HEALTH IS THE ULTIMATE WEALTH!
February is National American Heart Month! Our hearts are the core to our existence. Taking care of your heart should be as routine as any regular self-care regimen.
DID YOU KNOW???
Cardiovascular Disease, also known as Heart Disease is the NUMBER ONE leading cause of death in the United States? Heart disease includes diseased vessels, structural problems, electrical dysfunction, and blood clots.
UNDERSTANDING HEART DISEASE
- HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: a medical condition in which the force of blood against the artery walls is TOO HIGH and OFTEN HAS NO SYMPTOMS
- STROKE damage to the brain from interruption or lack of blood supply to the brain. Common Signs: facial droop and numbness, speech difficulties, muscle weakness on one side of body
- CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE damage or disease in the heart's major blood vessels cause by the build-up of plaque from foods high in fat and cholesterol. This causes limited blood flow to the arteries secondary to
- ARRHYTHMIA improper or irregular beating of the heart which can either be too fast or too slow caused by a malfunction in the hearts electrical system. Both slow and fast heart beats cause inadequate blood flow to the body.
- CARDIAC ARREST sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness which leads to lack of oxygen and blood supply to vital organs, cell death, and can lead to the cessation of life
- CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE An abnormality in the heart that develops before birth such as a hole in the heart, defective vessels, or leaky heart valves.
- CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE A chronic condition in which the heart doesn't pump blood as well as it should. Heart chambers can either become too stiff and thick causing an improper filling of blood in the heart chambers or stretched and thinned chambers that limits the heart’s pumping ability.
- PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE A circulatory condition in which narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to the limbs. Results from fatty deposits and calcium build up in the walls of the arteries.
WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
- Blood pressure control: Eating a healthy, balanced diet (limit consumption of fast, canned, processed foods and salt- increases blood pressure), and exercising regularly. If you’re already taking blood pressure medications, be sure to maintain compliance as directed by your primary physician.
- Maintain cholesterol levels: Eat a diet low in saturated fats (limit hard cheese, cakes, butter, and sausage/fatty meats)
- Maintain a healthy weight: Healthy diet and regular exercise
- Diabetic Control: Controlling weight and blood pressure will help to manage blood sugar levels. Consistently high blood sugars damaged the heart, blood vessels, and nerves.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption: Alcohol weakens/thins heart muscles
- Give up smoking: There are a variety of smoking cessations programs available. Talk to your doctor today.
- Reduce Stress: Meditation, aroma therapy, exercise, seek therapy/counseling. Seek help when needed!