Your Heart Health Has a Number

Of course you have to ask the right
questions, you know. Here it says, “I hate cats. I want a dog scan.” Cat scan, dog
scan, [laughs]. If you get a lot of palpitations, you should talk to your doctor. Do you
feel them? Are you drinking caffeine not to sleep? Oh well
then it’s not caffeine, it’s alcohol! Welcome to my world. I’m Gladys Velarde. I am the medical director of the women’s heart program and director of the
cardiovascular fellowship at UF Health Jacksonville. So we talk about heart disease when we talk about heart attacks. We talk about heart disease when we talk
about stroke. We talk about heart disease when we talk about peripheral arterial
disease. So cardiovascular disease means all of that. I always tell my patients we
are an orchestra of organs, and when one instrument is out of tune, the orchestra
doesn’t function very well. You know I’m not the conductor of the orchestra, but I think it is important to realize that the cardiovascular system is front
and center of what happens, and in many areas of the body depend on the heart to function well and affect the heart in turn. That’s why this program is so
important because many of the themes that you have come to learn whether it is
rheumatology, stress modification, behavior — all of that affects your
cardiovascular system. If you empower patients to know what they should be asking. “What should my blood sugar be?” “What should my cholesterol be?” then
you’re empowering the person, the patient to really take ownership of their
own health.

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