“When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy”- Chinese Proverb
A healthy heart is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Although, with so many cases of heart diseases around, the thought of having one is quite threatening. However, to fight or use preventive methods against them, it is necessary to understand heart diseases first.
Heart diseases are often called “cardiovascular diseases” which describes a range of conditions affecting your heart such as coronary artery disease which is a form of blood vessel diseases, rhythmic heart problems known as arrhythmias, or congenital heart defects i.e. heart defects since birth among several others. Most heart diseases can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.
The major cause behind any heart disease is the damaged heart. Damage to the coronary arteries, or an inadequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart. Some heart diseases are genetic while others can be caused by:
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Consumption of junk food
- Overweight and obesity
- Age A history of preeclampsia during pregnancy
- Staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time like sitting at work
The symptoms of heart disease vary depending on the patient’s condition but common symptoms include chest pain, breathlessness, and heart palpitations. The symptoms of a heart attack can be similar to indigestion sometimes such as heartburn and a stomach ache along with a heavy feeling in the chest.Other symptoms of a heart attack include:
- Pain that travels through the body, for example from the chest to the arms, neck, back, abdomen, or jaw
- Lightheadedness and dizzy sensations
- Profuse sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
Some heart conditions can affect people with no symptoms at all, especially in older adults and individuals with diabetes.The term 'congenital heart disease' covers a range of conditions, but the general symptoms include sweating, high levels of fatigue, fast heartbeat and breathing, breathlessness, chest pain, a blue tint to the skin, and clubbed fingernails.
Medication certainly is the best way to cure heart diseases but prevention is always better than cure. Besides, certain types of heart diseases such as heart defects can't be prevented. However, others can be prevented by making smart and healthy choices. For instance,
- Quit smoking immediately, It is a major cause of heart diseases.
- Control your other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes
- Start exercising at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week. It will strengthen your heart and circulatory system, help in reducing cholesterol levels, and maintain blood pressure.
- Take a diet with low salt, high fibre and saturated fatMaintain healthy body weight and achieve your targeted BMI.
- Say goodbye to stress
- Practice good hygiene
- Stop consuming alcohol or reduce the intake if you can’t quit immediately. Too much alcohol can increase the risk of heart diseases and can be dangerous.