My dad died of a massive heart attack at the age of 47. Back then, not much was known about what could be done to prevent heart disease. This article will help you to recognize the signs and symptoms of heart disease and the steps you can take to prevent the number one killer of Americans over age 44.
If the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off, a heart attack can result. Cells in the heart muscle do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. The more time that passes without treatment to restore blood flow, the greater the damage to the heart. Having high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol, smoking, and having had a previous heart attack, stroke, or diabetes can all increase a person’s chances of having a heart attack.
According to the American Heart Association, about 785,000 Americans have an initial heart attack and another 470,000 have a recurrent heart attack each year. According to a CDC report, almost half of the cardiac deaths in 1999 occurred before emergency services and hospital treatment could be administered.
It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 9-1-1. A person’s chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.
The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:
* Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
* Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
* Chest pain or discomfort
* Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
* Shortness of breath
In principle, all people can take steps to lower their risk for heart disease and heart attack:
* Prevent and control high blood cholesterol
* Prevent and control high blood pressure
* Prevent and control diabetes
* Do not use tobacco in any form, as smoking increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Smokeless tobacco also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke and increases the risk of mouth cancer, as well.
* If you use alcohol, do so only in moderation, as excessive alcohol use increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
* Maintain a healthy weight. Healthy weight status in adults is usually assessed by calculating the weight to height ratio, which is known as the “body mass index” (BMI). Ideally, the BMI should be between 18 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 30 indicates overweight, while a BMI over 30 indicates obesity.
* Maintain regular physical activity. Adults should engage in moderate level physical activities for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
* Proper diet and nutrition. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and eat less salt or sodium, saturated fat, cholesterol and sugar
* Take natural herbal supplements that have been proven effective to lower cholesterol and raise heart health.
Research has shown that the following natural supplements lower your bad cholesterol levels, while maintaining or even increasing your good cholesterol levels, and increase your heart health:
* Vitamin B6 gives you more energy and helps reduce the risk of heart attack by decreasing inflammation.
* Folate is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells and works with B6 to decrease the chance of heart disease.
* Vitamin B12 allows more red blood cells to grow so that your body will distribute oxygen appropriately.
* Plant sterols help actively remove cholesterol from the body by helping to block cholesterol absorption from the digestive tract.
* Policosanol lowers LDL and may increase HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol.”
* Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant that prevents cholesterol from oxidizing, which is the catalyst for arterial and heart problems.
There are many herbal supplements that contain some of these ingredients, but look for one that contains all of these ingredients in order to achieve maximum heart health.