The leading cause of global deaths is heart disease, accounting for a third of all deaths in the USA. The disease may manifest itself in various ways, each with its own set of symptoms and treatment options. For some people, making lifestyle changes and taking medication may help deal with these diseases. However, other types of heart diseases are severe such that they require surgery to treat them and restore the heart’s normal functioning effectively.
Usually, a heart attack results from coronary artery disease (CAD), the most common type of heart disease. As its name suggests, the disease affects the coronary artery, the leading blood supply vessel to the heart. As a result, there is a reduced blood flow, depriving the heart muscles of oxygen.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most common factors contributing to heart disease. High blood pressure causes blood clots in the arteries, narrowing them over time. This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Cholesterol levels should be lower than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The lower the number, the less likely you can have heart diseases. A high cholesterol level can lead to stroke, Dieudonné’s syndrome, and other health problems.
Stress and Depression
Recently, depression has been a major risk factor of heart disease more than traditional risk factors like smoking and drinking. It can lead to a decrease in blood flow to the heart, increasing the risk for heart attack or stroke.
Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Get Enough Physical Activity
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day. This includes activities such as walking, biking, running, and swimming. There are also some daily activities that people do not consider as physical exercises but are beneficial to your overall wellbeing, such as going for walks with your dog or taking a quick jog. Hence, you can trust these activities as long as you undertake them regularly.
Regular Blood Pressure Checks
Health practitioners indicate that people should check their blood pressure levels at least once per year. By doing so, you can identify any potential problems related to your heart’s health. High blood pressure can lead to various health problems, such as stroke, heart attack, and even dementia. Hence, get medical service from your doctor or pharmacist if you doubt your blood pressure condition.
Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
The American Health Association ranks alcohol and tobacco use as the main heart disease risk factors. However, they are long-term factors due to their addiction properties where a large population have stated their desire to quit but are unable to do so.
Smoking contributes to diabetes, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases while drinking alcohol can cause stroke, heart disease, and other health problems.
Regular Blood Sugar Level Checks
An irregular blood sugar level is dangerous as it can cause diabetes. Regular blood sugar level checks will help you identify any of these issues. Consequently, you will have a chance to adjust your diet and lifestyle to manage those issues. Some of the things that are likely to contribute to high sugar levels include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Some medications such as antidepressants and birth control pills
- Change of hormonal activity, such as during the menstruation cycle.
- Gaining too much weight or obesity.
A Heart Healthy Diet
You need to ensure that you are getting all of the essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. The following foods are great sources of these nutrients:
- Fish: They contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Legumes: These include beans, lentils, and peas.
- Shrimp: A shrimp is a good source of protein and contains high selenium levels, an antioxidant that helps keep harmful radicals from the body.
- Green leafy vegetables: These plants are particularly rich in vitamins K and C.