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By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
October 15, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Chest Pain  

Dr. Virginia Gonzalez at the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center holds the highest level of accreditation for diagnosing chest pain in West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA. 

A Closer Look at Chest Pain

For many people, chest pain comes in different forms. Some people might feel like their chest is being squeezed or crushed, while others experience a tight, achy feeling. The pain might occur around the ribs, near the lungs, or in the center of a person's chest. For some, the pain only lasts a few seconds. For others, the pain lasts for minutes or longer. 

When most people think of chest pain in West Monroe, LA, they immediately associate it with heart problems. However, many conditions cause pain in the chest and not all of them are heart-related issues. Here is a quick summary of non-heart related pain:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, or stress
  • Musculoskeletal problems
  • Lung problems, including pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, or COPD
  • Digestive issues such as gastritis, acid reflux, esophagitis, or ulcers
  • Cancer involving chest structures

Chest Pain Diagnostic Tools

Cardiologists have a wide array of tools at their disposal to diagnose and treat pain in the chest, but the proper course of care depends on what's causing the pain. In most cases, doctors order an electrocardiogram (EKG) to check the electrical activity in your heart, or they might order a chest X-ray. 

Other diagnostic tools include MRIs, which doctors use to check for any damage to the aorta or heart. Stress tests are a tool used by medical professionals to measure how well your heart functions after exerting yourself physically. Additionally, doctors can order an angiogram, which helps cardiologists look for any blocked arteries. 

When to See a Doctor for Chest Pain

You should never ignore a pain in your chest. If the pain hasn't happened before or lasts for several minutes, it's smart to call 911 immediately. However, if the pain goes away after a few seconds but happens consistently, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez to diagnose what's happening. The pain may be something as simple as indigestion, but only a licensed medical professional can make the diagnosis, so it's better to err on the side of caution. 

If you're suffering from chest pain in West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA, schedule an appointment right away with Dr. Gonzalez by calling the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at (318)-338-3540. 

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
September 14, 2021
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Cardiologist  

How often do you visit your cardiologist? In this article, we will give you some reasons to visit your cardiologist in West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA. Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center will be happy to help you.

Who is a cardiologist?

The cardiologist is the health care professional that focuses on the health of the heart and blood vessels. Regular visits to your cardiologist in West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA, are recommended, especially for patients with a high risk of having cardiovascular disease. During these visits, your cardiologist will examine the strength of your heart muscle, evaluate your blood pressure levels, and make the needed checkups.

When to see your cardiologist?

The following are some reasons you must see a cardiologist:

Having a family history of cardiovascular disease: if one of your first-degree relatives suffered from any heart condition, including hypertension or high blood cholesterol levels, then you must take care of your heart. This family history of the disease may increase your chance of having heart problems, so you must visit your cardiologist regularly to be sure that you don’t have any problems.

Having elevated blood pressure: if you checked your blood pressure and found it elevated every time or most of the time, you must seek medical advice. Controlling the blood pressure from the beginning will prevent the occurrence of complications.

Having an elevated cholesterol level: when the cholesterol levels are high in the blood, it may accumulate, forming plaque. As this problem is asymptomatic, regular cardiologist visits and cholesterol tests are necessary.

Being a current or a former smoker: smoking will directly increase your chance of having a cardiovascular disease. Even if you quit smoking a long time ago, you are at risk of having a problem.

Being a diabetic patient: diabetic patients are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease than those without diabetes. Diabetes is one of seven major controllable risk factors of heart disease (according to The American Heart Association).

Contact us

Visit your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, to keep your heart strong and healthy. Call (318) 338-3540 to book your appointment.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
September 01, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart-Healthy Diet  

We all know how much our diet can affect our health, but is it easy to change your eating habits? The answer is no, it isn’t easy, and it needs an insistence to change your eating habits, but it is surely worth it. Visit your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC regularly to make sure that you’re having a healthy strong heart.

Following a heart-healthy diet can be achieved simply by increasing your daily intake of some food species and decreasing others. Below are a few tips for a healthy diet:

Increase your daily portion of fruits and vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers, and poor in calories. That makes them a great addition to your diet as they will satiate you without being harmful to your heart. They will also prevent many cardiovascular diseases from happening. Try to choose the fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, or those canned with juice or water, not with sugar and heavy syrups.

