Heart disease is one of the major reason of death for both men and women in India. It's really important to know how to lower your risk of heart disease.
What you can do to prevent heart disease:
Eating healthy food and not junk food.
Try to maintain healthy weight.
Say no to smoking also ignore passive smoking.
Control your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Try to consume less alcohol. Again if possible quit drinking.
Are you at risk for heart disease?
Nobody can say that he or she is not at risk for heart disease. But below symptoms might notify that you are at higher risk for heart disease:
Have high blood pressure or high cholesterol
Got an overweight or obesity problem
Not involve in enough physical activity
Don't eat a healthy diet
Beside that, Your age and family history also could be the reason for heart disease. Your risk is higher if:
You are a man and your age over 45
You are a woman and your age over 55
If your father or brother had heart disease problem before age 55
If your mother or sister had heart disease problem before age 65
Don't take it too seriously and create another problem for you, Rather you can centainly do some good practise and change your daily habits or lifestyle to prevent heart disease.
What is heart disease?
The most common type of heart disease are coronary heart disease OR coronary artery disease (CAD).
When someone has CHD or coronary heart disease, the coronary arteries (or tubes) which is responsible for taking blood to the heart are narrow or blocked. This happens when cholesterol and fat, called plaque, build up inside the arteries.
Plaque could be caused by:
Excessive fat and cholesterol in the blood
High blood pressure
When plaque blocks an artery, it's create problem for blood to flow to the heart. A blocked artery can cause heart attack or chest pain.
What is a heart attack? Sign and symptoms before Heart Attack?
When the blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked it could cause Heart Attack. There could be partial failure in the heart in case the person doesn’t get quick help.
Here are some common signs of a heart attack:
Feeling discomfort or pain in the center or left side of the chest – or squeezing OR fullness OR a feeling of pressure,
Discomfort or Pain in the upper body – like the neck, jaw, arms, back, shoulders, or upper stomach (above the belly button)
Breathing problem (while resting or being active) OR Shortness of breath
Feeling sick to your stomach
Heartburn OR Stomach ache
Feeling like dizzy, or light-headed, or unusually tired
Breaking out in a cold sweat
Not necessarily everyone who has a heart attack will have all the above signs.
If you feel changes (discomfort, chest pain, breathing problem etc), don't ignore it.
In general Heart attack happens all of of sudden. Also, it sign of heart attack can develop slowly with time – hours, days, or even weeks before a heart attack happens.
Consult your doctor if you feel tired for several days for unknown reason (unusual) , or if you develop any new health problems (like pain or breathing problem). It's really important to consult your doctor in case any existing health issues (like pain) are bothering you more than usual.
Can Heart Attack Happens for More than One Time - If you’ve had a heart attack in the past, what you should know that symptoms of a new heart attack might be different from the last one.
What You Should Do In case of sudden Heart Attack?
Book an ambulance and go to the nearest hospital. EMTs (emergency medical technicians) can keep track on your health status and start life-saving treatments in the ambulance itself.
Good To Know Your Numbers
Take steps today to lower your risk for heart disease.
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
If you have High cholesterol and high blood pressure take it seriously as it can cause heart disease and heart attack. Try your cholesterol or blood pressure numbers and if they are high, you need to take actions to lower them.
Keep a track on your cholesterol level.
Remember that, It’s important to get your cholesterol checked at least every 4 to 6 years. Some people will need to get it checked more or less often.
Get your blood pressure checked.
It is recommended that get your blood pressure checked regularly, starting at age 18, As the High blood pressure has no signs or symptoms.
Refer us to get more recommendations based on your age and sex.
Always Consult with Your Doctor Before taking any medicine
Some Important things To Know about Heart disease - If you are in tension about a family member’s risk for heart disease,
Ask your doctor about taking aspirin every day.
If you are age 50 to 59, taking aspirin every day can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke – but it’s not recommended for everyone. Always consult your doctor to find out if taking aspirin is OK for you.
You can also consult with your doctor about taking medicine to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
As per the Experts some people ages 40 to 75 take medicines called statins if they are at high risk for heart attack and stroke. Ask these questions while talk your doctor about statins.
What is Healthy Eating?
Eating healthy can help lower your risk of heart related disease or problem. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
What are Heart Healthy Food?
Heart-healthy food include high-fiber foods (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) and certain fats (like the fats in olive oil and fish).
Ask for a side salad instead of chips or french fries.
Try to Drink alcohol as less as possible.
