Living with high blood pressure or high cholesterol can put you at a higher risk for developing heart problems, including heart disease, and it can be hard to know if you have these health conditions, because neither one has a lot of symptoms. Visiting a doctor is the best way to find out, and here are a few things you should understand about this.
How Doctors Diagnose These Problems
Diagnosing high blood pressure is very basic because it simply involves testing your blood pressure rates. If you visit the doctor for a physical exam, this is one of the things he or she will test. If your blood pressure is high, the doctor might test it several times while you are there. He or she might also have you come back to the clinic to have it tested in the next few weeks.
Diagnosing high cholesterol is not hard to do either, yet it is more involved than testing your blood pressure. Cholesterol levels are typically checked by taking a blood sample and testing it. There are several different levels found in these tests, and here are the three main ones:
- Bad cholesterol – This is made up of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), and it refers to the type that causes damage in your blood vessels.
- Good cholesterol – The good type of cholesterol is called high-density lipoproteins (HDL), and this type actually helps your heart stay healthier.
- Triglycerides – The third level checked is triglycerides, and these refer to a different type of fat that build up and can cause damage in your body.
It may take a couple weeks for your doctor to get the results of this test back. Once he or she does, you may need to visit the doctor again to find out what you will need to do.
How These Health Problems Are Treated
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, the doctor is likely to prescribe medication to you. There are many types of medications designed for this purpose, and these can help tremendously. The medications reduce blood pressure or cholesterol, and they help reduce your risks of developing heart problems.
The doctor might also suggest exercising. Exercising makes your heart beat faster, and this is one of the best natural treatment options for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. In addition, the doctor may recommend other types of lifestyle changes to help you naturally lower your levels.
The Doctor Might Recommend A Stress Test
In addition, your doctor might recommend getting a stress test each year. This is a test that is used to help determine how well a person's heart is functioning, and it is something doctors recommend for people when they struggle with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
During a stress test, you will have electrodes placed on your body. These are tied to a machine that is able to interpret the activity of your heart while you completing the test. You will then be placed on a treadmill, or something similar, and you will have to begin walking. The goal is to get your heartrate beating fast and hard. When your heart does this, the doctor will be able to gauge how well it works when it is put under stress.
This will help your doctor find out your risk level for developing heart disease, and it will help the doctor know the condition of your heart. Getting a stress test completed is not the best event in the world, but it can reveal a lot of important information about a person's heart.
If you suspect that you may have heart problems, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, get a physical. To learn more about this, contact a primary care physician today.