Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America.
Our chances of developing heart problems increases with age.
Yet, if detected early enough, many of the problems can be treated, and some conditions even reversed.
The better solution though, would be making healthy lifestyle choices that could prevent cardiovascular diseases from happening on the first place.
Basics of healthy lifestyle:
- Diet: minimum processed foods. Fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, grains and nuts.
- Sleep 6 – 8 hours daily.
- Regular exercise (30 minutes 4 times weekly).
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Beware of stress.
- Control blood pressure.
- Don’t smoke – drink alcohol in moderation.
- Don’t eat the yellow snow, or tug on Superman’s cape…
Still, normal aging does affect our hearts:
- The heart walls thicken.
- Beating rates may change.
- Heart muscle cells may deteriorate.
- Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia which I’ve had since birth).
- Heart valves may thicken or leak.
- Changes in blood vessels may cut down blood volume.
- Other age-related heart problems
High blood pressure, often called The Silent Killer, is a huge risk for causing hemorrhagic strokes.
Because there are often no symptoms with high blood pressure, people can have the problem without knowing it. Symptoms most often do not occur until after many years of poor blood pressure control, when damage to the heart has occurred.
Hypertensive heart disease is the leading cause of illness and death from high blood pressure…”
Chronic inflammation can also cause heart disease.
Presently, there’s not enough published research data to verify that inflammation causes heart problems.
But, according to private conversations I’ve had with several doctors and medical professional acquaintances, these ‘on the job’ practitioners openly discuss the relationship between the two.
Chronic low-grade inflammation is intimately involved in all stages of atherosclerosis, the process that leads to cholesterol-clogged arteries.
This means that inflammation sets the stage for heart attacks, most strokes, peripheral artery disease, and even vascular dementia, a common cause of memory loss…”
It’s common for older people to rely on medications for controlling their blood pressure and inflammation.
Because of possible negative side effects of any medication, I’ve always considered meds as my last treatment alternative.
Lately though, I take so many pills that I rattle and click-clack when I move.
A month ago, I went from 3 daily meds, to 8 a day.
All because I’ve was diagnosed with a diseased heart muscle, a hereditary condition called cardiomyopathy.
Despite my healthy lifestyle, my genes finally caught up with me.
Some people who have cardiomyopathy have no signs or symptoms and need no treatment. For other people, the disease develops quickly, symptoms are severe, and serious complications occur.
Treatments for cardiomyopathy include lifestyle changes, medicines, surgery, implanted devices to correct arrhythmias, and a nonsurgical procedure. These treatments can control symptoms, reduce complications, and stop the disease from getting worse…
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen legs and feet,
- Bloated belly.
After a 2-week bout of influenza, (the 1st time in 25 years) which led to an acute case of bronchitis, I had each of those symptoms.
Because I wasn’t getting better, Treasa ‘made’ me go to my regular doctor for help…
The prelude to rounds of tests, hospitalization, and eventually to 8 pills a-day!
A story we’ll talk about.
But, just now, I’m ‘fatigued’. Those gruesome details in an upcoming post…
Leave you with a song that helped me over a rough spot once upon a time:
Harry Nilsson: You’re Breakin’ My Heart