Remember limiting your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for woman and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. Too much alcohol can increase your risk of heart disease.
Always be Active.
Adults need at least 40 minutes of exercise (walk, run, Yoga, aerobic, dance or other activities) every day.
If you are a starter, try walking for 10-15 minutes a day, a few days each week. You will notice the increament in numbers and deloped physical performance for sure, Then you can add more activity over time.
Maintaining a healthy weight Really Important.
Overweight or obesity can increase the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, losing some weights can lower your risk of heart disease.
Know your BMI (body mass index) If you not sure about your weight,
Always prefer these Healthy Habits
Avoiding passive smoking is important, too – so keep your home smoke-free. If you have friends who smoke, ask them to smoke outside.
Managing stress Could Be Helpful.
Managing stress can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. Yoga, Deep breathing and meditation are some of the good ways to manage stress.
Q: What are the key rules of thumb for a layperson to take care of their heart?
A: Follow these guidelines:
Maintain a balanced diet with reduced carbohydrate intake and increased protein consumption, while minimizing oil usage.
Engage in regular exercise, such as walking for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Avoid excessive sitting and use stairs whenever possible.
Control your weight.
Manage blood pressure and sugar levels.
Q: Is consuming non-vegetarian food, specifically fish, beneficial for heart health?
A: Expert opinion suggests that non-vegetarian food, including fish, is not considered advantageous for heart health.
Q: Sometimes, apparently healthy individuals experience cardiac arrest. How can we understand such incidents?
A: Such cases are referred to as silent heart attacks, which is why routine health checkups are recommended for individuals above the age of 30 to detect potential risks.
Q: Are heart diseases hereditary?
A: Yes, heart diseases can have a hereditary component.
Q: How can the heart be stressed, and what practices can help in de-stressing?
A: Changing your attitude towards life and avoiding the pursuit of perfection in every aspect can significantly reduce stress levels and positively impact heart health.
Q: Is walking more beneficial than jogging for maintaining a healthy heart, or do we require more intensive exercise?
A: Walking is generally considered better than jogging as it minimizes the risk of early fatigue and joint injuries.
Q: Why do men experience heart attacks more frequently than women?
A: Women are naturally protected against heart diseases until around the age of 45, which contributes to the higher rate of heart attacks in men.
Q: Can individuals with low blood pressure suffer from heart diseases?
A: Instances of heart diseases among individuals with low blood pressure are extremely rare.
Q: Does cholesterol accumulation begin at an early age, or should one only be concerned after reaching 30 years of age?
A: Cholesterol accumulation starts during childhood, emphasizing the importance of monitoring cholesterol levels from an early age.
Q: How do irregular eating habits affect the heart?
A: Irregular eating habits, particularly consumption of junk food, can confuse the body's digestive enzymes and have adverse effects on heart health.
Q: How can cholesterol levels be controlled without relying on medications?
A: Controlling your diet, regular exercise, and including walnuts in your diet can help in managing cholesterol levels naturally.
Q: Can practicing yoga prevent heart ailments?
A: Yoga has been known to contribute positively to heart health.
Q: What are the best and worst foods for heart health?
A: Fruits and vegetables are considered the best for heart health, while oils, especially saturated fats, are considered the worst.
Q: Which oil is preferable: groundnut, sunflower, or olive oil?
A: According to expert opinion, all oils should be consumed in moderation, as no specific oil is considered entirely beneficial for heart health.
Q: What are the recommended routine checkups for monitoring heart health?
A: Routine blood tests to assess sugar and cholesterol levels are crucial for maintaining heart health.
Q: What are the first aid steps to take during a heart attack?
A: Lay the person down comfortably, place an aspirin tablet under their tongue (along with a sorbitrate tablet if available), and promptly transport them to a coronary care unit, as the first hour is critical.
Q: How can one differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and pain due to gastric issues?
A: Distinguishing between the two without an electrocardiogram (ECG) is extremely challenging.
Q: Why are heart problems increasingly affecting young individuals in their 30s and 40s?
A: Factors such as sedentary lifestyles, smoking, consumption of junk food, lack of exercise, and genetic vulnerability contribute to the rise in heart problems among young individuals.
Q: Is it possible for a person to have blood pressure outside the normal range (120/80) and still be healthy?
A: Yes, some individuals can have blood pressure levels that deviate from the normal range and still remain healthy.
Q: Does consanguinity (marriages between close relatives) lead to heart problems in children?
