dr. Martin services

We have the answers to your most pressing cardiology questions.

Cardiology questions

If my left arm hurts, does that indicate a heart problem?

Pain in the left arm doesn’t automatically mean there’s a heart problem. While heart problems frequently do cause discomfort or pain in the left arm and in the chest area, many people also experience pain or discomfort in their right arm or up into their jaw. So rather than just look at pain, we often look at other factors to see if the heart could be the problem. For example, when you get the pain, are you also short of breath? Cold and clammy? Sweating profusely? Or does the pain occur only at certain times, like when you’re exercising or under emotional stress? Typically when there’s an underlying heart problem, other symptoms are present or the discomfort occurs in specific situations, not all the time. If you have a constant pain in the left arm that lasts all day, or only occurs in a specific position it is most likely musculoskeletal related.

What is heart disease?

When people talk about heart disease, they are often referring to coronary artery disease, which involves the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Basically, it’s a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, meaning that the heart cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs to function properly.

Does heart disease cause a toothache?

When some people have heart problems, they experience pain in their jaw that feels like a toothache. This is called ‘referred pain.’ The heart may have problems getting the correct blood flow, but the pain is referred to the jaw area. When this occurs, there are usually other symptoms present other than just jaw pain.

Is erectile dysfunction (ED) a symptom of heart problems?

ED is common in men with diabetes or men with bad arteries. If you have bad arteries in your heart, you very well may also have bad arteries in your genitalia. Blood vessel problems can occur anywhere in the body. So while ED is not a symptom of a heart problem, men with ED may have bad arteries in other places in their body.

If I have high blood pressure, do I need to be seen by a cardiologist?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, can be treated by various doctors. Hypertension is one of Dr. Martin’s special interests. She went to medical school in Mississippi, where there’s a high hypertension rate and much hypertension research going on. As such, she has learned much about this condition. Today, she frequently sees patients who have difficult to control hypertension. Since blood pressure is part of the cardiovascular system, working with a cardiologist is key to help keep the blood pressure under control. Hypertension plays a big role in coronary artery disease, heart attacks, congestive heart failure, and other heart conditions. Treating hypertension is an important aspect of taking care of the heart.

I’ve been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. Do I need to undergo ablation therapy?

Not everyone with atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm problem) needs to have an invasive procedure like ablation. There are many other acceptable ways of treating atrial fibrillation. The most important thing is to have a treatment plan that’s customized for you. If you’re not having any symptoms, then ablation might not be the best route. Just because a procedure is available does not mean everyone should get it.

I’ve been trying to lower my cholesterol level. Is it possible to get my cholesterol too low?

We know high cholesterol is a risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. When we’re born, our cholesterol level is very low, LDL, often referred to as the bad cholesterol, is around 30. If someone has documented coronary artery disease or diabetes, we try to get the LDL cholesterol down to less than 70. That’s low compared to what the average American adult cholesterol level is, but it hasn’t been shown to be a problem to get the cholesterol level down that low.

Are the cholesterol medications prescribed bad for the liver?

Some of the cholesterol medications are metabolized in the liver. If you are taking one of these medications, we do a regular liver function check to see if there is any strain on the liver. It’s a simple blood test that is very sensitive and therefore gives accurate results. The majority of the time there will not be a problem with the liver. To date, no one has died of liver failure specifically related to a particular cholesterol medicine alone. You can have a slight increase in your liver function tests, but generally that’s not a problem. Usually, the risks associated with high cholesterol outweigh the risk of liver malfunction.

General questions

What types of health insurance do you accept?

We accept the following insurance plans:

  • Aetna
  • Avmed
  • Blue Cross / Blue Shield
  • Beech Street
  • Corvel / Corcare Network
  • Cigna
  • Evercare
  • GEHA
  • Golden Rule
  • Hillcrest Benefits
  • Humana
  • Mailhandlers
  • Medicare Part B
  • Medicaid (not accepting new patients)
  • MD Medicare Choice
  • Quality Health Plans
  • Secure Horizons (Part of UHC)
  • Today’s Options
  • Tricare (Prime & Standard)
  • Universal Health Care
  • Wellcare

What are your hours of business?

We are open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. And are closed for lunch from 12 noon until 1:00 pm.

Where are you located?

We are located at 1893 Kingsley Ave., Suite B, in Orange Park, near Orange Park Medical Center.

How do I get lab test results?

Dr. Gayle Martin
1893 Kingsley Ave., Suite B
Orange Park, FL 32073-4491
Phone: 904-272-6955
Fax: 904-272-5001