My Blog
By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
February 16, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Heart Disease  

You can reduce your risk for heart disease by leading a healthier lifestyle.

While you might not realize it, heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in the US. While this fact might be frightening, we have good news: There are ways to protect yourself from heart disease. Whether you have a family history of heart disease or not, our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist Dr. Virginia Gonzalez can help you create a healthier lifestyle that supports good heart health.

Some ways to protect against heart disease include:

Getting Regular Exercise

Be honest with yourself: how often do you exercise? If you aren’t taking at least 30 minutes, 5-6 days a week, to participate in moderately intense exercise, then you could be putting your heart at risk. Exercise offers a wide range of benefits for your health. Before starting a new exercise regimen, talk with our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist about what exercises are right for you to reduce your risk for heart disease.

Manage Your Stress

This can be a tough one for our patients. While a little stress here and there isn’t a problem, long-term stress can impact everything from sleep quality to our diets. Plus, stress can also increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well as inflammation in the body. Many activities can help reduce stress such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing, and time outdoors.

Eat a Heart-Friendly Diet

While there are certain risk factors that you can’t control, your diet is one that you can. Here are some tips to follow from the American Heart Association regarding your diet,

  • Limit sugar, salt, and foods high in cholesterol
  • Eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables and whole grains
  • Reduce meat intake while incorporating more lean sources of protein such as fish into your diet

Your cardiologist can also provide you with dietary recommendations to ensure that you are eating well for your heart.

Anyone can benefit from turning to our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist, even if you aren’t at risk for heart disease. If you have concerns about your heart health or you simply want to schedule a checkup, call Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center at (318) 338-3540.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
January 29, 2021
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: Chest Pain   Cardiologist  

Concerns about heart health can benefit from a visit to the cardiologist. It's possible to feel bouts of chest pain, but not all instances are cause for evaluation. However, when chest pain travels to the jaw, arm, shoulder, or back, or a person experiences lightheadedness associated with nausea, sweating, or stomach pain, these cases require immediate attention. At Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez will rule out minor, moderate, or severe conditions, such as GERD, angina, or a lung issue, during your initial visit to our West Monroe, LA, office.

When You Should See a Cardiologist for Chest Pain

If cardiovascular disease is present on your family tree, visiting a cardiologist should be of significant importance. When left untreated, this condition can potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke, and Dr. Gonzalez makes it her priority for patients to avoid either. Severe headache, nosebleed, and head or neck pulsations are signs of high blood pressure, which can cause chest pain. Other reasons include a history of smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, as well as kidney disease. Being inactive can also lead to chest discomfort. Therefore visiting a cardiologist is essential to developing an exercise plan and rule out any underlying conditions. If you exhibit any signs, symptoms, or risk factors, consider scheduling a consultation in our West Monroe, LA office. It's also beneficial to visit a cardiologist for minor issues like heartburn. Let us help you find relief at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC.

If chest pain remains constant, don't ignore signs or symptoms. Seek medical treatment as soon as possible when crushing, squeezing, or shortness of breath occurs. For more information about chest pain, other conditions we treat, and services provided by Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, visit our website. Please call (318) 338-3540 for appointment scheduling with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez in our West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA office.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
December 30, 2020
Category: Cardiology Care
Tags: EKG   Stress Test   Electrocardiogram  

An electrocardiogram or EKG is a simple test that detects electrical activity of the heart, and it's usually followed up with a stress test. Also known as an exercise stress test, this means that your heart will be launched into fight or flight mode on either a treadmill or stationary bike to prevent heart disease. You only have one heart, and Dr. Virginia Gonzalez dedicates herself to helping you keep yours in optimal health. If you have a family history of heart disease, recently suffered a heart attack, or experience chest pain that makes you nervous, schedule a consultation in our West Monroe, LA office as soon as possible.

EKG and Stress Tests

At Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez may recommend EKG and stress tests for a couple of reasons. The purpose they serve is searching for any indicators of non-coronary and coronary artery disease and they're conveniently performed in our West Monroe, LA, office. An EKG lets Dr. Gonzalez know how your heart is working by measuring its activity. If you're at high risk for heart disease or are already displaying symptoms, you may be required to run on a treadmill or peddle on a stationary bike to monitor the heart's resting and maximum rate. The EKG will record this activity from beginning to end. Each test has different phases, and often, results are immediately available following completion.

