Cardiovascular Health (Integrative Family Medicine)

Discover Health

Integrative Family Medicine & Naturopathic Doctors located in North Beach, San Francisco, CA & San Mateo, CA

Cardiovascular disease is called the silent killer, as it’s the number one cause of death for middle-aged American adults. At Discover Health in San Francisco’s North Beach, internist Dr. Clifford Sewell, and integrative family medicine specialist Dr. Radha Lewis, all work to improve your heart health and prevent the development of cardiovascular disease. If you’ve been told you’re at risk for heart trouble, don’t wait until you have a heart attack to get help. Contact their office today. Call to schedule your appointment or book online.

Cardiovascular Health Q & A

What is cardiovascular health?

Cardiovascular health focuses on the well-being of your heart and blood vessels. Its primary role is to improve your heart’s function and prevent heart disease.

One goal of cardiovascular health is to prevent atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. It occurs when plaque builds up inside your arteries, reducing blood flow. With less blood reaching the heart, the whole cardiovascular system must work harder. Atherosclerosis also increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.

What are the symptoms of cardiovascular disease?

Too often with cardiovascular disease, the first symptom of a problem is a heart attack or stroke. That’s because the symptoms of this condition often go unnoticed.

When you see your physician at Discover Health, they screen for and monitor symptoms associated with heart disease, including:

  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Shortness of breath
  • Water retention in the arms and legs
  • Chest or back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic headaches

Even if you’re not having symptoms, you may be at risk. Certain things make you more likely to develop cardiovascular problems, including:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic stress

How is cardiovascular disease treated?

Lifestyle and habit changes are the number one way to improve your cardiovascular disease. Your physician may recommend:

  • Exercising 30 minutes a day
  • Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing stress
  • Engaging in stress relief mechanisms
  • Quitting smoking

If cardiovascular disease progresses, lifestyle changes may not be enough to manage your symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medication to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, a daily baby aspirin may also be suggested.

What is a heart-healthy diet?

The doctors also suggest eating a heart-healthy diet. It involves eliminating processed foods and those that are high in sodium. A cardiovascular-focused diet should primarily consist of:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat proteins: Including lean meats and low-fat dairy
  • Healthy fats

If you have a family history of cardiovascular disease, don’t become another victim of America’s number one killer. Schedule an appointment at Discovery Health and learn to live a heart-healthy life.