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Heart Health Begins with Your Primary Care Provider

February 17, 2020
Quabbin Adult  Dr Mario Lysse w Patient 0967 250

February is National Heart Month, a perfect time to take charge of your heart health. Talking to your primary care provider is a great place to start.

“Heart problems can happen at any age so you are never too young or too old to begin taking care of your heart,” said Dr. Mario Lysse, a primary care provider at Baystate Medical Practice - Quabbin Adult Medicine in Ware. “A healthy lifestyle at any age can help prevent heart disease and lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke.”

WHAT PUTS YOU AT RISK FOR HEART DISEASE?

Your primary care provider will consider your lifestyle habits and also your family history in order to determine your risk for heart disease. Some risk factors (things that increase your chance of developing a disease) cannot be controlled—such as your age or family history. But you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.

“The good news is that it is possible to decrease your risk of heart disease by making changes in the way you live your life,” said Dr. Lysse. “Even if you have a family history of heart disease, the power of prevention is on your side.”

Research shows that when people regularly see their primary care providers, their risk of dying of heart disease, strokes and cancer declines.

MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the first step to a healthy heart,” said Dr. Lysse. “Choosing healthier foods and exercising are two of the best ways to contribute to good heart health. Regular exercise is an important way to lower your risk of heart disease . Exercising for 30 minutes or more on most days can help you lose weight, improve your cholesterol, and even lower your blood pressure. Two 15-minute segments of exercise or three 10-minute segments still count as 30 minutes, noted Dr. Lysse. “Just make sure the activity is vigorous enough to raise your heart rate.”

Primary care provider is familiar with your medical history, your reaction to medications, your personality and lifestyle and treatment preferences, noted Dr. Lysse.

TRACKING YOUR RISKS FOR HEART DISEASE

“We can help to determine your risk of cardiovascular disease through a routine exam and testing, and can recommend lifestyle changes, prescribe medications and refer you to a specialist if needed. If you need to lose weight, quit smoking, or reduce stress, we can suggest additional resources such as support groups, reading material, or if appropriate, medications or aids that can help.” he said.

Your primary care provider may note after an exam that you should have your heart checked a little more closely by a cardiologist. Or it could be that your personal or family history warrants an exam by a physician who focuses on the heart to keep you healthy.

IF YOU NEED TO SEE A CARDIOLOGIST

Baystate Health cardiologists provide expert care across the western Massachusetts region. Find a cardiologist near you .

“If you need to be referred to see a cardiologist, your primary care provider will remain a part of your care team,” said Dr. Brian Laliberte , chair of Cardiology at Baystate Wing Hospital.

For those that don’t have a primary care provider, the best time to choose a doctor is before you need one. Over time, your healthcare needs may change or you may face a new health challenge. The relationship you have with your healthcare provider, who knows you and your medical history best can lead to a better overall outcome that will protect your health.

“It’s no accident that we celebrate National Heart Month and the holiday that honors love, Valentine’s Day, during the same month,” said Dr. Lysse. “The best way you can show appreciation to the people you love is to make an appointment to see your primary care provider to start you on the path to a healthy heart.”

FIND A PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER

Dr. Mario Lysse joins Dr. Kalyan Pundla and nurse practitioner Hilary Hayden-Moryl providing care at Baystate Medical Practice -Quabbin Adult Medicine , at 83 South Street in Ware. For more information or if you need a primary care provider, call 413-794-5412.

For those that don’t have a primary care provider, the best time to choose a doctor is before you need one. Over time, your healthcare needs may change or you may face a new health challenge. The relationship you have with your healthcare provider, who knows you and your medical history best can lead to a better overall outcome that will protect your health.

“It’s no accident that we celebrate National Heart Month and the holiday that honors love, Valentine’s Day, during the same month,” said Dr. Lysse. “The best way you can show appreciation to the people you love is to make an appointment to see your primary care provider to start you on the path to a healthy heart.”