Scheduling regular checkups with your doctor is a great way to take charge of your health, identify potential health issues, and understand how your lifestyle affects your overall health. To help you get the most out of your next doctor’s visit, we’ve put together some heart-related health issues you should consider speaking to your doctor about. Then, for a quick and easy list of heart health questions to ask your doctor, download our Heart Health Checklist and take it with you the next time you see your doctor!
Understand Your Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol helps build healthy cells and molecules, but too much of it can be dangerous for your health. High cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to grow in your blood vessels, which, if left untreated, can create clots that cause heart attacks or strokes 1. Make sure you understand what your cholesterol numbers mean, and if they’re too high, ask about your options for lowering it.
Ask About Your Diet
A well-balanced diet can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s a good idea to ask your doctor about eating habits 2. Gather a rough idea of your intake of processed foods, sugar, sodium, and fat, and ask your doctor if they recommend any changes. Oftentimes, doctors may suggest patients “watch their diet,” but don’t give additional details. In this case, ask your doctor about what kinds of foods you should be eating more of, which to avoid, and how to read labels.
Discuss Your Activity Level
Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to strengthen your heart, but it’s critical you exercise correctly 3. If you’re new to exercising, be sure to ask for pointers on how to get started without harming yourself. If you already live an active lifestyle, review your activities with your doctor to ensure you’re doing what you can to protect your joints, muscles, and heart.
LEARN MORE: 5 Heart-Healthy Hobbies To Add In Your Life
Review Your Medications And Dietary Supplements
Go over your dietary supplements and medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) with your doctor. If you have questions about dosage, side effects, or taking medications or supplements at the same time, be sure to ask them. Between visits, you should track your experience with your medications and supplements, and be prepared to discuss anything out of the ordinary.
This is also a great time to bring up any new medications or supplements you’ve heard about. For example, let’s look at Ubiquinol, a heart-healthy supplement that promotes healthy aging. Read up on some questions to ask your doctor about Ubiquinol, and create similar questions for other dietary supplements or medications you have questions about. Bringing a few related printouts or screenshots can help you and your doctor have a more productive conversation and determine if the supplement or medication is right for you.
Of course, your doctor’s visit will be unique to you, your lifestyle, and your health concerns. Before going to the doctor, take a few minutes to review your health since the last visit and make a note of anything you’re unsure about. To make preparing easier, download our Heart Health Checklist and bring it with you next time you see your doctor!
This article is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as or substituted for medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified health care provider with any questions about your health or a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on the internet.