Cardiovascular Health

Cardiac Ultrasound

All of our heart ultrasounds are non-invasive and designed to detect and diagnose any abnormalities with the function or structure of your heart. The following ultrasounds are performed on Mondays at our office:
  • Echocardiograms
  • Ultrasound of carotid
  • Venous Doppler (upper and lower extremities)
  • Arterial Doppler
Please let us know of any existing heart conditions you may have or if you have a family history of cardiac health issues. We’re here to help make your heart health manageable!

Screening Tests

An important aspect of lowering risk of cardiovascular disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), is managing health behaviors and risk factors, such as diet quality, physical activity, smoking, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, total cholesterol or blood glucose. Your healthcare provider may conduct or request screening tests during regular visits.
Education and screening tests are essential to prevention. Here are the key screening tests for monitoring cardiovascular health:
Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is one of the most important screenings because high blood pressure usually has no symptoms so it can’t be detected without being measured. High blood pressure greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. If your blood pressure is below 120/80 mm Hg, be sure to get it checked at least once every two years, starting at age 20. If your blood pressure is higher, your doctor may want to check it more often. High blood pressure can be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Fasting Lipoprotein Profile (cholesterol)
You might have a fasting lipoprotein profile taken every four to six years, starting at age 20. This is a blood test that measures total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. (Learn more about cholesterol levels.) You may need to be tested more frequently if your healthcare provider determines that you’re at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. Like high blood pressure, often cholesterol can be controlled through lifestyle changes and/or medication.
Body Weight 
Your healthcare provider may ask for your waist circumference or use your body weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI) during your routine visit. These measurements may tell you and your physician whether you’re at a healthy body weight and composition. Being obese puts you at higher risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and more.
Blood Glucose
High blood glucose levels put you at greater risk of developing insulin resistance, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems including heart disease and stroke. If you’re overweight AND you have at least one additional cardiovascular risk factor, your healthcare provider may recommend a blood glucose test. Your healthcare provider may also measure glycated hemoglobin A1c levels (A1c %) to estimate risk of prediabetes or diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends regular screening for diabetes risk at age 45, with repeated tests at least every 3 years.
Smoking, Physical Activity, Diet
If you smoke, talk to your healthcare provider at your next healthcare visit about approaches to help quit. Also discuss your diet and physical activity habits. If there’s room for improvement in your diet and daily physical activity levels, ask your healthcare provider to provide helpful suggestions.

Stress Test

At Woodlands Internists, we’re all about ensuring your optimal health. A stress test is one of the best ways we can assess your heart health and give you the treatment you need to live a longer, happier life!

A stress test collects information about how well your heart functions during physical activity. Since your heart pumps harder and faster during exercise than it does during common daily activities, an exercise stress test can disclose problems within your heart that you may not notice otherwise.
Stress Test instructions:
  1. No caffeine for 24 hours prior to test
  2. Nothing to eat or drink for four hours prior to test
  3. Do not use tobacco products after midnight
  4. Bring a list of your medications with you
  5. Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes for the treadmill
Do not take any of the following medications 48 hours prior to test:
AcebutololFelodipineQuibron-SRTheo Organidin
AerolateInderalRespidTheospan SR
AggrenoxInderideSectralTheo Sav
AtenololIsoptin SRSlo-Bid GyrocapsTheostat
BetapaceKerioneSlo-Phyllin GyrocapsTheo Vent long-acting
Betoptic eye dropsLevatolSustaireTimolide
BiocadrenLufyllinTedral SATimpotic eye drops
BronkodylMaraxTenoreticToprol XL
Cardizem CD or SRNormodyneTheo-24Trental
CaltrolNorpaceTheo bid DuracapUni-Dur
Constant-TPenbutololTheo bid Jr. DuracapUniphyl
Covera HSPindololTheochronVerapamil SR
DilacorPlendil ext releaseTheoclear LAVisken
Diltiazem CD or SRPrimatene tabletsTheo-DurZebeta
DisopyramidePropanololTheo-Dur SprinkleZiac
ElixophyllinQuandrinalTheolair SR

Do not take any of the following medications 24 hours prior to your test:

AnacinEsgicNo DozViagra
CialisFioricetNorgesic Forte

Urinalysis over 40 years of age.