A: Yes, co-sanguinity can increase the risk of congenital heart abnormalities.
Q: Can irregular work shifts, including night shifts, increase the vulnerability to heart disease?
A: There is no substantial evidence suggesting that night shift work specifically increases the risk of heart disease when compared to day shifts.
Q: Are modern anti-hypertensive drugs associated with complications, either short or long-term?
A: While most drugs have some side effects, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are generally considered safe when used appropriately.
Q: Does excessive consumption of coffee or tea lead to heart attacks?
A: No, there is no direct link between consuming moderate amounts of coffee or tea and heart attacks.
Q: Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
A: No, asthma does not necessarily make individuals more susceptible to heart disease.
Q: What defines junk food?
A: Junk food encompasses fried items like those found in fast-food chains such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's, as well as snacks like samosas and even masala dosas.
Q: Why are Indians considered three times more vulnerable to heart diseases compared to Europeans and Americans, despite the latter consuming junk food too?
A: Vulnerability to specific diseases can vary among different races and ethnicities. Unfortunately, heart disease has a higher incidence in the Indian population.
Q: Can consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?
A: Consuming bananas does not directly reduce hypertension.
Q: Can individuals help themselves during a heart attack?
A: Yes, lying down comfortably, placing an aspirin tablet under the tongue, and seeking immediate medical attention are important steps to take during a heart attack.
Q: Do low white blood cell and hemoglobin counts lead to heart problems?
A: While low white blood cell and hemoglobin counts do not directly cause heart problems, maintaining normal hemoglobin levels can improve exercise capacity.
Q: In the absence of dedicated exercise time, can daily activities like household chores or climbing stairs serve as substitutes for exercise?
A: Yes, incorporating physical activity into daily routines, such as doing household chores or using stairs instead of elevators, can be considered beneficial in the absence of dedicated exercise time.
Q: Is there a correlation between heart problems and blood sugar levels?
A: Yes, individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to heart attacks than those without diabetes.
Q: What should individuals focus on after undergoing heart surgery?
A: Following heart surgery, individuals should pay attention to their diet, engage in regular exercise, adhere to prescribed medications, and maintain control over cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight.
Q: Do individuals working night shifts have a higher vulnerability to heart disease compared to day shift workers?
A: No, there is no conclusive evidence suggesting that night shift work increases the risk of heart disease when compared to day shift work.
Q: What are some examples of modern anti-hypertensive drugs?
A: There is a wide range of modern anti-hypertensive drugs available, and the appropriate combination is typically determined by a healthcare professional based on individual needs. However, adopting natural methods, such as regular exercise, weight management, and lifestyle changes, is often recommended as an alternative approach to controlling blood pressure.
Q: Does taking over-the-counter pain medication like Disprin increase the risk of heart attacks?
A: No, taking medications such as Disprin or similar headache pills does not increase the risk of heart attacks.
Let's read an interesting story to understand better how to keep the heart healthy.
If our body were a small city, the main antagonist in this city would be cholesterol. It has some accomplices, most notably triglycerides on the right-hand side. Their job is to create traffic jams on the streets, blocking the city and keeping it busy. The heart is the life center of this city. All the roads in the city have converged into the heart. If the number of antagonists increases, you all know what happens. They constantly create chaos and immobilize the city's life center.
Is there no police in our body city? Those who will cross the protesters, will they be punished and thrown into jail?
Yes, there is. Its name is HDL. It patrols the streets regularly, picking up these protesters from the streets and imprisoning them in the jail. Jail means the liver. It converts them into bile salts and releases them from the city through the city's drainage system (with the help of the gallbladder). What a punishment for the protesters!
And there is one more person, LDL. He is powerful as well. He forcefully pulls them out of their cells and puts them back on the streets. The intoxication of the protesters spreads throughout the city.
HDL comes running to the rescue. But he cannot overcome the combined power of LDL and the protesters. The lower the number of police (HDL), the more triumphant the protesters become. The city's environment becomes unhealthy.
Do you like such a city? Do you want to increase the police and decrease the protesters?
Then take a step forward.
For every step you take, police posting (HDL) will increase.
The more police increase, the less cholesterol (protesters), triglycerides (spoonfuls of protesters), and LDL will decrease.
Your city (body) will regain its vitality.
The life center of your city (heart) will be saved from the obstruction of the protesters (heart block).
And the life center of the city (heart) being saved means you will also live a healthy life.
So, start when you have the time or opportunity. (The story is collected from FB)