Cardiovascular disease, more commonly known as heart disease, is the leading cause of death in the US. A person dies from the condition every 36 seconds, which roughly averages to 655,000 American lives lost annually. Heart disease covers a range of conditions, including coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, congenital heart defects, heart attack and stroke. Though many of the causes of heart disease, if left unchecked, can be deadly, you can prevent many of the causes of heart disease with simple and effective methods.
Heart disease is a serious matter, and treating it should be done by an experienced, caring medical team. Residents of the Little River, South Carolina area can depend on the expertise and compassion of Dr. Rogers Walker and the staff at Walker Urgent and Family Care.
Understanding heart disease
As there are many types of heart disease, you can develop heart problems in many ways. Many types of this condition are caused by atherosclerosis, which happens when a substance called plaque builds up in the artery walls. The buildup can narrow the flow of blood through the arteries, which can cause you to get many heart conditions such as stroke or heart attack. Heart disease can also refer to problems in other areas of the heart such as the heart valves, heart muscles, infections in areas of the heart, or even your heart rate.
Ways to stay heart healthy
Whether you’re trying to prevent heart problems or managing a heart condition, you can do some things to reduce heart issues:
Start a healthy diet
Many heart problems can be traced to problems with foods in your diet. Reduce foods high in sodium (beef, ham, sausage, processed meats, fast food, etc), foods and drinks with lots of sweeteners, and reduce foods with trans fats. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and water will help to keep your body healthy, especially your heart.
Manage your weight
A bad diet and lack of physical activity can lead to obesity, which increases the risk of heart problems. Getting into a routine with more physical activities can make a big difference, so get out of the chair and get outside to keep the weight down.
One of the ways to help reduce weight and stay active is to start a daily exercise regimen. Lifting weights, yoga, running, and sports are all ways to keep the body active and the heart healthy.
Although light-to-moderate alcohol use is generally safe, heavy drinking can help cause many of the heart conditions we’ve covered here, including stroke and heart failure. Reduce or avoid alcohol to stay healthy.
Tobacco use is harmful to the heart and lungs, and quitting smoking can give immediate benefits to your overall health. You will live longer and your chances of heart disease will be reduced.
Monitor blood pressure and blood sugar
Hypertension and diabetes are both dangerous for your health, especially your heart. Keeping an eye on your blood pressure and your blood glucose (blood sugar) can help determine if you’re at risk for either of these conditions and work to prevent it.
Heart disease can be dangerous, but changes in your lifestyle can help you manage and avoid the complications from these problems. Make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent and Family Care to check on your heart health today.