• Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and stress.
• To reduce risk, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet and exercising are essential.
• Professional help from an AHA-certified expert, emotional support from family and friends, and encouragement to make lifestyle changes can all help someone with heart disease manage their condition.
• With the proper measures, heart disease can be managed and its complications minimized.
Chronic diseases are common in the U.S. Many people are diagnosed with chronic diseases yearly, and the numbers are increasing. Chronic conditions can cause severe physical and emotional problems for people with them. In addition to affecting a person’s quality of life, chronic diseases increase healthcare costs. One of the most dangerous chronic diseases is heart disease.
Reasons For Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. So it’s essential for everyone to understand what causes heart disease and to take steps to reduce our risk. Here’s a break of the four leading causes of heart disease in the U.S.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of heart disease in the U.S. High blood pressure increases your risk for a wide range of health issues, including stroke and heart attack. The good news is that high blood pressure can be managed with lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking if you’re a smoker. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help you manage your blood pressure levels.
High cholesterol is another major contributor to heart disease risk factors in this country. Cholesterol is fat in your bloodstream that can lead to plaque buildup inside your arteries. This buildup can block blood flow throughout your body and increase your risk for stroke or heart attack. To reduce cholesterol levels, it’s essential to focus on maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, avoiding unhealthy fats, and getting regular check-ups from your doctor so they can monitor your cholesterol levels.
Having diabetes puts you at an increased risk of developing heart disease due to its effects on circulation throughout your body. Diabetes also increases inflammation throughout your body, which can damage artery walls over time and lead to plaque accumulation, further increasing your risk for stroke or heart attack.
It’s essential for people with diabetes to pay close attention to their diet, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and get regular checkups from their doctor so they can monitor their diabetes levels closely over time.
Stress has been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure and stroke due to its effect on cortisol production in our bodies (a hormone associated with stress). To reduce stress levels, it’s important to practice self-care – such as meditation or yoga.
Dealing With Heart Disease
If you know someone with the problems indicated above, it’s only a matter of time before they will be diagnosed with heart disease. Here are ways you can help them.
Hire a Professional
If the person with heart disease is someone close to you, then hiring a professional to help manage the situation is worth considering. This could be a registered dietitian, physical therapist, or caregiver who can help them with medical advice and treatment for their needs. Make sure that they’ve at least taken a reputable AHA course. This ensures they are up to date with the latest information and treatments. Moreover, it ensures that they know what to do during emergency situations.
Those with heart disease need to have a robust support system in their lives. This can come from family, friends, or even support groups. These people can provide emotional and moral support during times of difficulty. This goes a long way in improving a person’s quality of life.
Encourage Lifestyle Changes
The best way to reduce heart disease risk is to make lifestyle changes that promote better heart health over time. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking or limiting alcohol consumption if necessary. These lifestyle changes can make a difference in reducing the risk of heart disease and its related complications.
Heart disease doesn’t have to be a death sentence—it can be managed with the right combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes. If you know someone with heart disease, support them and encourage them to make the necessary lifestyle changes for better health.