of Having a Heart Attack?
Understanding your risk factors is the first step in improving your health. Discuss what particular factors are putting you at risk and what steps you can take to reduce your risks. For instance, if your weight is a problem, talk to your doctor about how you can adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Question #2: How Does My Family History Affect My Health?
If you have a family history of heart disease, your doctor will probably want to talk about how that history will affect your health plan moving forward. Make sure to compile a complete family health history with all of your close blood relatives going back to your grandparents. The more information your doctor has, the better he or she will be able to assess your risk level.
Question #3: What Can I Do to Improve My Heart Health?
There are several lifestyle factors that can contribute to poor heart health, so make sure you are honest with your doctor about your current lifestyle so you can receive accurate advice for making improvements. These improvements could be as simple as finding ways to reduce stress or as significant as breaking a bad habit, like smoking or overeating.
Question #4: What Are the Signs and Symptoms I Should Look Out For?
If you are at risk for a heart attack, it’s important to know exactly what the warning signs are. Since this can vary based on your gender and history, you’ll want to know what signs you could experience and how to react.
Question #5: What Should My Health Plan Be Moving Forward?
Before you leave your appointment, make sure you have a clear understanding of your health plan going forward. Go ahead and get your next appointment on the calendar and discuss which, if any, diagnostic tests you may need. You should leave your appointment feeling confident that your heart health is in good hands with your cardiologist.
Doctor appointments can often be rushed and hectic. Preparing a list of questions to ask ahead of time is the best way to ensure you and your doctors are on the same page. Knowledge is power—especially when it comes to your heart health.
Don’t get caught unprepared for your appointment – download our checklist of nine things to do before you visit your cardiologist.