FAQs

Q: What does a cardiologist do on your first visit?

A: Your cardiologist might complete a medical examination. This includes checking your weight and testing for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.

Q: What kind of tests does a cardiologist do?

A:A cardiologist is a healthcare provider who can treat chest pain, high blood pressure and heart failure, as well as problems with your heart valves, blood vessels and other heart and vascular issues. They can order tests like electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and CTs (computed tomography) to find out what’s wrong.

Q: How do I know if my heart is OK?

A:An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart. The ECG reflects what’s happening in different areas of the heart and helps identify any problems with the rhythm or rate of your heart. The ECG is painless and takes around 5-10 minutes to perform

Q: What is the first stage of heart failure?

A:Common early symptoms of heart failure include: shortness of breath. difficulty exercising. fatigue and weakness.

Q: What test shows a heart blockage?

A:A CT coronary angiogram can reveal plaque buildup and identify blockages in the arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. Prior to the test, a contrast dye is injected into the arm to make the arteries more visible. The test typically takes 30 minutes to complete.

Q: What is a stress test at the cardiologist?

A: A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, shows how your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster, an exercise stress test can reveal problems with blood flow within your heart.

Q: Will bloodwork show heart problems?

A:What your cholesterol levels and other substances in your blood can tell you about your heart health. Your blood may offer many clues about your heart health. For example, high levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood can be a sign that you’re at increased risk of having a heart attack.

Q: Is heart failure a death sentence?

A:Heart failure happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in your body. Heart failure is a serious condition, but it does not mean that the heart has stopped beating. Although it can be a severe disease, heart failure is not a death sentence, and treatment is now better than ever.

Q: What does a blockage in the heart feel like?

A:A completely blocked coronary artery will cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing chest pain or pressure, shoulder or arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating. Women may have less typical symptoms, such as neck or jaw pain, nausea and fatigue.

Q: How can I make my heart stronger?

A:7 powerful ways you can strengthen your heart

Q: Can walking reduce heart blockage?

A:Based on a meta-analysis, Zheng and colleagues 1 estimate that 8 MET hours/week of walking (approximately 30 minutes/day, 5 days/week, consistent with PA recommendations 2 is associated with a 19% reduction in coronary heart disease (CHD) risk.

1 Zheng H, Orsini N, Amin J, et al. Quantifying the dose-response of walking in reducing coronary heart disease risk: meta-analysis

2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2008 

Q: Can exercise unblock arteries?

A: For now, research doesn’t support the use of specific foods to unclog arteries, though small studies in animals show promise for the future. Losing weight, exercising more, or eating less cholesterol-rich foods are all steps you can take to reduce plaques, but these steps won’t remove existing plaques.