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Heart Health and Direct Primary Care

Written by Jobeth Augustyniak

February 14, 2024

Unveiling Heart Disease

February is Heart Month. As we commemorate Heart Month this February, it is essential to reflect on the vital role our hearts play in our overall health. Each beat of your heart is a testament to life, pumping blood and essential nutrients around your body. What happens when this life-giving organ starts to falter? Heart disease, often known as a silent killer, is a leading cause of death worldwide. With early detection, appropriate treatment, and lifestyle modifications, many forms of heart disease can be managed effectively.

Heart disease encompasses a broad range of conditions that affect your heart’s structure and function. Some of these include coronary artery disease, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.


Signs of Heart Disease

Recognizing the signs of heart disease is the first step towards proactive healthcare. Often, symptoms can be subtle and easily overlooked. Often, there are no signs of heart disease until it becomes an emergency. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

1. Chest discomfort: This is the most common sign of heart danger. If you have a blocked artery or are having a heart attack, you may feel pain, tightness, or pressure in your chest.

2. Shortness of breath: Often occurs with chest discomfort but can also occur before it.

3. Discomfort in other areas: In some cases, pain or discomfort can also manifest in the arms, the left shoulder, elbows, jaw, or back.

4. Other symptoms: These may include extreme tiredness, lightheadedness, irregular/abnormal heartbeat, or swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck.

You can learn more about heart disease by visiting the American Heart Association website.


The Direct Primary Care Advantage

Direct Primary Care (DPC) plays a significant role in preventing, detecting, and managing heart disease. Direct Primary Care is a membership-based model of care that allows for longer visit times, and unlimited visits. There are several ways DPC can help.

1. Personalized: DPC allows physicians to spend more time with patients, which helps with understanding their lifestyles, and tailoring prevention strategies accordingly. This personalized approach is key in managing heart health, as it involves lifestyle changes and treatment plans tailored to each person.

2. Early Detection: Regular check-ups and screenings enable DPC physicians to detect heart disease at an early stage. When detected at an early stage, lifestyle changes and/or treatments can significantly improve health outcomes.

3. Continuity of Care: DPC offers a continuity of care that is often lost in traditional healthcare models. This true continuity enables physicians to monitor patients’ progress, adjust treatment plans as necessary, and provide immediate care when needed.

4. Cost-Effective/Affordable care: DPC eliminates the need for insurance billing, reducing overall healthcare costs. This affordable approach can be a game-changer for patients, allowing them access to preventative and ongoing care, essential in managing heart disease.

5. Health Education: DPC physicians have the time and resources to provide thorough health education, helping patients understand their heart health and empowering them to make informed decisions.

In conclusion, heart disease might seem scary, but with the personalized, patient-focused approach of Direct Primary Care, it is an opponent that can be tackled effectively. So, this Heart Month, take a moment to listen to your heart. If you notice anything unusual, remember that your DPC physician, Dr. Augustyniak, is just a call away.

Remember, every heartbeat matters. Let’s make each one count! Uplift Family Medicine can help.

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