CMO Patient Blog Heart Health Month Orange County

Check-ups Make the Heart Grow Stronger

It’s Valentine’s Day when, one way or another, we all start pondering the nature of love.   

Some look to signs from the universe, plucking petals from flowers hoping for an odd number, “she loves me; she loves me not; she loves me!  We’ll stop there…”   

You might dissect text messages looking for clues, “he texted me at 1:42 which is almost 1:43.  I’ll take it!”   

And for star-crossed lovers you may explore tests like “out of sight, out of mind” or “absence makes the heart grow fonder?”  

Well, on this last one we have some answers for you.  Because whatever absence may do for your love life, it’s not the key to unlocking a healthy heart.  Here you want checking in, not checking out.   

Yes, “check-ups make the heart grow stronger.” 

Here at Caduceus, we have you covered.  Because heart checkups don’t just mean seeing a cardiologist and getting an EKG.  We’ll get to that.  First, remember that heart disease remains the number one cause of death for men, and yes, women.  50% of Americans have at least one risk factor.   

And most importantly it’s preventable. 

You can review our February Heart Health Newsletter for simple lifestyle changes that make a big difference.  Things like eating more fruits and vegetables, starting the day with a healthy breakfast, taking more walks and getting more sleep. Relaxation exercises, hobbies, yes even laughing.  Why do you think these blogs have so many amazing puns? 

Then there’s time to see the doctor.  Recall, 1 in 2 Americans have a risk factor for heart disease.  Do you have high blood pressure? Heart health. Diabetes? Heart health. High cholesterol? Heart health. Trying to lose weight, cut back on drinking alcohol, or exercise more?  Heart health, heart health, heart health. 

While many are familiar with the common signs of heart disease in adults – chest pain, shortness of breath, perhaps unusual sensations in the left arm – recall that in women these symptoms may be more subtle – like indigestion, heartburn, nausea or vomiting, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath. 

Now in some cases lifestyle changes alone will be enough to protect your valuable ticker.  Others may need medication.  Even a few.  In addition to routine blood work monitoring, things like cholesterol, blood glucose, and other key markers, your healthcare team may look at tests and imaging like echocardiograms, the leveled-up stress echocardiograms, and home heart rate monitors. 

But let’s not forget about the EKG.  In clinical studies it is 98% accurate in identifying people at risk for a major cardiac event in the next 30 days.  And it’s not just adults. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points outs that 1 in 100 children are born with heart disease.  Another 1 in 25 of youths aged 12-19 have high blood pressure.  One in 6 youths have obesity.  And early onset diabetes is on the rise. 

To address this growing trend, Caduceus is offering free pediatric EKG’s for the month of February.  Whether your child has and concerning symptoms or risk factors, or needs their routine sports physical, Heart Health Awareness month is here for the whole family. 

In conclusion, Valentine’s Day is a time to remember all the hearts in your life.  And the first step in ensuring heart health is checking in.  Whether it’s a healthier diet, more frequent walks, consistent sleep, or a visit to the office – there are plenty of signs and clues available to protect the ones you love. 

Contact our care team on our dedicated appointment line at 844-807-8558  for your complimentary pediatric EKG, for an adult physical exam, and for a well-women annual checkup.

Nathaniel DeNicola MD
Chief Medical Officer
Caduceus Medical Group and PDQ Urgent Care & More