CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – February is National Heart Month. In recognition, cardiologist, Dr. Shaiful Islam, of Summit Cardiology wants you to "Know your numbers" so you can take charge of your heart health.
"You should take matters of the heart very seriously," Dr. Islam said. "We want to partner with our patients in their care. That means that both of us need to know all the information about your health that we can, including your blood cholesterol and blood sugar information. Getting lab work is very important."
According to the doctor, an important test for overall health, including heart health is your blood sugar or Glucose measurement. This is a blood test taken after you have not eaten for 8 to 10 hours. "Currently if your fasting glucose is between 100 to 125, you are considered to have pre-diabetes," Dr. Islam said.
"Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease and leads to many other health issues."
Dr. Islam said you should also know your Cholesterol and Triglyceride numbers.
"A high total cholesterol, typically over 200 mg/dl, puts you at an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. For many, your triglycerides should measure less than 150 mg/dl."
Cholesterol is also measured in High Density Lipoprotein (HDL or "good cholesterol") and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL or "bad cholesterol").
"If you have over 60 mg/dl of HDL in your blood, you are actually protecting your heart from heart disease. For most, if you have more than 130 mg/dl of LDL in your blood, you are at increased risk for heart attack or stroke."
"These figures are generally accepted baselines," Dr. Islam said. "However, your personal health and goals can vary based on your individual risk factors. So when you have blood work done, please share those results with your doctor to determine what your specific numbers mean for you."
If you already have heart disease or at a high risk a cardiologist can work with you to make lifestyle changes or prescribe medications to help you lower your risk.
"My colleagues and I work with patients everyday who have had blood work done that shows high cholesterol or high triglycerides or glucose. We can work with you to determine what your numbers should be, and partner with you for better health."
According to Dr. Islam, his practice, Summit Cardiology has been expanding.
"We want to help our community, and part of that is making access to expert cardiologists easier. So, we've opened a practice in Waynesboro, currently located at Waynesboro Hospital."
According to Dr. Islam, the practice will be seeing patients at the new Waynesboro Medical Office Building when it opens in May.
"The building is going to be state of the art," Dr. Islam said. "We're excited to be able to provide skilled cardiology care in a very patient friendly space for our neighbors in southern Franklin County and Northern Washington County."
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community.
As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals..