Our hearts are working non-stop to pump vital nutrients around the body. If something goes wrong, it can be a very scary time for you and your family.
Luckily, there have been huge advances in treatment for heart disease, such as medication and cardiac surgery, which is not as dangerous as it once was. However, your heart is permanently affected. Although there is some disagreement as to whether or not you can completely get rid of heart disease, you can help to prevent further incidents by making big and lasting changes to your lifestyle
So, we’ve established that heart disease is extremely dangerous, and affects adults of all ages. What can you do today to help protect yourself?
47% of people in the U.S. have at least one of the three main risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being a smoker. Other factors include obesity, type 2 diabetes, stress, and poor diet.
Get regular exercise. Your heart is a muscle that needs training too. Thirty minutes of raising your heart rate a day is enough to keep your heart in check. You mustn’t over exert your heart, so depending on your risk level, no sprinting just yet. You should start with low to moderate exercise such as walking, and gradually build the intensity. As well as giving your heart a workout, exercise helps keep your weight in check and lowers stress levels, regulating your blood pressure. Talk to your primary physician, who can help you draw up a suitable exercise plan.
Eat right. Use less salt to lower your blood pressure. Bananas are a great source of potassium which is also great for regulating blood pressure. Use less saturated fat to lower your cholesterol by switching out animal fats like lard and butter for vegetable oils. Processed foods are packed with salt and sugar, so cook from scratch. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Slow cookers are a great way to cook easy stews.
Quit smoking. Take your heart health seriously. Smoking causes plaque buildup in your arteries; so, even if you’re a perfect weight and eat relatively well, if you’re a smoker, you’re still at a higher risk. We know it’s challenging to quit, but it’s easier than needing to see a vascular doctor or cardiothoracic surgeon to deal with the consequences.
Keep stress in check. Working long hours, a difficult commute, pressure from your boss, financial worries, family problems, internet trolls — we have to juggle a lot of things in 21st century New York. Stress plays havoc on our blood pressure. As well as looking at how we can change our daily habits to mitigate stress, breathing exercises and mindfulness meditation are clinically proven to help.
Preventive care is the best way to maintain your heart health. But, the above suggestions cannot help you if there is already something seriously wrong. If you suspect you may already have a heart condition, we’re here to help you with a great team of cardiology doctors. BronxDocs can help you should you be in need of a vascular doctor or a heart doctor.
If after reading this information you believe you are at heightened risk, be particularly alert for the symptoms of heart disease. If you have experienced the following symptoms, visit a cardiologist in the Bronx immediately to rule out anything serious.
Not everyone has the same symptoms for a heart attack. It may be accompanied by shooting pains in the arm, nausea, and a cold sweat.
We’re committed to giving your symptoms and concerns the attention they deserve. Lives are tragically lost when people make light of their symptoms and do not seek medical attention early enough. Our team will work quickly to diagnose and treat your heart condition, and work together to create an ongoing treatment plan to prevent future complications.
Heart conditions share some of the same symptoms as lung conditions, so be prepared that you may be referred to a pulmonologist. For more information, visit our pulmonology page under our list of services.