Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. The statistics can be terrifying, with almost a million Americans dying due to heart disease each year. Knowing what causes this fatal condition will make it easier for you to identify, control, and manage risk factors. We at Angel Plan in Red Oak, TX, are here to help you with early diagnosis, management, and treatment of the disease.
What Causes Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease is a broad category of severe illnesses. It refers to a wide range of heart and blood vessel problems. Cholesterol and fat build-up in the arteries, which restricts blood flow to the heart, is the most common cause of heart disease. Without sufficient blood flow, the heart is deprived of oxygen and the nutrients it requires to function correctly.
A combination of risk factors, such as unhealthy lifestyle choices, can contribute to heart disease. People may also be born with conditions that make them more susceptible to heart disease in some cases.
Smokers have a much higher risk of developing heart disease. Many research has proven that cigarette smoking is a powerful, established risk factor for sudden cardiac death. Cigarette smoking, when combined with other factors, raises the risk of cardiovascular disease significantly. Even non-smokers are at risk of heart disease when they are exposed to other people’s smoke.
High Blood Cholesterol
Your chances of suffering from heart disease increase as your blood cholesterol level rises. This risk increases when other factors, such as hypertension and smoking, are present. Does high blood cholesterol run in your family? Age, sex, genetics, and diet can all have an impact on a person’s cholesterol level.
High blood pressure puts more strain on the heart, causing the cardiac muscles to thicken and become stiff. This condition can cause the heart to function abnormally and develop certain diseases. Hypertension also raises your chances of having a stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
When high blood pressure is combined with other risk factors, the probability of a heart attack or stroke is increased even more.
Heart disease is linked to an inactive lifestyle. By going to the gym or working out at home, you can take small steps to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Physical activity can also aid in the management of existing conditions such as high cholesterol and diabetes. In some people, an active lifestyle can also help to reduce blood pressure.
Even if they have no other risk factors, people with excess body fat are more susceptible to heart disease. Adults who are overweight or obese can make healthy choices to lose weight and lower their risk factors.
Having diabetes can cause you to develop cardiovascular diseases in the future. It also increases your risk of suffering fatal emergencies, such as stroke, even when your blood glucose levels are under control. Your chances of suffering heart failure become even higher if you don’t properly manage your blood sugar levels.
Living a stressful lifestyle can also play a role in developing heart disease. According to research, there is a possible link between cardiovascular disease and stress levels in a person’s life. Lifestyle behaviors and economic factors that cause stress can also contribute to a higher risk of developing heart problems. For example, people who are constantly under stress may also overindulge, start smoking, or smoke more than they usually would.
High Alcohol Consumption
Do you take too many drinks at home or at parties? Too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and put you at risk of severe illnesses, including heart problems. It can also raise fat levels in your blood and result in irregular heartbeats. Excessive alcohol consumption is also linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
What Are the Different Types of Cardiovascular Disease?
Heart disease is a broad medical term. It includes a variety of health conditions and illnesses that directly affect the heart, blood vessels, or arteries.
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart become clogged. A build-up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the arteries makes it difficult for blood to flow through them. The most prevalent cause of heart attacks is coronary artery disease.
Congestive Heart Failure
Congestive heart failure is a severe and long-term illness that worsens over time. It does not imply that your heart muscles have stopped working. It occurs when the heart isn’t working as efficiently as it used to.
For example, the heart may begin to beat faster and become larger. It enlarges as it stretches out to force the blood to flow faster. When the heart can no longer keep up, you may feel exhausted or have difficulty breathing.
Heart Valve Disease
The four valves of the heart ensure that blood flows in the right direction. When the flaps of the valve do not fully close, blood can leak backward into the heart. These valves should open and close based on the beating of the heart muscles. When one or more heart valves don’t work correctly, you can suffer from heart valve disease.
When you have cardiomyopathy, the muscle tissues in your heart weaken, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood properly. Cardiomyopathy can result in heart valve problems as well as heart failure.
Heart arrhythmia occurs when you have an abnormal heartbeat – either it’s too fast or too slow. It’s normal for your heart to slow down when you’re at rest and speed up when you’re stressed. However, in some cases, an abnormal heartbeat can indicate a more severe problem. Arrhythmia is a condition that some people are born with, while others develop it over time. When left untreated, arrhythmia can lead to cardiac arrest or stroke.
The pericardium is a thin layer of tissue that surrounds the heart. Its job is to keep your heart in the proper position and to ensure that it functions properly. Pericarditis occurs when the pericardium has become inflamed or swollen. This condition can appear suddenly and disappear quickly, or it can develop gradually and take longer to resolve. Pericarditis, when left untreated, can lead to heart failure.
How Do You Manage Existing Risk Factors?
Heart disease, unfortunately, does not have a cure. You will have to control and maintain your condition for the rest of your life once you have developed it. Making lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and giving up smoking, can help to alleviate your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may also need medical treatment, diagnostic interventions, or surgery to improve your health situation.
Control Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for coronary artery disease. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly, at least once a year or more frequently, if you have hypertension. Take steps to prevent or control your blood pressure, including making healthy lifestyle changes.
Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and coronary artery disease. You can control cholesterol levels through a combination of lifestyle changes and medications. High levels of fat in the blood can also increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.
Keep a Healthy Body Weight
Obesity or being overweight can increase your risk of developing heart disease. The two are also linked to other risk factors such as high blood cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. If you are obese, you can avoid many illnesses by losing weight and keeping it off.
A diet that’s good for the heart has limited saturated fats, low sodium, and few added sugars. It’s a great idea to eat a variety of fruits, greens, and whole grains daily. By choosing to eat food that lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure, you can avoid or better manage your heart disease.
Physical activity has numerous advantages, including boosting the heart and improving blood circulation. It can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight while lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. All of these things can help you minimize your chances of developing heart disease.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Too much alcohol can cause your blood pressure to rise. It also adds more calories to your diet, potentially leading to weight gain. Both of these factors raise your chances of developing heart disease. By limiting yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks per day, you can minimize your risk of severe illnesses.
Cigarette smoking raises blood pressure and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Don’t start smoking if you haven’t developed the habit. If you smoke, quitting reduces your chances of developing heart disease. You can seek assistance from healthcare providers in determining the best method for you to quit.
In many ways, stress is linked to heart disease. It also has the potential to raise your blood pressure. A heart attack can be triggered by extreme stress, as well as overeating and heavy drinking. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercising and listening to music. You can also focus on something calm or peaceful. Meditating is an excellent way to manage stress.
Heart disease becomes much more likely if you have diabetes. High blood sugar can weaken your heart and blood vessels, potentially causing severe problems in the future. If you have diabetes, it’s important for you to manage it consistently with a health professional’s guidance.
Talk To Us About Your Healthcare Options
It’s a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible if you are at risk of heart disease. If an early diagnosis can’t be made, you can always make the right lifestyle choices to reduce your risk and avoid fatal emergencies in the future.
Early detection and treatment of severe illnesses can prevent them from worsening or causing death. Don’t let unforeseen medical costs keep you from getting the care you need. Contact us at Angel Plan in Red Oak, TX today to learn more about our healthcare membership plans and how we can help you afford quality care.