Don’t underestimate preventative care! Visiting your doctor regularly can catch problems before they happen. Three good steps for preventative care are a good diet, regular exercise, and regular doctor visits. Watch this podcast by Kentucky Health to hear from Dr. Henry Sadlo on the importance of preventative cardiology.
“Best Practices to Prevent Heart Disease”
Excerpt from “The Importance of Preventative Cardiology” by Kentucky Health on ket.org.
For over two decades, Sadlo worked as a cardiologist treating heart attacks and other sudden events. Now, he has shifted his practice to focus on preventing cardiac disease, which requires identifying at-risk patients at an earlier age and either stopping the progression of plaque buildup or keeping it from happening in the first place.“Coronary disease is inflammation of the arteries,” Sadlo says. He explains that atherosclerosis begins with initial fatty deposits sticking to the arterial wall, and that over time more deposits gather and then harden into plaque, which causes inflammation, narrows the artery and ultimately obstructs blood flow. If the heart muscle stops receiving a constant supply of blood, it will die, Sadlo says.
Common early warning signs of coronary artery disease are chest pain and tightness and shortness of breath, but Sadlo cautions that some patients may have a plaque rupture leading to a blood clot and then heart attack when they only have 30 to 40 percent blockage, which typically does not cause any symptoms.
“If you do have symptoms, tell your primary care doctor right away,” Sadlo says. “They will decide if you need to see a cardiologist, but the sooner we get to someone with chest pain, for example, we may be able to avoid a bigger deal like a heart attack down the line.”
“Diet is critically important” to maintain coronary health, Sadlo says. He recommends viewers to access the American Heart Association’s website for their Healthy Heart Diet, which he also passes out to his patients in a brochure.
Exercise is also important, Sadlo says. “The two-page brochure that I give out, the first page lists the American Heart Association’s guidelines for aerobic exercise to stay heart healthy. It’s 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobics. That’s equivalent to not jogging or running, but to a brisk walk.”