Why Family Medicine is ImportantAccording to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. This includes heart attacks, strokes, and other related conditions. In the United States alone, approximately 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, making it the leading cause of death for both men and women. A major contributing factor to these alarming statistics is the lack of proper care and management of heart health.

February marks American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and the steps individuals can take to prevent heart disease. As primary care providers, Dr. Eric Skvarla and Nurse Practitioner Kristine Watson of Epic Medical are committed to helping their patients protect their heart health and reduce their risk of developing CVDs.

Understanding the Role of Primary Care in Heart Health

Primary care is the first line of defense for protecting your heart health. Your primary care physician is your main point of contact for maintaining and managing your overall health, including your heart health. Dr. Skvarla and his team are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. They also work with you to develop a personalized plan for managing these conditions and reducing your risk of developing heart disease.

Here are some of the ways PCP like Epic Medical can help protect your heart health: 

  • Preventive Care & Regular Check-ups

    Preventive care is a key aspect of primary care. This includes regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings for conditions that may increase your risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and sleep apnea. Regular visits to your primary care provider can help detect any early signs of heart disease.

    During these appointments, your provider will conduct a physical exam and may recommend various screenings. These tests can identify potential heart health issues and allow for early intervention and treatment. By staying up-to-date on preventive care, you can help maintain your overall health and decrease your risk of developing heart disease.

  • Lifestyle Modifications

    One of the most significant risk factors for heart disease is an unhealthy lifestyle. Your primary care provider can work with you to make positive lifestyle changes such as:

    • Quitting smoking
    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Incorporating regular exercise into your routine
    • Eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
    • Managing stress levels

    By making small changes in your daily habits, you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Medication Management

    If you have been diagnosed with a condition that increases your risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, your primary care provider will work with you to manage any necessary medications. This may include monitoring your medication use, adjusting dosages, and checking for any potential interactions with other medications.

  • Referrals to Specialists

    In some cases, your primary care provider may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment. This could include a cardiologist for heart-specific concerns or other specialists such as a nutritionist or physical therapist to help manage risk factors like high blood pressure or obesity. Your PCP will work closely with these specialists to ensure that you receive comprehensive care and support.

The Importance of Your Relationship with Your PCP

Having a trusting relationship with your primary care provider can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to protecting your heart health. By regularly checking in with your PCP, they can track changes in your health and address any concerns before they become more serious.

This can allow open communication with your provider, which is crucial for managing chronic conditions that increase the risk of heart disease. Your provider can also provide you with valuable education and resources to help you make informed decisions about your health.

Build a Heart-Healthy Future with Epic Medical

The role of primary care in protecting your heart health cannot be overstated. By working closely with your PCP, you can take proactive steps to maintain a healthy heart and prevent cardiovascular diseases. This American Heart Month, schedule a visit with a primary care provider at Epic Medical and take the first step towards a heart-healthy future.

At Epic Medical, we understand the importance of caring for your heart health. With our experienced primary care physicians led by Dr. Skvarla and Nurse Practitioner Watson, we are committed to providing comprehensive primary care services that prioritize your cardiovascular health. We offer personalized treatment plans, preventive care, and referrals to specialists to help you achieve and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. Trust us to be your partner in protecting your heart health.

Keep your heart healthy for yourself and your loved ones - let's make every month a heart month! So don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today. Our doors are always open!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I visit my primary health care provider for heart health check-ups?

You should visit your primary care provider at least once a year for a check-up, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms.

What signs or symptoms of heart disease should I watch out for?

Some common signs and symptoms of heart disease include chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat. It is essential to consult with your primary care provider if you experience any of these symptoms or have concerns about your heart health.

What can I expect during a visit with my primary care provider for my heart health?

Your primary care provider will conduct a physical exam and may recommend various screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar tests. They will also review your medical history and discuss any lifestyle modifications or medications that may benefit your heart health. If necessary, they may also refer you to specialists for further evaluation and treatment.