Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?
Does coronary heart disease run in your family? Is your blood pressure too high? You don’t have to accept either of these as something you have to live with for the rest of your life. You can make healthy changes to improve your health because your body is building new cells every single day. How are you going to keep those cells healthy?
Heart disease and all the related terms can be pretty overwhelming: heart attack, cardiovascular, angina, atherosclerosis, dyspnea, and plaque. Procedures heart disease patients need can include: angiogram, cardiac catherization, heart-lung bypass. And then there are many different medications such as anticoagulants, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers.
With up to 40% of Americans who die each year having heart disease as the primary cause of death, chances are that you know someone who suffers from heart disease. We like to talk about choices here at AntiAgingByDesign.com and the good news is that your good choices can greatly improve your chances of suffering from heart related illnesses.
If you are willing to learn about the good things you can do each day to be healthier, you simply need to make the decision to do them! There are different ways to look at prevention. You can have your blood pressure and blood sugar monitored. You can go to your doctor visits and have preventive tests.
Just as important is the prevention you do every day when you decide if you are going to avoid unhealthy habits, if you are going to eat healthy so that you avoid getting diseases and illnesses. Those new cells you get every single day are waiting to see how you are going to treat them!
Are You A Smoker?
Smoking is the single biggest risk factor that you can control. A person that smokes is at a much greater risk for developing heart disease. In fact, as few as two cigarettes a day increases your risk, and second hand smoke isn’t any better for you. Smoking exposes your lungs to carbon monoxide, which depletes the oxygen in your blood and causes plaques to build up in your arteries. This plaque not only results in clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and an overworked heart, it also causes strokes.
How’s Your Diet?
If you have diabetes, or it runs in your family and you are showing signs of being at risk, you are also at a higher risk for heart disease. Both diabetes and prediabetes mean that your insulin response isn’t working optimally. Your blood glucose levels stay too high, and that causes inflammation in your arteries and plaques to build up.
Because estrogen provides some protection from plaque buildups, postmenopausal and menopausal women with diabetes or pre-diabetes are at an even higher risk for heart disease.
If you are eating foods high in cholesterol, and you have high cholesterol, that is another contributor to higher risk of heart disease. Natural nutrition (food-based) supplements are also available to help you manage cholesterol levels and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Are You At a Healthy Weight?
And do you get some kind of regular exercise, including walking daily or at least a few times per week? If you are overweight and inactive, you have a significantly higher risk of developing and dying from heart disease. Your heart has a much bigger job to do when you are overweight.
Obesity is often caused by a diet that is high in fats and sugars, causing plaques develop on arterial walls which also causes the heart to work harder. Metabolic syndrome, defined by WebMD as a group of health problems that include too much fat around your middle, is caused by factors including inactivity, high blood pressure, a high fat and high sugar diet.
Everything we are talking about here is related to the choices you make in your daily life: what you eat, how active you are, and other healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a healthier diet and getting regular physical activity can reverse both obesity and metabolic syndrome and either eliminate or significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
You can choose to make simple lifestyle changes that can make a significant difference in your heart health. We are at the end of February, which is Heart Health Month. Don’t stop targeting better heart health by making healthy choices that not only prevent you from dying too young from a heart related illness, but also from having the best quality of life today.