According to cdc.gov (stats as of 2009 data- http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm), Heart disease is the #1 cause of death with Cancer #2, Stroke #4 and Diabetes #7. One in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day (heart health month - http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/). With this information, it’s highly likely this deadly illness will affect you or someone you love.
Heart disease affects the body in 2 ways: blockages in the body’s blood vessels which shuts off the blood flow to the heart (heart attack) or a blockage that stops blood flowing to the brain (stroke). Even though the attack itself may seem sudden, the conditions that lead to either of these are years in the making with a very real possibility being traced back to childhood poor health habits.
Heart disease has many facets. High cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity are all faces of this disease. 1 in 4 people have high cholesterol, often ending in prescriptions for statin drugs which have serious side effects. 1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure of which the most common treatment are beta blockers or diuretics all with side effects. Diuretics can increase your chance of a heart attack by 29% alone. Over 2/3 of the adults in the US are overweight with 1/3 being obese according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003-2008).
Genetics and other factors that cannot be controlled play a part in your risk for health disease. For more information about uncontrollable factors, click here. You can significantly reduce your risk by knowing the factors that are influenced by your lifestyle and making changes. Your lifestyle is your responsibility and can be your best defense against this disease. For more information about factors in your lifestyle that can be controlled, click here.
It’s indisputable that modern medical science has made significant advances in understanding many illnesses. New drugs are constantly being developed, evaluated and prescribed to people to treat their illnesses and heart disease is no exception. However, medically tampering with the body’s delicate balance does come with a price. I explore drugs that are commonly prescribed to treat the many causes of heart disease here. Many of these prescription drugs not only have serious and uncomfortable side effects but also add an additional financial burden for many people.
The causes of this disease are numerous and not always avoidable, however it is tragic that it’s often treatable and preventable. Adopting a healthy lifestyle significantly reduces risk for this disease. Linus Pauling, Two Time Nobel Peace Prize Winner says it best “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” A healthy lifestyle should have proper nutrition as the foundation. Our bodies have an incredible capacity to use what we eat to maintain our critical life functions. In educating myself, I’m beginning to realize we definitely are what we eat. I’ll cover this topic more in depth in a Proper Nutrition series of blogs.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. I’ve googled much of this information to verify it but feel free to do more research. I’m a firm believer in the more you know and the more opposing opinions you get, the more informed you are for yourself.
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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor should this information take the place of regularly scheduled wellness visits with your physician. Self diagnosis is not the way to responsibly take care of your health. Before changing what you do, make sure to consult with your doctor as this blog and it’s education will not be held accountable for your own personal actions. This blog is meant for education only and to raise awareness of heart disease and the many factors related to it in hopes that increased education will help save more lives. Only through education do we grow stronger and more knowledgeable about life.