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Important Preventive Measures Against Heart Attacks

When the heart becomes �starved for oxygen�, heart disease and heart attacks occur. This happens when fatty deposits stick to the small walls of the veins and arteries surrounding our heart. Unfortunately, the older we get, the smaller these veins become, and the easier it is to develop heart disease. However, there are signs and preventive measures.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) does not always cause a heart attack. You may have severe CAD without even having any chest pain. However, any of these symptoms should be reported to a doctor because they could be a sign of CAD:

Chest pain
Shortness of breath
Palpitations (an irregular heartbeat, skipped beats, or a �flip-flop� feeling in your chest
Fast or racing heartbeat
Sweating (not due to exercise)

Angina (chest pain) has been described as an �uncomfortable feeling� usually just below the breastbone. But there are other places that the pain of angina can be felt as well: the left shoulder (because your heart is on the left side of your body), arms, neck, throat, jaw or even your back. Angina often resembles heartburn or indigestion. If you have these symptoms for more than 15 minutes, please seek emergency treatment.

If you have not had any symptoms and have not had a heart attack, you can work on preventive measures to reduce the risk of heart disease:

If you smoke, stop! This goes for all types of smokers, not just cigarette smokers. We�ve all heard and seen the commercials about lower cholesterol. It restricts the oxygen and blood flow to the heart and can thus cause a heart attack or heart disease. Everyone over the age of 30 should be screened. If you have a history of heart disease in your family, you should stay in touch with your medical practitioner as to how often you should be screened.

Raise HDL! HDL is the �good� cholesterol that takes the �bad� cholesterol from the arteries to the liver, where it is removed from the bloodstream.

Calm down. As your heart beats, force is applied in your arteries. This force is your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure means harder working heart and kidneys. Harder working heart and kidneys mean higher risk of heart disease.

Slim down. Excess weight means a harder working heart. As stated above, we know that a harder working heart means higher risk of heart disease. In fact, too much weight can cause your internal organs to perform differently.

Exercise. You don�t have to run marathons to maintain a healthy heart exercise regimen. Any exercise that raises your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day at least 3 days a week is enough to gain �heart� benefits.

Eat right. This statement is pretty self-explanatory. We all know exactly what we should eat. The problem is doing it.

Stressed? Find safe ways to reduce your stress levels such as walking or other light exercises, because stress can also cause the heart to work harder�

Limit alcohol consumption.

Beyond these preventive measures, you should always consult your physician if you have any concerns about your heart health.

Submitted by:

Joe Goertz

Read more Health related articles at: health-mag.com


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