WHAT IS IT?
Heart Disease (AKA Cardiovascular Disease) includes numerous problems. Today, we’re going to focus on something called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when your arteries become more narrow due to plaque build up. This is a problem because it makes it harder for blood to flow through. If a blood clot forms, a heart attack or stroke can occur.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
♥ High Blood Pressure
♥ High Levels of Cholesterol
♥ High Levels of Sugar in the Blood
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
According to the World Health Organization (2014), Heart Disease, has been, and continues to be the number one cause of death in the entire world-far surpassing other diseases, including cancer. (WHO, 2014) In fact, Heart Disease is the cause of many diseases; including cancer. Stroke is one of the diseases that occur from Heart Disease. Did you know that 80% of strokes are preventable? (American Stroke Association, 2013) 80%! 15 million people suffer from a stroke every year. (World Heart Federation, 2016) That means that TWELVE MILLION people every year could have prevented the stroke from ever happening!
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT IT?
Not only do diet and exercise help prevent Heart Disease, but getting your yearly (or sometimes more frequent) check-ups with your doctor is very important. At the doctor’s office, you will get your: blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels checked. These values are so important for early detection and prevention of this killer disease. Many people ask, “what if it’s genetic and you have no control over it?” Diet and exercise still maintain and/or decrease the severity of Heart Disease. Knowledge is power. If you know your levels are high you can take measures to decrease the severity of the disease. Taking prescribed medications, make crucial lifestyle changes (diet and exercise modification), QUIT SMOKING (!!), and/or cutback or quit drinking alcohol. Taking these steps can prolong the quality of your life, regardless of genetics.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
Spread the word. Take your health seriously. Treat your body well, it’s the only place you have to live. Make lifestyle modifications to improve your health. Don’t ignore health warning signs like: chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, etc. Get your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar under control! Know your risk factors and work on improving/eliminating them. If you have frequent chest pain/migraines, see your doctor for tests to discover the cause so you can manage it appropriately. Listen to your health care providers on how to not only prevent disease but also how to manage it. Your life is in your hands, what are you going to do with it?
Don’t miss the next part of this series titled, “Stroke: Why You Should Care”
Until Next Time, Stay Healthy My Freaks!
Your Mind and Body
Will Thank You For It
American Stroke Association (2013) Stroke Treatments Retrieved from:
World Cancer Research Fund International (2015) Risk Factors for Heart Disease Also Increase Cancer Risk, Retrieved from:
World Health Organization (2014) Top 10 Causes of Death in the World
Retrieved from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
World Heart Federation (2016) Stroke Retrieved from: