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Healthy Heart - Do's and Dont's

Billions of rupees are spent each year on hospital, medical and doctor bills, yet in spite of this expense people are still suffering and dying of coronary artery disease (blockage of the arteries of the heart).Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the single most important disease entity, in most of the nations - both in terms of morbidity and mortality. Imagine, if a drug was invented that could prevent CAD.It would surely be hailed as the wonder drug of the century.This "magic cure" already exists, its all around us and it is totally free of charge. The simple truth is that the human body has an amazing ability to sustain vitality and good health provided it is treated with respect.By making certain life style changes and avoiding risk factors, one can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and pre mature mortality.Risk factor reduction is the primary clinical approach to prevent CAD. The life style changes required are not difficult to achieve and even relatively small "Dos & Do nots" can have a significant effort over the years.

Risk Factors

Cigarette Smoking: If you smoke, Stop !!!
Cigarette smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death.The risk of a heart attack for a smoker is more than twice that of a non smoker in both men and women.In people with CAD, those who continue to smoke have a higher death rate than those who quit. It has been shown that long term exposure to second hand smoke or passive smoking may increase the risk of heart disease. However, the risk of a second heart attack decreases with smoking cessation.In one study of people who had a heart attack, the risk of second heart attack fell by half with in one year of stopping and became the same as for non smokers within 2 years of smoking cessation.
Smoking constricts your arteries, makes your blood sticky and more likely to form a clot, robs your body of vitamins and costs you a small fortune.
So quit smoking for a healthy heart.

Modern day epidemic. Loose weight if you are over weight. Obesity is linked with CAD because it has an effect on blood pressure, diabetes and blood cholesterol. It is important to know that loosing weight is associated with a decrease in heart disease risk.If you are over weight, see your doctor to evaluate your additional heart disease risks and ask your doctor for a safe and effective way to loose weight.

High Blood Cholesterol:
If you do not know your cholesterol levels, you should.If it is high,work to bring it to the target.The higher our intake of fat, particularly animal and dairy fat, the higher your blood cholesterol level will be. This in turn leads to build up of fatty plaques on the walls of your arteries.
So Aim for fitness
Build - A healthy base
Choose - sensible diet………. For good health

Increase your intake of:
All types of fruit.
Vegetables, root vegetables, leafy green vegetables, brightly coloured vegetables (carrots, Tomato etc)

Reduce your intake of:
Meat of all types
Dairy products
Processed food, much of which contains high levels of salt and sugar
Foods containing "hidden fat" such as cakes, pastries, pies

High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is a well known major risk for CAD. Because high blood pressure usually does not cause symptoms, many people do not know that they have it and that is why its called the "Silent Killer". Have your blood pressure checked, if it is high, follow your doctors advice for bringing it down to normal.
High blood pressure causes damage to the lining of the arteries and accelerates the build up of fatty plaques in the arteries. Also it causes extra stress on the heart by forcing it to work harder to pump blood.
Taking regular exercise, adopting a healthy low salt diet and management of a stress can all help to reduce high blood pressure.

Diabetes Mellitus:
If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Having diabetes increases the risk of heart disease two times in men and three times in women.
Once it was almost invariably fatal, but can now be treated through insulin injections and oral tablets to control the symptoms.

Physical inactivity:
Being physically inactive is a major risk factor for CAD.It may also contribute to development of obesity, high BP and low level of HDL (good) cholesterol, all of which are additional heart disease risks. Exercise has many beneficial effects by increasing your level of HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing blood pressure and causing weight loss. Host of the health benefits can be gained by moving from a sedentary life style to a modest exercise programme. Just 30 minutes per day of walking can reduce risk of heart disease substantially.

In some ways the most difficult problem to solve. Very often a stress sufferer does not realize that they have a problem. This produces hormones in the blood stream that constricts the arteries, unfortunately if you already have narrowing of the arteries,the effect is multiplied by chronic stress.
Nevertheless, it is a vital area which we ignore at our peril, for not only does it have an impact on physical self, it may affect our entire sense of well being - our happiness.

Genetic Factor
There is not much one can do about ones genetic inheritance.
The risk factors multiply together. So if you are doing everything else right, there is less chance of the genetic factor coming into play.

The Good News
You don’t need anyone's permission to change your life.In such matters you have no boss and it will not cost you any thing. You can change your life for the better and in doing so in some way, you will be changing the world as well.

Make an appointment
here with IMA