Having a healthy heart has tremendous advantages at the later days of your life. Young people rarely feel the adverse effects of having an unhealthy heart. But with age, heart related issues can drastically plunge the quality of your life. The old saying “not having the heart to do so” absolutely holds true.
The stats for heart disease are not good looking. According to the CDC, one in every four deaths (about 647,000) in America are due to heart related complications.
One American has a heart attack every forty seconds. But heart disease is a lifelong problem, once you suffer a heart complication, with constant blood pressure management, drugs to manage your condition, essentially your life is never ever the same.
The best way to avoid leading a life filled with complications and restrains due to heart complication, is to adjust towards a healthier lifestyle. So, here are some things that your cardiologist desperately wants you to realize before you step into her office.
1. You need to control your weight
Being overweight greatly increases your chance of going through heart related complications. Termed as the “Obesity Paradox”. Being overweight changes the hemodynamics and the structure of the heart which greatly puts you at risk of heart related complications. Sometimes, when the patient is drastically overweight; there is no need to state the obvious. However, at times it is difficult for cardiologists to get the person to lose weight if they are just a little overweight.
2. Loose the sweet tooth
A study in 2014 established the relationship between consuming too much sugar and heart disease. The study established that extra sugar consumers had 38% more risk of dying from heart related complications. Sugar increases inflammation and increases the blood pressure. Both of these factors increase the likelihood of developing heart related complications.
3. Stress can be a killer
Stress is a big contributor to poor health. While there is a debate about whether or not stress is directly related to heart diseases or not, experts however do agree that stress can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart palpitations and chest pains. Managing stress will do wonders for your overall and heart related health.
4. Smoking is injurious to your health
Ever heard people saying that there is no clear evidence of the adverse effects of smoking on human health. Well, they are wrong. Smoking not only increases your chances of cancer, lung-related diseases and stoma (seriously Google it). It is a big contributor to heart diseases as well. Smoking causes atherosclerosis, a buildup of waxy substances in your blood vessels. This waxy substance clogs up your arteries and blood vessels and over time these arteries and vessels harden and narrow up. Over time the oxygen rich blood supply to the coronary arteries is affected and this results in Ischemic Heart Disease, which can lead to heart failure, arrhythmia, chest pain and heart attacks.
5. Lifestyle changes are more important than prescribing drugs
Terms like “Resistive hypertension” suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle and drastic lifestyle changes can reduce the dependence on drugs for blood pressure management. Lifestyle adjustment such as maintaining healthy sleeping, eating habits, regular exercise, positive thinking, daily positive affirmations can greatly enhance the quality of life and substantially decrease the dependence on medicines. Some experts even suggest that with lifestyle changes, in certain cases and under medical supervision people can manage symptoms and gradually improve their quality of life without medicines.
This is a small list of things you have to consider before visiting your cardiologist. These minor details if followed can help in bringing relief to your conditions and improving your quality of life. But, remember this is in no way substitute of professional medical advice. So, consult your doctor before making any radical changes.
1 National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. “Heart Disease Facts.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Accessed April 23, 2020.
 Salvatore Carbone, Justin M Canada, Hayley E Billingsley, Mohammad S Sadiqui, Andrew Elagizi, Carl J Lavie. “Obesity paradox in cardiovascular disease: where do we stand?” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S Library of Medicine (NCBI), Accessed April 23, 2020.
 Harvard Men’s Health Watch. “The Sweet Danger of Sugar.” Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School, Accessed April 23, 2020.
 MedicineNet. “Heart Disease and Stress.” MedicineNet.com, Accessed on April 23, 2020.
 National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). “Smoking and Your Heart.” The NHLBI, Tobacco, and Health: 70 Years of Progress, Accessed on April 23, 2020.
 Suzanne B Robotti. “Which is more effective: Drugs or lifestyle change?” MedShadow Foundation, Accessed on April 23, 2020.