One of the most important aspects, if not the most important aspect of remaining healthy and growing old is taking care of your heart. It is far too common this day and age for people to be diagnosed with heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the number one killer of people in the United States, specifically women. If you want to know more about who is at risk of heart disease and how you can work to make it as healthy as possible, continue reading below.
Are you at risk of heart disease?
There are many warning signs that someone is at risk for heart disease. It’s likely that you are already well aware of your risk factors if they exist and you have been to the doctor in the last year or so. Are you dealing with any of the following risk factors?
You have high blood pressure
This symptom sometimes takes a while to identify. However, while the signs of high blood pressure may not show up at first, it doesn’t mean that damage isn’t being done. When you suffer from high blood pressure for a long time, your heart has to work overtime just to keep pumping blood. If untreated, this condition will almost always lead to a heart attack, stroke or a number of other life-threatening diseases.
You have high cholesterol
When your cholesterol is high, it affects the arteries that carry the blood to your heart. It does this by causing inflammation and damage to the walls of the arteries. The scarring in these vessels narrows them, which keeps the heart from getting as much blood as it needs. When the vessel becomes entirely closed off, it will cause the person to have a heart attack.
You are living with diabetes
Those who have diabetes have lost their ability to control the amount of sugar in their blood. When there is an excess of sugar in the blood, the sugar can latch onto the blood vessel walls, causing damage. This almost always results in decreased circulation to specific areas of the body which can prevent healing. Again, heart attack and stroke are much more common in those who suffer from diabetes.
You are overweight or obese
When the majority of your diet is saturated fat, the accumulation of harmful deposits in your blood vessels, which in turn will likely lead to you finding yourself with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or diabetes.
You don’t exercise
If you are looking for the very best way to keep your heart strong and healthy, exercise is your answer. Exercise also comes with other benefits like its ability to lower your blood pressure and stave off diseases such as diabetes. If you don’t make time in your week to exercise, then it’s time to start, otherwise, you are putting yourself at risk.
One of the biggest risk factors for heart disease is smoking. Plain and simple, the longer you have been smoking, the most at risk you are.
You drink a lot of alcohol
While there may be benefits to minimal alcohol consumption, having more than one or two drinks per day can do some serious harm to your heart and increase your overall risk for heart disease.
Removing yourself from harm’s way
If you fear that you may be putting yourself at risk of developing heart disease, the good news is, it’s not too late to turn things around. There are plenty of things you can do to reverse the damage you have already done. The first things we would suggest is that you see your doctor. By checking in with a physician, you can discover what the reality of your heart health is. After this, you can begin to make small changes that will help to alter your cardiovascular health in the long run. Some of the solutions your doctor might suggest will be to stop smoking if you do so, start an exercise program, and take any medications that have been prescribed to you.
Contact your cardiologist
As we said, the first step to getting better at taking care of your heart is to see your doctor. If you live in New Jersey and you need a cardiologist to consult, we can absolutely help you at the Cardio Metabolic Institute. Contact us today and make an appointment.