We all know that heart disease is no small deal. According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in America. In 2010, 597,689 people died from heart attacks, heart failure and other incidents of heart disease. It affects people of all ages, but heart disease is mostly not a genetic condition, given a small percentage. Heart disease is preventable if you know some of the ways heart disease affects people. Let’s take a look at some of these ways to get a better understanding of how to be proactive against them. It might literally save your life.
If you’re smoking, you know that you’re not doing your body any favors. We, of course, associate smoking with lung cancer, emphysema and other pulmonary diseases, but smoking is also a cause of heart disease. That’s because when you smoke, you make your heart work harder because your blood vessels constrict, and your blood pressure goes up due to the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood. Your heart has to work harder to make up for the lack of oxygen. Over time, your heart will eventually give up, causing heart disease.
If you don’t exercise, your heart won’t be used to stress. By being used to stress, your heart is better able to deal with situations when your heart rate goes up. In addition, let’s look at some of the major factors of heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and stress. Exercise helps you to keep a normal BMI, which helps to prevent high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Also, exercise minimizes stress, which is a major factor of heart disease as well.
Forks over Knives went into detail about how the Western Diet can affect heart disease. By eating meat and dairy high in saturated fat, you’re increasing your risk of heart disease. T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn are showcased in the documentary for their work, and Esselstyn, in particular, shows how eating a low-fat plant-based diet can help patients prevent further damage to the heart, and in some cases, reverse heart disease completely. Bill Clinton took their advice and has been in better health ever since. By eating less saturated fats and more fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Get the right tests
If you don’t know that you could be at risk of heart disease, you might never have a chance of preventing it. By reviewing your family history and getting the right tests, you can have a better understanding of your risks and do something about it. Technology has enabled tests like the cardiovascular stress test to accurately predict cardiovascular risks, so patients can proactively change things in order to prevent later heart attacks. By knowing your risks, you can do something about it before it becomes a concern.
These are just some of the things you can do to prevent heart disease. Heart disease will kill hundreds of thousands of people this year. Will you be one of them? For the most part, that’s all up to you.
Sean Carter is part of a experienced team of writers who cover Health, Weight Loss and other areas of interenet for a variety of blogs