If heart disease runs in your family, you may be worried you will develop it too. However, your family’s history doesn’t have to have an effect on you if you take initiative. While genetics are a large factor behind heart disease, so is lifestyle and not taking preventative measures. Below are a few precautions to take if heart disease is in your genes.
Tell Your Doctor
Fill your doctor in on any family members that have suffered a heart attack or stroke. It’s also a good idea to let your doctor know if you have a family member with a heart murmur or heart rhythm problem. Immediate family members such as parents, brothers or sisters matter the most.
See a Doctor Regularly
It’s essential that you see a doctor routinely. You should get basic screening tests such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checks. Your doctor will also want to know basics such as your weight, your activity level and if you’re a smoker. Your doctor may also recommend some basic cardiology tests such as an EKG, stress test or echocardiogram.
Assess Your Lifestyle
While you can’t change your genetics, you can control your lifestyle choices. Take a step back and take a look at your diet, activity level, smoking habits, etc. Find out where you can clean things up and start small. Maybe you can cut down to one soda a day or start working out three days a week. Any improvements will help reduce your risk of heart disease.
If heart disease runs in your family, you should see a doctor for routine screening. Consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care–we have physicians that are board-eligible in family medicine or emergency medicine, offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it and are even open after hours or on the weekend.
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.