Has it been a while since the last time you saw your cardiologist? That may be a good sign that you’re feeling well. But we know that preparing for your routine cardio check-up may feel a little daunting. You have so many questions. We know that you want to take good care of yourself. So how can you be as prepared as possible for your next appointment? We know you’re wondering because, for years, we’ve heard from patients who have felt like you. To give you confidence that you’re doing everything you need to do to have a productive appointment with your doctor, we’ve compiled a list of questions you can have in your pocket, ready to ask, for your next appointment.

1. What lifestyle changes can I make to promote heart health?

A heart-healthy lifestyle isn’t achieved by one dramatic action but by an accumulation of healthy behavior over a long period. A great question to ask your doctor is what lifestyle changes you can make to your everyday life to promote heart health. But before you ask how to live in the future, you must be honest with how you live today. It’s common for patients to tell partial truths to their cardiologist because they’re embarrassed that they’re not making better choices. We understand. However, we can’t help guide patients who aren’t honest with themselves or us about how their everyday behaviors affect their cardiovascular health. 

2. How can I learn more about my diagnosis?

Have you been diagnosed with a cardiovascular condition? To some, a diagnosis is freeing. With more information, you may feel empowered to make better choices for your health. On the other hand, many patients avoid seeing their doctors because they’re afraid to open that can of worms. As hard as it can be to face a diagnosis head-on, it’s the best way to proceed. Next time you meet with your doctor for a check-up, come prepared with questions (specific or general) about your condition. The more you know, the better.

3. What foods should I avoid?

Nutrition is one of the most complicated and misunderstood segments of healthcare. If there is a diet you’re interested in, you can find an article suggesting it’s the best thing for your health and another article suggesting it’s the worst. Companies large and small sell products that promote heart health, from supplements to Cheerios. If you feel confused about which foods to enjoy and which to pass at the grocery store, speak with your doctor for some definitive advice.

4. What exercise is safe for me?

Diet and exercise are two essential elements of a heart-healthy life. Just as there is an endless amount of nutritional information on the internet, there is also infinite information about fitness. The risk of taking internet advice for what kind of exercise you should try is that it doesn’t take into account your health. Only a cardiologist familiar with your heart health can give you safe and accurate advice for your exercise routine. Next time you’re meeting with your doctor, ask what exercise is safe and healthy for you to pursue.

Your cardiologist is your best partner on the journey to better heart health. No one knows your case better or can give more targeted advice. Take advantage of your relationship with your doctor; don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more you know about your heart health, the better you’ll be at caring for yourself. Contact our office today if you’d like to schedule an appointment with a doctor to have your questions answered.