Heart disease prevention

Almost everyone knows or has known someone that suffered from heart disease, or maybe you suffer from heart disease yourself. Heart disease has become the major killer in the United States. There are many contributors that can lead to heart disease, but a lot of them have to do with your lifestyle and habits. Of course, there are risk factors that have nothing to do with the way you take care of yourself, but if you are looking to find a way to prevent this disease from happening to you, you may want to start by taking some of the steps that are in your control.

If you know that you are at risk of heart disease due to family history or because of your lifestyle, you can take a few easy steps to change your life and lesson your risk. Heart disease is most common in people who are overweight, people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, those who smoke and those who lack exercise. Since these can all contribute to heart disease you can start by improving these areas of your life.

First you should evaluate your lifestyle. Are you over weight? If so, you are at a greater risk. The great thing about losing weight is that it can also improve some of the other factors that can cause heart disease. When you lose weight you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. If you want to lose a few pounds, you start by watching what you eat. This typically involves lessoning the type of foods that made you gain weight in the first place, like fried foods, butters, oils, too much cheese or junk foods. All of these cause high cholesterol. By eliminating these foods, not only will you lose weight you will also decrease your risk of having high cholesterol. Also, if you start exercising more often, you will start losing weight as well as strengthening your heart muscle.

Smoking is another contributor to heart disease. We all know that smoking causes so many health problems and its effects on the heart are not to be over looked. Smoking does not only cause lung cancer but can also cause the heart rate to increase and the major arteries to tighten. Also smoking can cause the heart to beat irregularly and it also raises blood pressure. The chemicals found in cigarettes are very harmful to your heart, leading to fatty plaque buildup in your arteries and also by increasing your risk of blood clots that can cause a heart attack.

Other risk factors may include high stress levels, sexual hormone levels, birth control pills, age, gender, and alcohol intake. Men stand a higher chance of developing heart disease, but after a woman reaches menopause, between the ages of 40-65 they stand a much greater chance of having heart disease as well. Birth control pills contain doses of estrogen and progesterone which can also contribute to side effects dealing with the heart. Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can also cause problems but having one moderate drink a day has actually been proven to be beneficial to the heart.

If you feel that you may be at risk you should definitely see a physician right away. If you do not feel that you are at risk, it is still safer to have a check up regularly and be evaluated for possible problems that you may not know about. You may have high blood pressure or high cholesterol and not even be aware of it. Do not wait until you have a problem to see the doctor. The best way to avoid heart disease is always prevention and taking some of these steps now can help save your life.

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Last updated on Jun 18th, 2009 and filed under Cardiovascular Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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