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Five reasons to see a Cardiologist

February 17, 2023 

February is Heart Month, the perfect time to listen to your body and find out if your heart is telling you it needs some attention. Heart experts at Prairie Heart Institute share five reasons you may want to see a cardiologist.

  1. Your primary care physician or provider recommends it. Knowing your health history, lifestyle and current health concerns, your primary care physician may recommend you see a cardiologist. If so, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment. 
  2. You have symptoms of heart disease. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heart disease and listen to your body. The CDC shares the following symptoms as signs of heart disease that should not be ignored.
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Upper back or neck pain
    • Indigestion or heartburn
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Upper body discomfort
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fluttering feeling in the chest
    • Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen or neck veins
  3. You have a family history of heart disease. “Family history of heart disease increases your risk, so if heart issues run in your family, familiarize yourself with the symptoms,” says Dr. Pavan Gupta, a cardiologist with Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon. “Don’t become complacent about your health just because you are young. Even young adults can experience heart problems.”
  4. You have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Both issues are often treated by cardiologists and put you at risk for heart disease. Your primary care provider may choose to work with you for these concerns, or you can see a cardiologist.
  5. You have risk factors for heart disease. Aside from family history, type one and type two diabetes, obesity, smoking or a history of smoking, or having congenital heart disease as a child can put you at higher risk for heart disease. If you have these risk factors, consider a check up with a cardiologist or a primary care provider.

To learn more about the doctors of Prairie, call 888-4PRAIRIE or visit www.Prairieheart.org.

The Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois is a community-based network of hospitals that offers cardiovascular programs staffed by the nationally recognized Prairie Cardiovascular, the largest group of cardiologists in the tri-state region. Prairie Heart Institute has locations in these HSHS Illinois hospitals: HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, HSHS St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, HSHS Holy Family Hospital in Greenville, HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland and HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville. Prairie also has a location at SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.

Five reasons to see a Cardiologist