Table of contents
The sad statistics of cardiovascular diseases
Three indicators of an unhealthy heart
Signs of a heart attack
How to pass a stress test
Cardiovascular disease statistics
Despite improvements in diagnostic quality, cardiovascular diseases claim about 18 million lives each year. The risk group is not only the elderly: men over the age of 40 and women after menopause. In our country, traditionally the most common cardiovascular disease remains hypertension – the main culprit of heart attacks and strokes. More than 40% of men and women suffer from high blood pressure. Hypertension is called the silent killer for a reason: many forty-year-olds are not even aware that they have problems with blood pressure simply because they do not measure it.
In second place in the statistics of the most common cardiovascular diseases is coronary heart disease, in third place are brain pathologies resulting from cerebrovascular accidents. And as we have already mentioned, diseases are rapidly getting younger and are increasingly common among forty-year-olds. In general, the above diseases are largely caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, bad habits, lack of sports and, at the same time, excessive physical and psycho-emotional stress. And, of course, heredity remains an important risk factor. If your first-line relatives had serious heart problems, this is an occasion to monitor their health even more closely.
Three indicators of an unhealthy heart
The first sign of an unhealthy heart is cholesterol levels. Normally, it should be less than 5.5 mmol per liter, and LDL – less than 2.6 mmol per liter. A high level of “bad” cholesterol contributes to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of blood vessels. Cholesterol is a vital lipid involved in the synthesis of hormones, digestion processes. With food, about 25-30% of the total cholesterol in the body enters the body. LDL is a representative of the “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
The second indicator is the level of blood pressure, the jumps of which are fraught with a stroke. The indicator is normal: 130 to 90. Yes, in stressful situations, with cardio loads, during pregnancy, the indicator may fluctuate, be slightly higher or lower than normal, but definitely not on a permanent basis. Pressure is easily measured at home: in the morning and in the evening, in a calm, familiar state. If the readings are higher than normal for several days, you should consult a doctor who will select drugs for you to stabilize pressure. It is worth reading that it is not always possible to do this the first time, but you will most likely have to drink pills for life.
Third: blood sugar levels. It can be measured at home – using a portable glucometer. Fasting rate: from 3.3 mmol / l to 5.5 – 6.0 mmol / l. Remember that sugar bombards the walls of blood vessels, “scratching” them, contributing to the penetration of fat into the vessels and the formation, in turn, of plaques.
And, of course, being overweight is a risk factor when it comes to heart problems. And it is also easy to check this indicator at home – just measure the waist. For men, the indicator should be less than 94 centimeters, for women – not to exceed the figure of 80 centimeters. The higher the score, the more likely it is to “earn” a stroke or heart attack.
Signs of a heart attack
When should you go to the doctor? Visits to the therapist should be regular, at least once a year. This is without problems. If diseases, genetic predisposition, overweight and other risk factors are observed, it is necessary to observe more often. For the most part, many rush to a cardiologist when the body makes it clear that there is a pathology. Many people who have experienced a heart attack note that before that they felt:
chest pains radiating to the arm, shoulder;
suffocation, inability to take a full breath;
With these symptoms, you should immediately call a doctor – you are probably on the verge of a heart attack. Help for this pathology should be provided immediately – according to the protocol, ambulance teams should be on the spot within 20 minutes.
How to pass a stress test and what is it for
Warning chest pain is a sign that you need to get tested. One of the most popular is the stress test, which allows the doctor to non-invasively understand how the heart muscle works.
An ECG is done at rest and after exercise, for example, on a treadmill. During exercise, the heart muscle needs more oxygen: the vessels dilate. When the vessel is narrowed due to plaque, the blood rushes there – this will be seen on the ECG.
By seeing exactly where the vessels are narrowed, the doctor will be able to determine the violation of the heart rhythm. By the way, in people who are healthy and involved in sports, the pulse rises slowly. In people with pathologies of the heart, the heart rate increases rapidly.
Before the test, appropriate preparation is required:
before the study, do not eat for 4-5 hours (it is better to pass in the morning on an empty stomach);
exclude drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, Coca-Cola);
stop taking antihypertensive medication within 48 hours.
Cardiologists agree that many patients seek help too late and ignore the body’s signals about the presence of malfunctions in the heart muscle for years. You yourself have heard more than once about people who manage to suffer a heart attack on their legs, thinking that chest pain and choking are temporary discomfort that needs to be endured … If there are adult relatives in your environment who are at risk and ignore hiking see a doctor, take responsibility for yourself – convey to them how important it is to know the true state of affairs, make an appointment with a cardiologist or at least a therapist!
For the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, it is important to observe the following simple rules throughout life:
monitor nutrition. Everyone has errors, but you can’t regularly eat fatty, fried foods – over the years this will certainly turn into problems;
make time for physical activity. Hard work (physical or mental) is an additional reason to include in your routine, if not classes in the gym with a trainer, then at least a daily walk in the fresh air;
get enough sleep. Chronic lack of sleep, insomnia on an ongoing basis can contribute to the occurrence of hypertension;
take vitamin D. The sun does not pamper us too often with its appearance (summer, goodbye), but you can take this vitamin in the form of an appropriate preparation. The dosage must be agreed with the therapist.
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