Why your primary care provider is key to your heart health
December 8, 2021
The health inequities that plague Chicago’s South and West sides predispose residents to key risk factors for heart disease. Lifestyle choices like physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use, smoking and an unhealthy diet are also key contributors that increase the risk for .
Fortunately, your primary care physician can help you avoid or manage these conditions. A primary care provider can also help with:
Nutrition counselingHealthy eating is one of the primary ways to prevent heart disease. Your PCP can help you manage your diet to meet your nutritional needs and refer you to a dietician for further care if required.
Monitoring your blood pressureIf you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you may not have any symptoms. So, it’s important to monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis. Your PCP will measure your blood pressure at least once every other year – more often if you have high blood pressure. Your PCP can also help you modify your diet to lower your sodium intake and will prescribe medicine if necessary.
Checking your cholesterolBlood cholesterol is a fat-like substance made by your liver and plays an important role in making hormones and digesting fatty foods. Excess amounts of blood cholesterol – from meat, eggs, poultry and dairy products – are bad for the body. It can build up in the arteries, causing them to become narrow and restrict blood flow. As with high blood pressure, there may be few symptoms of high cholesterol – you may not know that you have high cholesterol until you suffer a heart attack or stroke. It’s important to work with your primary care provider to keep your cholesterol in check.
Managing diabetesHeart disease and diabetes often go hand in hand as high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart. Furthermore, diabetes can lead to heart failure, a serious condition that means the heart is not pumping blood well. Your PCP can create a personalized care plan for your specific needs.
Cardiologist referralIf health and lifestyle modifications aren’t working, your PCP may recommend medication or refer you to a cardiologist for a higher level of personalized care.
At the South Side Community Cardiology program, we offer the most innovative tools and treatments available. We will work with your PCP to create a personalized treatment plan for your unique needs.
Alan L. Jackson, MD
Alan L. Jackson, MD, is an expert cardiologist who specializes in identifying and treating a wide range of cardiac conditions, including everything from common heart problems like hypertension and hyperlipidemia to complex cardiac diseases, such as valve disease, chronic heart failure and coronary heart disease.Learn more about Dr. Jackson
Heart Disease Prevention
UChicago Medicine cardiologists understand the risks and causes of heart disease, including hereditary factors that could play a part in your heart health, and we are dedicated to having you be a part of creating the strategies to avoid heart disease.Explore our prevention services
Find an Cardiology Location Near You
Chicago, IL 60637 888-824-0200
* Required Field