The human heart is one of the most important and intricately designed organs in the body
Not only does it rhythmically pump blood through endless blood vessels, but the human heart is a muscle that functions as a pick-up service for waste and delivery service for vital nutrients. When the human heart shuts down, it only takes a short amount of time before the entire body shuts down.
This could be due to many reasons, one of which is most important to avoid: heart disease.
Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the U.S.? It is the disease that can affect anyone, anywhere and at any time. That is why prevention is key in keeping the heart-healthy.
Because high blood pressure presents a major risk factor for heart attack, it is important to control it. Your physician can work with you on the appropriate prescriptions for your overall health.
Monitoring your blood pressure is an important step toward preventing a heart attack. Also, you may want to consider purchasing your own blood pressure machine run anywhere from $20 at any local drug or superstore.
Another aspect of controlling your health and preventing heart disease is to control your “bad” cholesterol. A high level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, in your bloodstream is risky.
Doctors recommend that patients receive regular check-ups for their cholesterol levels.
In between check-ups, choose a low-fat diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and lean meats (poultry and fish).
Also, maintain a regular workout schedule of at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity at least five days a week. This should keep the heart pumping at a good rate for the duration of your workout. If lifestyle changes are not enough, your physician may want to prescribe medication to lower your cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that three out of four people diagnosed with diabetes will die of heart attacks or blood vessel disease. To prevent this, maintain a healthy blood sugar level and take your medications as prescribed by a doctor.
There are several risk factors for heart attacks that you can eliminate immediately. Start today to prevent heart disease with the following suggestions.
If you smoke, quit. When you stop smoking, you can reduce your risk of heart attacks by 50 percent or more. What would be a better gift to give your loved ones that more time with a healthier you?
If heart disease runs in your family or if you are concerned about your heart health, be sure that you can recognize the symptoms of a heart attack:
- Chest pain (a.k.a. Angina)
- Shortness of breath.
- Palpitations or the skipping, racing, or pounding of a heart.
- Leg swelling.
- Bluish skin color (a.k.a. cyanosis).
- A prolonged cough or coughing up blood.
- Persistent fatigue or feeling unwell.
- Passing out.
Sometimes symptoms are not obvious and what may seem like the flu or heartburn is actually a heart attack.
Also, it is important to note that the symptoms of a second heart attack may not mimic the same symptoms of the previous. At any rate, it is imperative that you get emergency medical treatment if you suspect any of the above symptoms.
Some medications can increase your risk of a heart attack. Talk to your doctor if you are taking hormone replacement therapy, rosiglitazone which is taken for diabetes and COX-2 inhibitors which control arthritis pain.
If you are overweight, aim for a healthier lifestyle that incorporates a well-balanced diet (as mentioned earlier) and regular exercise. You can determine if you are overweight by calculating your body mass index (BMI). Be sure to consult with a doctor before you begin to determine the best course of action for achieving your physical goals of preventing heart disease.
Claim overall wellness by eliminating stress, anger, and depression. Your mental and emotional state can play a big role in preventing heart disease so step out to enjoy life. Be active and social. Relish in the beauty of nature. Engage in stimulating activities.
Don’t be a statistic. Work with your physician and make some lifestyle changes so that you can keep your heart happy and healthy.