Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States, claiming approximately 1 million lives annually. More die of heart disease than of AIDS and all cancers combined. By 2020, heart disease will be the leading cause of death throughout the world.
The LIVE-GIVING bloodstream reaches the heart by way of two arteries known as “coronaries.” Portions of these vessels may get damaged because of the accumulation in their interior or within their wall tissue of a type of fat called cholesterol.
This illness is said to be “silent”, because the victim does not discover its existence until it is too late, when he or she suffers a heart attack. But it can be prevented! Many persons who haven’t ever felt the slightest pain in the chest die suddenly of a heart attack. Then near relatives begin asking themselves the question: “Could I be sick, too?”
Quite possibly, yes. The coronaries’ silent illness afflicts millions who totally ignore its existence. This lack of knowledge may cause their death. Of every 100 persons who die of a heart attack, 25 never had any symptoms announcing it. And one of every 6 heart attacks, the first and only sign of problems is sudden death. But things needn’t happen this way. You can avoid this silent killer’s surprise visit by getting to know the risk factors in a timely fashion, and taking the necessary preventive measures.
RISK FACTORS IN CORONARY DISEASE
The main risk factors in coronary disease are: smoking, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, a diet with high fat content, inactivity, stress, excess weight and genetic predisposition. Make the necessary lifestyle changes. Here’s a list of the main changes you must make in your risk factors in order to protect yourself against heart disease:
CHANGE YOUR DIET
A healthy diet includes a moderate amount of fat (20 to 30% of daily calorie intake) and a sharp reduction of the quantity of salt (one teaspoon daily, less than 2000mg). Eat less cholesterol, saturated fat (meat fat, butter, cream, cheese) and hydrogenated fats (found in margarine, and most pre-packaged foods).
Check you blood pressure regularly. Doctors recommend that the systolic pressure (high value) be 120 or less; the diastolic pressure (low value) should be less than 85. If your numbers are above these values, you need to lower then. Limits are higher in older persons. Consult wit your physician.
SMOKING AND ALCOHOL
Stop smoking and do not consume alcoholic beverages. A cigarette’s nicotine constricts the blood vessels and forces the heart to work harder. The carbon dioxide (CO2) in cigarets impoverishes the blood by lessening the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. Also, it causes damage to the inner lining of the veins and arteries.
Exercise and get enough rest. Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcoholic beverages, Try not to attach too much importance to secondary things. Be confident that your loving Heavenly Father will lead in your life if you allow Him to, and will supply all of your needs. Jesus said: “Each day has troubles enough of its own.” Paul the apostle counsels: “ Do not let the sun set over your anger.” Forgiveness is a therapeutic resource which generates peace of mind. These measures will help lessen stress’ destructive impact on your life.
Get in the habit of exercising more. Devote at least 3 or 4 hours per week to moderate physical activity. This could include walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing. Take steps to be more active by parking further away and taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. This will strengthen your heart and reduce your risk for getting heart disease.
A mere 10% off excess weight increases the risk of developing heart disease. If you decrease your weight by 10%, you will help lower your blood pressure. Being overweight puts extra pressure on the heart, so if you are overweight right now please consult with your doctor and put together a plan to lose weight in a healthy way. When you have the support and guidance of a weight loss coach, you’ll have inspiration and motivation to still to your plan. Learn more about Christian weight loss coaching at http://www.victorysteps.net
Have your blood sugar level measured to see if it is normal. You might be diabetic and not even know it. When you have diabetes, you changes of getting heart disease is even higher.
KNOW THE DANGER SIGNS
Your chances of survival in case of a heart attack improve if you are prepared for it. Most attacks give warning signs. Cardiologist have established the following:
A sensation of tightness, pressure, fullness in the middle of the chest, lasting a few minutes. Also, there may be dizziness, heart burn and fatigue. The pain may come and go, or it may extend itself toward the neck, jaw,shoulder, arms of back.
Sweating, nausea, disorientation, difficulty in breathing.
In women, the chest pain may be mild, and other signs may be ill-defined and happen while at rest rather than in activity,
YOU NEED TO PREPARE BEFOREHAND
Jot down the telephone and address of the nearest hospital or clinic’s emergency service, to get help without delay. The sooner you take the patient there, the greater the possibility of saving their life or avoid permanent damage to the heart. It is preferable to call an ambulance. While you wait, give the victim an aspirin for adults dissolved in water; doing so can partially restore the blood flow in the damaged artery.
If you are the person experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, take the aspirin for adults once. Ask a member of your family or co-worker to call an ambulance or emergency medical service, or if necessary, tell them to ask a neighbor to do so.
It is important to know what preventative measures you can take to prevent heart attack so you can start making the necessary lifestyle changes to reduce your risks. It’s also important to know the signs of a heart attack, so you’ll recognize the symptoms in yourself or others. By reading this article today, I hope you become more aware of the silent but deadly disease, and do everything you can to stop it. May the Lord bless you and your family.