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Heart Disease Specialist

Thirlby Clinic, PLC

Internal Medicine & Family Medicine located in Traverse City, MI

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in American adults, but you can stay healthy if you take the right steps now. At Thirlby Clinic, PLC, in Traverse City, Michigan, the group of experienced doctors can help you prevent heart disease, and they’re also experts in heart disease management. Learn how you can preserve your health and wellness by calling the office or scheduling an appointment online.

Heart Disease Q & A

What is heart disease?

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is a group of conditions that negatively impact heart health and function. The most common forms include: 

Blood vessel diseases

Blood vessel diseases affect the arteries that deliver blood to your heart. Coronary artery disease is the most common kind of heart disease today. 


Arrhythmias are heart rhythm irregularities caused by electrical activity changes in your heart. 

Congenital defects

Congenital heart defects are issues present at birth. 


Cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that affects your heart muscle's strength and function.

Valvular heart disease

Valvular heart disease affects the valves that regulate blood flow to your heart. 

Heart disease is a broad category of conditions. Still, they all share one thing in common: these diseases can potentially lead to serious complications such as heart failure, stroke, or heart attack without diagnosis and treatment. 

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

The symptoms of heart disease are just as varied as its many forms. With many types of heart disease, there aren't always obvious indicators until a medical crisis like a heart attack happens. In the most common type of heart disease (coronary artery disease), the symptoms can include: 

  • Angina - chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Erratic heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Indigestion
  • Exercise intolerance - being unable to do your usual physical activities

Because heart disease is frequently asymptomatic until an emergency happens, the Thirlby Clinic, PLC, team screens for these conditions during your wellness exams and acute sickness visits. 

Often, heart disease and other conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes occur at the same time. If you have any of these conditions, you may need lab tests (labs) and other tests to check for heart disease. 

If you’re at risk for heart disease, the team can help you prevent it before any symptoms ever develop.

How is heart disease prevented and treated?

The Thirlby Clinic, PLC, team begins with improving your whole-body health. You might need to make some changes, such as losing weight, eating less fat, reducing salt in your diet, and exercising more often. Depending on heart disease severity and effects, you might also need oral medication to stabilize your health. 

If you have a heart attack, the team may recommend cardiac rehab, a regimen that helps you improve your heart health safely in a controlled environment.

The Thirlby Clinic, PLC, team are your partners in heart health, and the dedicated experts are waiting to help you. Call the office or book an appointment online.