Heart attacks and strokes aren’t the only type of heart disease. We often get questions concerning heart diseases and conditions that can lead to heart disease. Many people do not know the differences and warning signs. There many signs, conditions and general knowledge regarding heart health you should be aware of in order to take the best care of yourself. Of course there are many more types of heart diseases and conditions that I won’t cover so it’s important to research those as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) nearly 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year 2. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Here’s what else you need to know:
Finding the perfect rhythm
An arrhythmia occurs when your heart beats either too quickly, too slowly or erratically. If your heart isn’t beating regularly then it can’t pump your blood effectively 3. If your blood isn’t being pumped effectively then your lungs, brain and other vital organs cannot work properly resulting in them shutting down or being damaged.
An average, normal heart beats around 100,000 times per day and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. If you’re experiencing an arrhythmia then your vitals are different and depending on how different could pose a more serious problem.
There can be many different causes to arrhythmia including: heart attack, scarred tissue, blocked arteries, high blood pressure, smoking, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, stress, certain medications, and air pollution 4. These are some of the more common causes.
If you feel like your heart is beating faster or slower than normal, it’s important to see your doctor. He will be able to test your heart rate and determine whether it is considered clinically significant – if it causes symptoms that could lead to more serious health problems. Often an arrhythmia does not pose a more serious threat and your doctor will just take note of it and have you monitor in the future. If it is considered clinically significant then he will work with you to set a treatment plan 5.
Cholesterol isn’t all bad
Cholesterol gets a bad rap but it isn’t actually bad itself. Cholesterol is actually created and used by our bodies to help keep us healthy 6. There are however two types of cholesterol – good and bad.
HDL or “good” cholesterol helps keel LDL or “bad” cholesterol from getting stuck to the walls in your arteries. A healthy level of HDL can also help protect you from heart attacks and strokes while low levels of HDL have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease7.
LDL cholesterol can clog your arteries if too much of it is circulated throughout your blood stream. LDL is naturally produced by your body but eating saturated fat, trans fats and dietary cholesterol can increase the amount you have. It’s also possible to inherit a gene that causes your body to make too much.
High cholesterol can lead to serious heart problems and unfortunately there aren’t many symptoms 8. It’s important to have regular cholesterol screenings done. If you know your family has a history of high cholesterol then it’s even more important for you to stay on top of your screenings. If you have high cholesterol, diet modifications and regular exercise can help reduce your levels.
Stop the silent killer in it’s tracks
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often referred to as the “silent killer.” Many times you will not notice any symptoms from high blood pressure but it can have serious consequences to your health. High blood pressure occurs when your heart is pumping blood into too narrow of arteries - the narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure 9.
High blood pressure typically develops over a span of time. Fortunately, whenever you visit the doctor they measure your blood pressure so it can be easily detected. If you do not visit the doctor regularly, you could be at an increased chance of having serious consequences from high blood pressure.
There are many ways you can maintain healthy blood pressure levels. If you’re looking for ideas, try incorporating some of these suggestions10:
• Eating a healthy diet with reduced sodium
• Exercise regularly
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Don’t smoke
• Manage your stress
• Limit your intake of alcohol
Although these suggestions are not definite remedies, they certainly cannot hurt your blood pressure and they’ll give you an overall healthier you.
Again, there are many more conditions and heart diseases that you should be aware of but arrhythmias, cholesterol problems and high blood pressure are some of the most common heart health issues people face each year. Your heart is your life support so if you ever feel like something is different or off it is your best bet to seek medical attention. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to matters of the heart!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided in this blog is intended for general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. If you have any questions regarding a medical condition, seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health care provider.