Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in America? About 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes occur each year in the United States. Heart disease can be fatal because it can ultimately lead to disabilities, illnesses, and a major change in the quality of life. After experiencing an attack or stroke, an individual is more likely to suffer through depression, and find it hard to participate in physical activities. Complications with the heart also drive up the cost of medical bills and it becomes quite difficult for families to cope with financial stress. Many healthcare professionals in the industry have undergone thorough training to tackle heart disease. I am now going to dive into the discussion of heart disease prevention.
There are some risk factors that are caused by an individual themselves, but also some that you have no control over.
- Gender –> Due to the difference in body composition and hormones, males and females have different percentages of risk for certain diseases. Estrogen provides women some type of protection from heart disease.
- Family –> Depending on your family tree and history, you may be more genetically likely to have heart disease. This can be found out through various DNA tests so you can take the appropriate precautions.
- Ethnicity –> Some races or ethnic groups have a higher disease risk than others. African Americans are more likely to have heart disease when compared to Hispanic Americans. Within Asian groups, East Asians have lower risk rates than South Asians.
- Age –> As you grow older, your body also changes. Men over the age of 45 and women over 55 have a greater risk.
Then, there are many other factors that are associated with human error.
- Poor Diet –> Not maintaining a healthy diet, eating disproportionately, and not getting the right amount of nutrients can increase your chances greatly.
- Cholesterol –> Levels of high LDL, or low levels of HDL have an impact on the risk.
- Stress –> A lot of stress can mess with your body and intensely affect your organs.
- Alcohol –> Consumption of high amounts of alcohol can disrupt the way your body functions.
- High blood pressure –> Hypertensive heart disease is a condition caused by high blood pressure.
Symptoms are an indication of what your body is going through and can help you narrow down the medical problem. The symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, chest discomfort (angina), weakness or pain in your arms or legs, pain in the jaw, throat, back or upper abdomen, nausea, and fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these, or other additional symptoms, it’s wise to seek care immediately.
The first suggestion for heart disease prevention is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This includes maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating any type of exercise in your life. Being overweight can increase your risk of heart diseases because there’s a correlation with high blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes. Keeping your weight at a healthy level can lower the risk. Alongside, limiting saturated fats, sodium, sugar, and processed food will improve your diet. It can also be helpful to limit alcohol and avoid smoking. Excessive alcohol and smoking are known to raise blood pressure and can contribute to your weight by adding extra calories. Also, to maintain a healthy lifestyle you must get an appropriate amount of sleep.
Go to see your physician for monthly checkups to ensure everything is okay. There are plenty of times where people aren’t aware of a serious health-related issue their body may be experiencing. Blood tests and physicals are important for remaining informed about your body. Your doctor can also prescribe any medication that may be needed to keep your bodily functions in check.
Managing your stress is also a good way to put less stress on your heart. High levels of stress can be a trigger for a heart attack. This can be done by engaging in stress-relieving activities and finding an outlet for your frustrations. Maintaining your inner peace is key.
In conclusion, heart disease prevention is important to avoid serious implications that can change your lives, and affect the people around you. February is also known as American Heart Month, and on the 22nd, it is National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. This is a day dedicated to learn and spread awareness about the specific risks and symptoms of heart valve disease. People need to be more educated about how to detect the disease, and also the procedure for prevention. Continue to raise awareness and support an important cause!