Have you ever stopped to think about what’s going on in your body at any given time? The human body is a feat of engineering. As you read this, your organs are carrying out hundreds of different processes. The way your body works is heavily dependent on the choices you make. If you make positive choices, you’re much more likely to enjoy good health. Perhaps your most important consideration should be your heart. This vital organ pumps blood around your body all day, every day. If you’re keen to keep it ticking along nicely, here are some tips to help you protect your most precious organ.
Improving Heart Health
Heart disease is the most common killer in the USA. According to the CDC, around 610,000 lives are lost to heart disease every year. Many people associate heart problems with older men. But the reality is that they can affect anyone. Increasingly, women and younger people are being diagnosed with cardiovascular illnesses. Sometimes, heart disease is impossible to prevent. Heart failure is common in the elderly, and this is usually a result of aging. The heart muscle simply becomes tired, and it can no longer keep up. However, in many cases, heart disease is preventable.
Lifestyle factors play a major role in determining heart disease risk. If you smoke and drink, for example, your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke are much higher than those who don’t smoke or drink. If you have a poor diet, which is high in fat, your risk will also be elevated. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. If you have family history of heart disease, this also puts you at greater risk.
There are certain things you can do to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Regular exercise is one of the best uses of your time when it comes to heart health. The heart is a muscle, and it benefits from exercise in the same way as all your other muscles. Exercise makes it stronger and increases your stamina. It also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, decreasing your risk of heart attacks and stroke. Ideally, you should aim to work out at least five times per week for 30 minutes each time.
Giving up smoking has far-reaching implications for your health. Many people associate smoking with the lungs, but it has negative effects on almost every organ. Quitting will reduce your risk of cancer, respiratory diseases, and heart problems.
Your diet also has a significant influence on your heart. Eating fast food, fatty products and sugary and salty foods can harm your heart. Try and increase your intake of whole grains, and moderate your consumption of saturated fats and sugars. Drink plenty of water, and hit your 5-a-day target every day.
Most people are aware that drinking alcohol harms your liver. But it can also increase the risk of cardiovascular complications. Keep an eye on how much you drink, and try and cut down if you’re over the recommended intake.
Common Cardiovascular Illnesses and Treatment Options
Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term, which covers a range of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels. Coronary heart disease occurs when the blood vessels around the heart become blocked. This is known as atherosclerosis. Fatty deposits collect inside the artery walls, preventing blood from flowing freely. If blood flow is restricted, this can cause a heart attack or stroke. If blood flow to the brain is blocked, this may result in a stroke. If the supply to the heart is restricted, this may cause a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, and feeling weak or dizzy. Signs of a stroke may include slurred speech, inability to lift the arms and the face drooping on one side.
Treatment options depend on the severity of the individual’s condition. If you’ve had a heart attack, you may be prescribed medication to break down clots, and surgery may be recommended. If the arteries are narrow, a procedure to remove blockages and widen the passage may be carried out. This is known as coronary angioplasty. If you’ve had a stroke, urgent treatment is recommended. The primary aim is to break down the clot, which is slowing blood flow to the brain. The quicker a stroke is treated, the higher the chance of limiting the consequences. Subsequent treatment will depend on the severity of the stroke and the impact. Strokes can result in paralysis and loss of speech. In this case, physical therapy is often recommended.
Atrial fibrillation is a condition, which affects the rhythm of the heartbeat. It is also known as AF. If you have AF, you may experience periods where the heartbeat is irregular or rushed. As well as a rapid pulse, AF can also cause dizziness and breathlessness. If you have AF, you may be at greater risk of a stroke.
Treatment options for atrial fibrillation include medication to prevent clots and regulate the heartbeat. If you have AF, you may be interested in seeking specialist treatment. If this is the case, you can find out more info about AbbottEP.com online.
Angina is a common side-effect of heart disease. It is characterized by persistent spells of chest pain. Many people say that it feels like having something heavy on your chest. Pain can also radiate into the arms, shoulders, and neck. If you suffer from chest pain, it’s always advisable to seek medical attention. If you do have angina, you will probably be advised to take medication. There are drugs available to control the symptoms of angina, and also those aimed at reducing your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
It’s never too early to start taking steps to protect your heart. You want to be as healthy and happy for as long as possible, and your heart is the best place to start. Get active, watch what you eat, and avoid smoking or drinking to excess. Check your blood pressure on a regular basis, and seek advice if you notice signs like chest pain, dizziness, and a racing pulse. Looking after your heart could add years to your life.