Heart Disease? Here Are Five Tips That Can Help Lower the Risk

While breast cancer gets all the attention, it is heart disease that is the number one killer of women. Women do suffer fewer heart attacks than men, but they are less likely to survive them. This means that both women and men should be mindful of the risk of a heart attack and take those steps necessary to reduce the risk of suffering one.

1. Check your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure levels occur when the arteries are narrowed due to plaque buildup in the vessels. As this pressure increases, it can dislodge pieces of arterial plaque into the bloodstream which can then lead to a heart attack. If you do not know what your blood pressure is, you can either buy a blood pressure monitor at your neighborhood drugstore or see your doctor. The general rule of thumb is that the lower the blood pressure the better.

2. Are you carrying extra weight? If you are overweight, this seriously increases your risk of having a heart attack. So if this is the case, lose weight. And if you’re carrying extra weight or on your midsection, it is very important that you lose it because this weight increases the strain on your heart, your back and your legs.

3. Determine your cholesterol levels. You should have these checked at least once a year. Plaque deposits on the walls of your arteries are caused by high cholesterol. The more of the plaque builds up, the narrower the vessels become. Cholesterol has three main components: LDL, HDL and triglycerides. It is thought that HDL lowers total blood cholesterol by helping remove the plaque on the walls of your arteries. On the other hand, LDL is what causes the plaques to stick to your arteries in the first place. Triglycerides are a fatty substance in the blood and high triglyceride levels have been linked to heart disease. It is best to have a blood cholesterol level of 200 mg/dl. if you’re a level is higher than this, you should see doctor who may prescribe cholesterol lowering medications.

4. Change your diet. Reduce the amount of fatty and greasy foods you eat and heavy up on whole grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, and low-fat dairy products. You can get the protein you need through lean beef, pork and chicken supplemented with fish and seafood. Also, it is a good investment to take a multivitamin daily to make sure you’re getting all the necessary nutrients.

5. Find out if you have diabetes. If you develop diabetes this puts you at risk for developing heart disease in the years ahead. If it proves that you are diabetic, your doctor can help you get your blood sugar under control with insulin shots or a change in diet. In fact, Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled simply by doing more exercise and changing to a healthier diet.

Heart disease is not a good thing but at least it gives you warning signs. If you pay attention to these and work with your doctor, you can lower your risks and decrease your chances of suffering a heart attack.

Source by Douglas Hanna

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