Preventing Heart Failure–Protecting Your Future

Approximately 1 in 9 people die from heart failure each year, despite it being preventable and controllable.

Preventing heart failure

Heart failure mostly occurs as a result of lifestyle choices such as smoking, careless diet choices, absence of exercise, and obesity.

Preventing Heart Failure to Protect Your Future

Too many lives are cut short because of health choices that could have been changed or avoided. Habits do “die hard”, but they do not need to bring you down with them.

One of the first indicators of an unhealthy heart is hypertension–the blood pressure level preceding high blood pressure.

Hypertension affects about 70 million Americans. It seems that the concern isn’t taken seriously since the same percentage of Americans have high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease and heart failure.

Stopping hypertension from progressing is a sure way to significantly reduce the risk of heart failure and an early end to life.

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With hypertension, cholesterol levels need to be monitored regularly and reviewed with your doctor.

Catching rising cholesterol levels before they become dangerous can prevent future heart aches (pun intended) like heart failure, heart attack, or stroke.

What are Symptoms of Heart Failure?

When heart health risks like hypertension severely worsens over time, symptoms of heart issues will start to arise.

Here is what to look for:

Shortness of Breath
Excess Fluid and Swelling
Consistent Fatigue
Increased Heart Rate
Loss of Appetite

If any of these symptoms develop, plan a visit to your doctor as soon as possible. Don’t ignore them or think they aren’t important. Your future and life are worth a short doctor’s appointment.

How Can You Prevent Heart Failure?

Problems like hypertension, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol that lead to heart failure are generally all caused by the same preventable factors:

Smoking–avoid this habit at all costs. If you currently struggle with smoking, find a program that works for you and stop at all costs. Smoking ruins your heart and lung health and slows down your physical activity by inhibiting breathing. Smoking doubles your risk of heart failure.

Low Physical Activity-doing an exercise 30 minutes a day that gets your heart rate up has proven to reduce health problems, such as heart disease and heart failure. Physical exercise also reduces stress and risk of obesity.

Poor Diet Choices-eating unhealthy foods that are high in fat and sodium can begin to clog your arteries and lead to heart failure. Eating healthy, fresh foods like lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will contribute to a healthier heart and better functioning body.

Keeping a Healthy Weight-obesity affects a third of Americans, much like high blood pressure. Obesity causes various health complications, including heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight will keep your heart less stressed and lower risk of heart failure. Losing weight, if needed, will produce the same results and positively affect your overall health.

Though it may seem daunting, small, positive changes over time will prevent heart failure and keep you healthy.

Whereas small, negative habits over time will only lead you down a rabbit hole of health problems.

Seek help where needed and be honest with yourself about where you stand in personal health. Up your physical activity a little each day, choose apples over french fries, park the car a little farther from the store.

Adding the right things and subtracting the wrong things will create a wonderful balance for your body and mind.

Protect your health and your future by getting (if you’re not already) healthy and staying healthy.

Resources

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hf/prevention

http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_failure.htm

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/WarningSignsforHeartFailure/Warning-Signs-for-Heart-Failure_UCM_002045_Article.jsp#.VstksJMrJBx

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