Heart disease and genetics are closely linked, but since there is no history of stroke or heart attack in your family, you are in the clear, right?
Your lifestyle is also a major player in the game! Certain habits can drastically increase your risk of heart attack, diabetes, and stroke, so if any of these at-risk lifestyles sound familiar, then you should consider making some big changes to maximize your heart health.
It’s a well-known fact that smoking is not good for your lungs, but it also greatly increases your risk of heart disease. In fact, people who smoke are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease because the nicotine in cigarettes limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your heart, increases your blood pressure, makes your heart beat faster, and damages the insides of your blood vessels. Roughly 1 in 5 deaths from heart disease are directly related to smoking, so quitting is the only solution to help lower your risk.
The good news? Your risk of developing heart disease greatly diminishes after just one to two years of not smoking,
Obese adults have a much higher risk for developing heart disease than their normal-weight peers. A recent Danish study tried to prove otherwise by claiming that obesity is not unhealthy as long as your lifestyle is relatively healthy and you don’t have high blood pressure or other signs of illness. However, follow-up research showed that even “metabolically healthy obese” males were three times more likely to develop heart disease and females had double the risk.
There really is something to the old adage that “you are what you eat”. The amount and type of food that you consume can have a direct impact on your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and weight, especially if you have diabetes. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to ward off cardiovascular disease, so choose nutrient rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy, and limit your intake of sweets, junk food, and red meats.
While binge-watching an entire season of your favorite show may be your definition of a great day, your heart does not agree. However, just 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise 3-4 days a week can help lower your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels, and keep you at a healthy weight. If hitting that weekly exercise goal sounds like too much, too soon, don’t get discouraged! Even a little exercise is better than none.
Research shows that the flavonoids and antioxidants in red wine are good for your heart, but only when consumed in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends drinking no more than one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women (one drink = one 12oz. beer, 4 oz. wine, 1.5 oz. of 8-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits). Drinking any more than that could put you at risk for high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol.
For more information on at-risk lifestyles and lowering your risk for developing heart disease, contact the cardiology experts at Cardiac Solutions.
Contact our expert cardiologists for more useful tips on lowering your risk of heart disease!
Unlike in the movies, not all heart attacks begin with sudden, crushing chest pain. Even people who have survived previous heart attacks may experience different symptoms the second time around. Since prompt recognition and treatment is crucial to surviving a heart attack, here is a list of warning signs that could indicate trouble is on the horizon.
The most common warning sign of a heart attack is pain or pressure in the chest that goes on for longer than a minute and is not alleviated by sitting down or resting. The pain could remain steady, go away and return, or spread down the arms, back, head, or neck.
Pain caused by an upcoming heart attack is not always in the chest. In fact, you can experience pain, discomfort, or a mild tingling sensation in your stomach, back, neck, upper or shoulder area of one or both arms, jaw, and even your teeth.
If it feels like someone has wrapped your upper body in rope and is pulling it tight, you may be experiencing a symptom of a coming heart attack. This suffocating sensation can also occur in your jaw and throat.
Profuse, cold sweating without any exertion or definitive reason why can be an early warning sign that your body is working harder than it should. When the arteries are clogged, it can take a lot of extra effort to pump blood through them, which increases your body temperature and triggers a natural response (sweating) to bring the temperature back down. Cold sweats and pale skin coloring often arrive together and should be taken seriously, so definitely seek medical attention.
While it is easy to write off fatigue as a lack of sleep or a busy schedule, tiredness while doing everyday activities can be a symptom of heart failure. Your heart may be working overtime to pump enough blood to critical areas so less blood is reaching your muscles, causing muscle weakness and fatigue.
Particularly seen in women, shortness of breath that is not brought about by strenuous activity can be attributable to a coming heart attack. The cause is rooted in a breakdown in the process of returning blood to the lungs from the heart, which can allow fluid to leak into the lungs and create breathing problems.
If you are already at risk for a heart attack, don’t just chalk up feelings of indigestion, nausea, bloating, coughing, and diarrhea to the flu. You may be experiencing these symptoms because your digestive system is not getting the blood it needs to function properly.
Lightheadedness is a common symptom of a heart problem, so sit down and call someone for help. Even if the feeling passes, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to find out what caused the attack.
Though it is unclear how insomnia is linked to heart failure, almost 50% of heart attack patients complain of sleeping problems in the days leading up to their coronary episode.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact the experienced team at Cardiac Solutions as soon as you can or go straight to the hospital.
We are happy to answer your questions or address your concerns, so contact us today at any one of our locations!