Prevention First

CARDIOVASCULAR

Cardiovascular diseases affect the heart and surrounding blood vessels and can take many forms, such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and stroke.

Coronary artery disease happens when the arteries that supply blood to heart muscle become hardened and narrowed. This is due to the build up of cholesterol and other material, called plaque, on their inner walls. As it grows, less blood can flow through the arteries. As a result, the heart muscle can't get the blood or oxygen it needs.

Causes

  • Coronary artery disease is usually caused by atherosclerosis. Cholesterol and other fatty substances accumulate on the inner wall of the arteries. They attract fibrous tissue, blood components, calcium and harden into artery clogging plaques. Congenital defects and muscle spasms can also block blood flow.
  • Hypertension is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure is elevated. It is also referred to as high blood pressure. Hypertension can be classified as either essential (primary) or secondary. Essential or primary hypertension means that no medical cause can be found to explain the raised blood pressure. It is very common because about 90-95% of hypertension is essential hypertension. Secondary hypertension indicates that the hight blood pressure is a result of (i.e., secondary to) another condition, such as kidney disease or tumours (adrenal adenoma).
  • Causes of stroke are atherosclerosis, hypertension, thrombosis, embolism, cerebral hemorrhage etc.

Symptoms:

The most common symptoms of heart disease are:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain or Discomfort
  • Increase Heart Beat
  • Dizziness

Prevention:

  • It's important to know your risk factors and your family history. If you have diabetes or if you have a family history of Heart disease, you are more likely to have health problems from Heart disease.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Do 30 minutes brisk walk daily.
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Keep your Cholesterol levels under control.
  • Reduce obesity.
  • Control blood sugar level.

Following are the key dietary factors that can lower the risk of heart disease, including:

  • Lowering of LDL cholesterol by reducing saturated fat intake.
  • Lowering of Triglyceride levels by reducing consumption of sugary and processed foods.
  • Reduction of Homocysteine levels by supplementation with Vitamins B6 and B12 and folic acid.
  • Increased antioxidant activity by higher consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Lowering of fibrinogen and growth factors by cutting back on foods such as red meat, dairy products, poultry and eggs.