Avatar universal

Should I Be Concerned?

I made an appointment to see a cardiologist in the New Year, mostly for peace of mind. After learning that my estranged father died of a heart attack three years ago, I took it upon myself to live a better lifestyle. I never smoked or drank, but had spent several years not really watching my diet or excercising all that much. When eating rigt and joining a gym did not result in me shedding any pounds, I decided to skip the diets and go to my doctor. After running blood work she told me that I had Metabolic Syndrome.

At the time I was almost one hundred pounds overweight, had high blood pressure, high trigylcerides, had a borderline blood sugar reading, and a rapid resting pulse rate. My doctor put me on Glucophage to help bring down my blood sugar, had me take Niacin supplements for my trigylcerides and developed a weight loss regime for me to lose the excess pounds. She did not put me on blood pressure medication because she felt that if I lost weight, that would probably do the trick.

Six months have passed and I have managed to lose sixty pounds and managed to lower my blood sugar, trigylcerides and blood pressure. Knowing that Metabolic Syndrome put me at greater risk for heart disease I wanted to get a better idea of what caused my father to have a heart attack. Despite not being close to him, my two half sisters or his side of the family at all, I knew vitually nothing. I contacted my stepmother and when I did,  was in for the shock of my life.

Not only did my father die of a heart attack but my two half-sister both suffered massive heart attacks within the year and died. Both were under the age of forty. My first sister's heart attack happened quick, she had what was considered 'the widowmaker' and died before she reached the hospital. She was 39. My second sister didn't present with the classic heart attack symptoms. She had horrible indegestion and was nauseated. She went to the ER and the doctors told her she had acid reflux and sent her home. Within hours her symptoms progressed into a massive heart attack and she died at age 36.

Both had coronary atery disease and neither knew it. CAD is what killed my father as well. When I relayed this information to my primary care provider she recommended that given my family history, it puts me at a greater risk for a heart attack and that I should see a cardiologist. That it would probably save my life. I did as she told me. I set up an appointment for after the New Year. My primary care didn't really explain to me in great detail what about my family history puts me at a greater risk? I am trying not to freak, but you should have seen her reaction, she looked rather alarmed. You have no idead how scary it is to see your doctor alarmed. I mean my primary care provider made it sound like I could have a heart attack . . . soon. I'm 32. I am posting this to try and get a peace of mind until my appointment. I was wondering if anyone would be able to guess, or would know, realistically, how much of a possibility that could be? Should I be as alarmed as my primary care was?

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63984 tn?1385437939
That is quite a history.  Like Vienna, congratulations for losing weight and exercising and this will really help your cholesterol levels.  What are your blood pressure tests?  
Genetics are important, but as Vienna stated, life-style can trump these genetic tendencies.  Perhaps your father and half sister's smoked cigarettes, were sedentary, ate high-fat foods, etc, used alcohol to excess.
I'm a survivor of a number of heart problems and have had multiple heart procedures/surgeries, but I'm still standing, and still work out daily.  When one considers all the trouble we can have with our organs, if we have heart issues, we are lucky, as those can be fixed or we can heal ourselves with diet, good medications, and exercise.  If the cardiologist suggest BP meds, I'd take them.
Let us know what your new Cardiac doctor suggests.  It sounds like your Primary Care Physician might have alarmed you, but perhaps in a good way.

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Avatar universal
  Heart disease does have a hereditary component, but it doesn’t mean we cannot live a long healthy life just because of our family history. We can!
Some people naturally produce more cholesterol than other people, then that can build up in the bloodstream clogs up the arteries etc.
That could lead to heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. But even if your genetic inheritance is that partly – you can reduce your risk of heart disease by choosing the right lifestyle. That is even more important if heart disease runs in the family.
So congratulation on your weight lost! It is very good to hear from a young person like you realizing how important that is. I think knowing our family history health included is very important, it helps  us think about  it hard using the information for our own benefit   and do not commit the same mistakes in lifestyle  they probably had. Over eating, lock of exercise, etc.
You will be fine because you realized what is  the right  for you: exercise and getting all the information. Do not worry, but in the same time yes you should be alarmed. Get the facts from all the tests and then keep exercising. Your doctor was smart not to put you on BP medication .
About exercise, I suggest to you to do something that you love doing while you can get yourself in perfect shape.
Best luck.

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