Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States, with one in four deaths related to the disease. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, John Ribadeneyra, MD, Kate Wogan, FNP, and the team at Pavilion Family Medicine can assist you at his practice in Montrose, Colorado. They help you manage heart disease and its risk factors to improve your quality of life and lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the future. Call to schedule an appointment today or book one online.

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What is heart disease?

Heart disease involves numerous conditions that negatively affect your heart, including blood vessels, heart rhythm, heart muscle, or heart valve disorders, just to name a few. You may experience narrowed or blocked arteries that cause:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Congenital heart defects, which is a form of heart disease, develop in babies before they are born.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

If you experience any or some of the following symptoms, it could indicate a problem with your heart:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest tightness or pressure
  • Pain or numbness in your arms or legs
  • A racing heartbeat
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale blue or gray skin
  • Swelling in your legs, hands, feet, or abdomen

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a heart attack or stroke, so check in with your doctor right away, report to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.

What are the risk factors for heart disease?

Having a family history of heart disease increases your risk of developing the disease. Other heart disease risk factors include:

  • Advanced age
  • Smoking
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Diabetes
  • Some chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapies
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Being sedentary

Many of these risk factors are preventable, which is why regular checkups with your doctor are so important.

How is heart disease treated?

If you have or are at risk of heart disease, your provider reviews treatment options with you. Treatment might include:

  • Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as not smoking and limiting alcohol
  • Following a healthy low-sodium diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and healthy fats
  • Losing weight if you’re overweight
  • Controlling blood sugar if you have prediabetes or diabetes
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Taking medications to control blood pressure, cholesterol, or heart disease
  • Having heart surgery if necessary

Your provider may refer you to a heart specialist if heart disease progresses, is severe or requires surgery.

Call the Pavilion Family Medicine office to book an appointment to get screened for or manage heart disease. You can also use the online scheduler to request a consultation.