Your heart is one of the most vital organs in your body. It pumps oxygenated blood to your body so you can function and live. So when heart disease strikes, it’s detrimental to your well-being.
Certain things out of your control put you at risk for heart disease, while others are modifiable.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, our team is dedicated to overseeing your heart health. If you’re at risk for heart disease, Dr. Hesham Fakhri and Dr. Abdulghani Saadi help you understand how to stay healthy.
Understanding heart disease
To stay healthy, your heart needs to stay in good shape. Heart disease is a problem that encompasses several conditions that affect blood flow to your heart. Coronary artery disease is one of the most common forms of heart disease.
Heart disease, untreated, can lead to less-than-efficient blood flow to your heart. This may cause a heart attack, which can seriously damage your organs and even result in death.
If you have heart disease, you might not even know it. Sometimes heart disease isn’t found until you suffer from a problem like an irregular heartbeat or a heart attack. Signs of a problem may include:
- Chest pain
- Fluttering in your chest
- Shortness of breath
You may also experience swelling in your legs, feet, and abdomen. This could be a sign of impending heart failure from heart disease.
Are you at risk?
There are many factors that can make you a prime candidate for heart disease. You might not be able to control some of these things, but you can change your lifestyle and behaviors to prevent heart disease.
Smoking, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure are three of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. Other factors that increase your chances of developing heart issues include:
- Family history
- Type 2 diabetes
Unfortunately, you can’t control your age or your genetics, but you can change your weight and your overall health and wellness.
If you fall into the high risk category for heart disease, we help you make changes to keep heart disease at bay.
Preventing heart disease
There are plenty of prevention strategies when it comes to heart disease. Here are a few of them.
Your diet has a lot to do with your overall health. Eating a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol is a good start when preventing heart disease. Aim to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
Preventing heart disease is sometimes as simple as taking a daily walk or riding your bike. Regular exercise helps you stay at a healthy weight and lowers other risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Smoking cigarettes causes a number of issues, including high blood pressure. Smoking also puts you at significant risk for a heart attack and stroke. The best thing you can do for your health is quit smoking as soon as possible.
Excess alcohol consumption causes weight gain and high blood pressure. Both of these are major risk factors in heart disease. To prevent problems with your heart, consume less than two drinks a day if you’re a man or one drink per day if you’re a woman.
Watch your weight
Being overweight or obese significantly increases your chances of developing heart disease. Carrying extra weight around puts strain on your heart and puts you at risk for conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and Type 2 diabetes.
Control blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you need to keep it under control to ward off heart disease. If our team prescribes medication, take it as directed to prevent spikes in your blood pressure.
To stay on top of your heart health, call one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, today. You can also schedule an appointment using our convenient online tool.