Add more whole grains to your diet:

They are rich in fibers and healthy nutrients, which will regulate your blood pressure levels and protect your heart. Substitute your refined grain products with whole wheat flour, high fiber cereal, and oatmeal products. Limit your intake of muffins, donuts, cookies, and cakes as they include harmful nutrients.

Modulate your fat intake:

Your daily fat intake will directly affect your blood cholesterol levels. Increasing the intake of olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oils, nuts, and avocado is recommended. Cardiologists in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, recommend you to reduce the intake of butter, lard, bacon fat, coconut oil, and palm kernels oil.

Reduce the salt portion in your diet:

Eating salty foods will lead to elevated blood pressure and heart diseases. It is recommended that you maintain a diet with daily consumption of salt not exceeding one teaspoon. Avoid eating canned or processed foods as they contain large amounts of salt.

Contact us

Contact your cardiologist in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Gonzalez of Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, to learn more about heart-healthy diets. Call us at (318) 338-3540 and book your appointment today.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
July 14, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care

When blood pressure reaches unhealthy levels it is known as hypertension, and if it remains uncontrolled it could lead to dangerous complications, kidney damage being one of the most serious. But there is a lot you can do to manage the condition and your West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, cardiologist can do a lot to help. So contact Dr. Virginia Gonzalez of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center to learn more.


Lifestyle changes are key to successfully managing your high blood pressure. A food diary can be useful, more so early on as you try to get a sense of what you're eating, when, and why. Eating healthy can be very effective, limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks, sodium, red meat, and alcohol. Quitting smoking can also help.


Healthy eating coupled with a healthy body can do a lot to manage hypertension. Remaining consistent once you start will allow you to keep blood levels from rising again in the future. Exercise has the added effect of helping limit stress, which can increase your blood pressure. To further help reduce stress, you should do your best to avoid situations that may trigger it.


Exercise and diet alone can do a lot to help manage your hypertension, but typically it may not be enough. Your cardiologist will usually prescribe medication that will work in conjunction with lifestyle changes to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. There are different types of medications and each plays a different role, so depending on your own condition you may be prescribed a combination of these.

High Blood Pressure Treatment in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA

Visiting your doctor regularly is important to monitor your blood pressure levels, and you can speak with your doctor to find out if monitoring at home is a good option. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gonzalez of the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, dial (318) 338-3540.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
July 07, 2021
Category: Cardiology
Tags: Chest Pain  

Have You Been Experiencing Chest Pain Lately?

Chest pain can be scary for many people, as it is often challenging to know the cause of the pain without a visit to the emergency room. Chest pain can also manifest differently for men and women. While there are countless causes and symptoms associated with chest pain, if you are experiencing chest pain, it is important to seek medical attention immediately to rule out some of the more life-threatening conditions. If you live in West Monroe, LA and Winnsboro, LA, and are experiencing chest pain, consider reaching out to the experts at the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, for a comprehensive evaluation.

Symptoms of Chest Pain

Some of the most common complaints of chest pain include a dull ache across the torso, crushing pressure making it difficult to take a full breath or sharp pains across the middle and upper chest area. Again, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention for your chest pain in West Monroe, LA, to determine if you may be experiencing a serious heart condition. The location of the pain, duration of symptoms, and intensity can all vary from person to person and may not correlate with the seriousness of the condition.

If it is a heart-related condition causing the pain, your chest pain may also be associated with shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and nausea. In women, this may also include back, jaw, neck, and abdominal pain. In men, some may also experience cold sweats in addition to chest pain.

If your chest pain is not related to a more serious heart condition, you may be able to tell if you also have a fever, chest pain when coughing or after eating, or pain accompanied by a rash. While it is still imperative to seek medical attention for these issues, it may not result from underlying heart disease or other heart problems.

What To Do If You Are Experiencing Chest Pain

Regardless of the underlying cause of the chest pain, if you or a loved one are experiencing chest pain for any amount of time or intensity, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. The cardiologist at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, in West Monroe, LA and Winnsboro, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez is the expert to call to assess your chest pain and determine any future actions needed. Don't wait! Give us a call today at (318) 338-3540.

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