In This Chapter
Choosing a healthcare team that’s right for you
Creating a fruitful relationship with your doctor
Recognizing special concerns in the doctor-patient partnership
In the words of comedienne Joan Rivers, “Can we talk?” Talking, of course, is exactly what you and your doctor need to do if you want to prevent heart disease. Throughout this book, one of my mantras is “forming a partnership with your physician.”
Preventing heart disease starts with controlling risk factors. Even if you are the picture of perfect health — at least in the mirror — only regular checkups with your primary-care physician can tell you what’s happening inside your body where many important coronary heart disease (CHD) risk factors silently get started. These include high blood pressure, cholesterol problems (dyslipidemia), and elevated blood sugar or insulin resistance. Even if you eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly, and maintain an ideal weight, you need regular checkups. For a few people, inherited factors may increase risk of heart disease despite a healthy lifestyle. So think of your doctor as a valued consultant, ...