Heart disease can put you at risk of heart attack which can lead to disability and even death. But there are measures you can take to mitigate or prevent this. Here’s what to do:
Your arteries become narrowed due to plaque build-up from chemicals in tobacco, and carbon monoxide replaces oxygen which strains your heart as it has to work harder to supply your body with the oxygen it needs.
Due to increased body fat, an obese person has a higher volume of blood. Therefore, the heart becomes strained because it has to pump more blood. This can result in abnormal heart rhythms, leading to heart attack. Being overweight can also lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Your body will get the nutrients it needs to keep it working optimally, so cut down on unhealthy foods and eat more fresh veggies, fruits and whole grains.
Exercise increases your oxygen intake, strengthens your heart, keeps your weight down and lowers cholesterol and high blood pressure.
An excess of alcohol can raise your blood pressure and lead to weight gain. It also weakens your heart, preventing it from pumping blood efficiently, leading to heart failure.
When you’re stressed, your body releases adrenaline which causes you to breathe faster and your heart rate to escalate, causing your blood pressure to rise. Other bad habits that may result from chronic stress are smoking, overeating and excessive alcohol consumption.
Not sleeping enough interferes with your body’s ability to regulate its functions, leaving you at risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure and becoming obese.
• High cholesterol: fatty deposits that clog up your arteries, obstructing the flow of blood to your heart.
• High blood pressure (hypertension): when blood is forced against the inner lining of your arteries, damaging the cells, thereby putting a strain on your heart.
• Diabetes (high blood sugar): when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin which regulates blood sugar levels. This can damage your nerves, blood vessels and heart.
The old adage that prevention is better than cure truly applies here, because, once you have it, heart disease cannot be cured: your blood vessels will always be damaged and weak, leaving you at increased risk of heart attack. So love your heart and take care of it today.