When to Visit a Cardiologist

After you've experienced a health emergency, like a heart attack, a cardiologist visit should be number one on your list. And we think your primary care physician would agree. You should never ignore chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, or shortness of breath. If you have a family history of heart disease, this can raise your risk of developing the same problem. Other reasons to consider a visit to the cardiologist include being diabetic, are or were a smoker, or having high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

If you're experiencing cardiovascular symptoms that you suspect might be cause for concern, schedule a consultation with Dr. Virginia Gonzalez. She will run a series of EKGs and stress tests to achieve a proper diagnosis and determine how the heart is functioning. Your cardiovascular health is our top priority. For more information about other conditions we treat and services provided at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center APMC, visit our website. Please call (318) 338-3540 for appointment scheduling in our West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA office.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
December 30, 2020
Category: Cardiology
Tags: ABI Testing  

An ABI test, also known as an ankle-brachial index test, is a quick test that checks for peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD causes reduced blood flow in the arteries. It leads to pain and numbness in your legs. It even increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. If you live in West Monroe, LA, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center can help you with medical conditions related to the heart. Keep reading to learn more about the ABI test.

What Happens During the ABI Test?

During an ABI test, you lie on your back as a medical professional takes your blood pressure in your arms and legs. The medical professional uses an inflatable cuff and an ultrasound device that is placed on your skin. Finally, the medical professional decides the blood pressure from the artery in your ankle by the blood pressure from the artery in your arm. The reading determines if you have peripheral artery disease. This test usually takes only ten to twenty minutes.

When Will Your Doctor Recommend an ABI Test?

Your doctor may decide to give you an ABI test if you:

  • experience pain when you walk
  • have high cholesterol
  • have high blood pressure
  • use or have a history of using tobacco
  • have restricted blood flow in other areas of your body
  • have diabetes

How Do You Prepare for Your ABI Test?

If you're going to have an ABI test, wear loose clothing so the medical professional has access to your limbs.

What Happens After Your ABI Test?

After the ABI test is complete, you can return to your normal activities. Speak with your West Monroe, LA, doctor about your test results. He or she may decide you need additional testing such as an arteriogram or MRI. Your doctor will also discuss lifestyle changes you should make in order to improve your health.

Schedule Your Appointment

Do you live in West Monroe, LA, and need a cardiologist? Dr. Virginia Gonzalez and her experienced staff can help with all your cardiology needs. Schedule your appointment by giving us a call at (318) 338-3540. We have two locations--West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA.

By Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center
December 14, 2020
Category: Heart Conditions
Tags: Heart Disease  

At the Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center in West Monroe, LA, we appreciate heart health and desire our patients to avoid the devastation of heart disease. Dr. Virginia Gonzalez is our board-certified cardiologist who desires that everyone understand heart disease, its symptoms, complications, and risks. Read more details about this serious health condition.

Facts about heart disease

Your father died of heart disease. Your brother is currently under treatment for a heart rhythm problem. You want to know more, and frankly, education and reduction of personal risk factors both support good cardiovascular health.

So, here are some facts to empower you and your family against the dangers of heart disease:

1. Heart disease encompasses a wide range of problems. Some people suffer from more than one simultaneously, but all are capable of reducing your quality--and length--of life. Cardiovascular problems include:

  • CAD, or cardiovascular disease, in which arteries that feed the heart muscle are plugged with fatty plaque
  • Chest pain, or angina, from restricted blood flow to the heart
  • Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly called a heart attack in which the heart muscle is damaged due to lack of blood flow
  • Arrhythmia, in which the heart's electrical system fails to keep a normal heartbeat
  • Aneurysm, a weakening and possible rupture of the walls of a major blood vessel, such as the aorta
  • Heart failure, the inability of the heart to pump sufficient blood around the body
  • Stroke, blockage of the vessels which carry blood to the brain

2. Heart disease can be asymptomatic, reports the Illinois Department of Health. While this is not always the case, the first sign of a problem can be a heart attack.

3. Heart disease is, for the most part, preventable. Limiting, or eliminating, these risk factors reduces heart disease risk:

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • High cholesterol and high blood glucose levels due to diet
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

Risk factors you cannot modify include age and family history. explains that the chances of developing heart disease increase with age. The first cardiac episode happens at age 66 for men and age 70 for women.

4. Your cardiologist in West Monroe, LA, detects heart disease through symptoms, blood tests, and other reliable testing, such as cardiac stress tests, echocardiogram, and EKG.

Find out more

Your heart health is so important. At Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez and her team maintain prevention of heart disease is paramount and that education empowers.

For more information and to arrange a consultation, please contact us at (318) 338-3540. We have two locations--West Monroe, LA, and Winnsboro, LA.

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