Last updated on July 5th, 2022 at 04:45 pm
Heart disease symptoms (heart failure):
heart disease symptoms and signs can include:
- Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure, and chest discomfort (angina)
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain, numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed.
- Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen, or back.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States.
But despite that, it’s one of the most preventable diseases. And thankfully, there are things you can do to increase your chances of preventing heart disease.
Why is heart health important?
Heart disease can encompass a variety of different types of conditions, but all of them relate to the heart in some way. For example, one of the most common types of heart disease, coronary artery disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, involves conditions and functions that cause the heart to become less effective, or worse: plaque build-up inside coronary arteries, reduction of blood flow, blockages, heart attacks, or sudden cardiac death. These conditions, caused by the plaque-forming inside the coronary arteries, are a result of calcium, cholesterol, fat, and other types of substances.
Keeping your heart healthy means avoiding unwanted plaque build-up, heart attacks, blockages, and cardiac death. Keeping your heart healthy means making sure your heart will continue to work for as long as you’re alive. You want to avoid having your heart stop working before then! And with proper personal health strategies and lifestyle changes, you can decrease the likelihood of unwanted heart complications, and even prevent heart disease.
What is a heart attack?
A heart attack is when adequate blood flow is blocked from reaching an area of the heart. This means that tissues in this area aren’t getting the oxygen that they need to survive. When a heart attack isn’t treated promptly, the heart tissue can be damaged and even begin to die.
The medical term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction. The American Heart Association estimates that in the United States a person has a heart attack every 40 seconds
What is heart failure?
Heart failure is when your heart can’t effectively pump enough blood to meet the needs of your body’s organs and tissues. The CDC estimates that 6.2 million adults in the United States have heart failure.
Self-monitoring your blood pressure
Regularly checking your blood pressure helps you stay aware of the condition your heart and body are in and can help you identify potential heart-related problems before they become too serious.
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Self-monitoring devices for heart disease compatibility
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How to prevent heart disease - heart failure diagnosis
Maintaining a good diet and staying active can also drastically improve your heart health in general. Even just 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 days out of your week can make a significant difference in the health of your heart.
When it comes to your diet, reducing sugar and fat intake and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables will play a large role in keeping your heart healthy.
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Strategies to prevent heart disease
You can prevent heart disease by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. Heart disease is a leading cause of death, but it’s not inevitable. While you can’t change some risk factors — such as family history, sex, or age — there are plenty of ways you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Get moving: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily
Regular, daily physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps control your weight. It also reduces the chances of developing other conditions that may put a strain on the heart, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight — especially around the middle of the body — increases the risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase the chances of developing heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
The body mass index (BMI) uses height and weight to determine whether a person is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Some people cope with stress in unhealthy ways — such as overeating, drinking, or smoking. Finding alternative ways to manage stress — such as physical activity, relaxation exercises, or meditation — can help improve your health.
Get regular health screenings
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage the heart and blood vessels. B Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
Blood pressure. Regular blood pressure screenings usually start in childhood. Starting at age 18, blood pressure should be measured at least once every two years to screen for high blood pressure as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Cholesterol levels. Adults generally have their cholesterol measured at least once every four to six years. Cholesterol screening usually starts at age 20, though earlier testing may be recommended if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of early-onset heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes screening. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your health care provider may recommend early screening.
Eat a heart-healthy diet and prevent heart disease symptoms
A healthy diet can prevent heart disease symptoms and help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Two examples of heart-healthy food plans include the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan and the Mediterranean diet.
Limit intake of the following:
- Processed carbohydrates
- Saturated fat (found in red meat and full-fat dairy products) and trans fat (found in fried fast food, chips, and baked goods)