Heart Disease Specialist

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapist & Functional Medicine located in Jenks, OK

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Heart Disease services offered in Jenks, OK

Heart disease remains the most common cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As a board-certified OB/GYN and functional medicine specialist, Michelle McElroy, DO, understands how to treat the underlying causes of heart disease at Aging Gracefully in Jenks, Oklahoma. To schedule an appointment with Dr. McElroy, call Aging Gracefully or use the online booking tool today.

Heart Disease Q & A

What is heart disease?

Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is an umbrella term that includes multiple conditions affecting the heart. 

When your heart doesn’t receive the oxygen-rich blood it needs, it can’t circulate healthy blood and oxygen to your vital organs and tissues. In addition, stress from underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure, can lead to an enlarged heart or weak ejection fraction — the measurement of the amount of blood pumping out of your heart after each contraction.

While heart disease is common, it’s also highly preventable with early intervention. Dr. McElroy can develop a personalized plan to help prevent and treat the early signs of heart disease.

What are the types of heart disease?

Many types of heart disease exist, but the most common are:

Coronary artery disease (CAD)

Coronary artery disease occurs when the blood vessels that supply your heart with blood become damaged. The most common reason for CAD is a buildup of a fatty deposit called plaque in the blood vessels.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

PAD is a type of cardiovascular disease that develops when plaque in the arteries prevents healthy blood flow to the lower extremities.


Atherosclerosis causes the arteries to harden or thicken, usually from plaque buildup in the artery walls.


Arrhythmia is an irregular heartbeat that happens when the heart fails to release the proper electrical signals.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

The signs of heart disease often depend on the type. However, common symptoms include:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty exercising
  • Dizziness
  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Swollen legs and feet

Heart disease is a progressive condition that typically worsens without treatment. Early intervention is the best way to prevent complications, such as heart failure and even death.

What causes heart disease?

While some types of heart disease are genetic, many result from diet and lifestyle choices that cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the heart and the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen-rich blood.

The most common risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Poor diet (high-sugar, fat, and carbohydrates)
  • Low activity levels
  • Metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride levels, etc.)
  • Excess weight
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • High caffeine intake
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Substance use

At your initial appointment, Dr. McElroy performs a comprehensive physical exam and medical history review to determine your heart disease risk factors. She may also order additional blood work or imaging scans.

What are the treatments for heart disease?

Dr. McElroy takes a functional and holistic approach to care that includes a variety of lifestyle modifications, such as:

  • Following a heart-healthy diet
  • Increasing exercise
  • Taking supplements
  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight
  • Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Changing medications

To learn more about heart disease, call Aging Gracefully or schedule an appointment online today.