How to Take Care of Your Heart and Prevent Congestive Heart Failure
Healthcare is one of the hottest topics right now, aside from Game of Thrones of course. Why is it such a popular issue? Partly because we are still figuring out how to become masters at preventative healthcare, a cause we are happy to contribute to at Multicare!
While we’re on the issue of preventative healthcare, did you know that approximately 5.7 million adults in the United States are suffering from heart failure? This costs the U.S. about $30.7 billion every year.
You are a candidate for heart failure if you have experienced previous heart attacks, high blood pressure, heart valve disease, or even drug or alcohol abuse. Preventive healthcare can solve many of these prerequisite threats to heart failure.
- When was the last time you had your blood work done or blood pressure checked?
- What are you eating that betters your heart and not weakens it?
- What activities are you doing that prevents the buildup of bad cholesterol?
What is heart failure?
Congestive heart failure is when your heart muscle is not able to pump the blood as effectively as required. Even though it is called heart “failure,” it does not mean that the heart has stopped working. It means that the muscles around your heart have become too weak to fill and pump blood. Your body is still circulating blood back to your heart but faster than it can be pumped back out and therefore gets congested. With constricted pumping, your heart is unable to maintain appropriate supply of oxygen rich blood to all the body organs.
What are the causes of heart failure?
Heart failure occurs when the ventricles, or pumping chambers, of the heart become too tight to fill appropriately in between beats. Or, in some cases the heart itself is too weak, causing ventricles to dilate to the extent that your heart is not able to pump the oxygen rich blood to other organs of the body properly.
Congestive heart failure or CHF is a chronic condition that is likely to occur as you age, but can happen to anyone. Though a serious ailment, patients of heart failure can live a full and healthy life with proper medication and lifestyle changes. Most people develop CHF after they have had an earlier heart ailment.
Some of the common conditions that cause congestive heart failure are:
– Coronary artery disease:
This is the most common cause of heart failure as over a period of time arteries supplying blood to your heart become narrow from too much fat deposition.
– Heart attack: When the supply of blood gets blocked to a certain area of your heart muscle due to a clot formation it results in a heart attack which makes it permanently weak and strains it pumping ability.
– Hypertension (high blood pressure): When you have high blood pressure the heart has to work harder than usual to circulate blood to your other organs. Constant, overworked pressure on the arteries make your heart either too weak or taut to properly pump blood.
– Congenital heart disease: If there are any defect in the formation of the heart, its valves, or chambers, the parts that are healthy have to function harder to pump blood which can lead to heart failure.
– Faulty valves: The valves help the blood flow in the right direction, but when it gets defective your heart has to work harder which causes CHF.
A few chronic conditions like HIV, diabetes, hypo or hyperthyroidism may also result in heart failure. An acute form of congestive heart failure can happen due to some allergic reactions, severe infections and a few medicines.
If you are suffering from any of these diseases it is imperative that you shift your lifestyle if you have not already. Be proactive. Be preventative.
How can you prevent heart failure?
The sooner you start taking care of your body, your heart will follow suit.
To maintain good health or to prevent conditions from worsening, these are the recommended changes in lifestyle:
1. All healing starts with food.
Add more of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, mixed grains, low-fat dairy products to your diet and restrict your intake of salt (sodium), trans and saturated fats, processed foods and added sugar. Processed foods are acidic which are hard on your gut and not nourishing your body.
2. It is the 21st Century. Throw your cigarettes away!
Consult with your physician to help you quit smoking. Smoking increases your blood pressure, brings down the oxygen levels in your body and causes irreversible damage to your blood vessels.
3. Have weight check-ins.
Carrying extra weight has negative effects on a person’s neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and even skeletal system. Being overweight can be an indication of ingesting too many simple, processed foods. This means your body is burning through the immediate glucose for energy and storing the unused glucose as body fat. This also means your body is not receiving the optimal nutrition it needs for survival.
4. Be a kid and set yourself a bedtime.
Creating a routine sleeping schedule helps your body learn its own rest and wake cycles. People with insomnia have an increased chance of heart failure as their body isn’t given the time to rest and recuperate.
5. Get physical!
Not only is athleisure the new fashion trend, being fit will always be on trend. Adding in just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day can lower blood pressure, bad cholesterol, manage insulin levels, and can replace a bad habit such as smoking
6. Yoga anyone?
Stress can cause too many health problems making us feel uncontrolled in our own body. Yoga and meditation can help alleviate your mind’s clutter and therefore help silence stressors.
7. Like smoking, limit or eliminate all alcohol intake.
A lot of drinks are high in sugar and carbs. Your doctor will advise anyone with heart failure to stop drinking altogether as it can interact with your medicines. Alcohol also weakens your heart muscles. Best rule of thumb is if it doesn’t benefit your body, don’t eat or drink it.
There is a lot you can do to prevent congestive heart failure. If you are based in and around Lake Mary, Florida contact Multicare Physicians DPC and let experts take care of your heart and health. From managing your weight to controlling your blood pressure and helping you quit smoking, our DPC doctors will give you ample time and the care you deserve to help you cope with your condition.
If you have any of the symptoms like unrelenting weakness, fatigue, breathlessness, swollen legs, feet or ankle, irregular heartbeat, difficulty in exercising, chest pain, and increase in weight due to fluid retention, nausea, loss of appetite, decrease in the level of alertness, increased urination at night and wheezing or coughing with pink phlegm, you should immediately contact us immediately. These are all symptoms or warning signs of heart failure.
MultiCARE Physicians DPC is a direct primary care family practice in Lake Mary, Florida, where patients get comprehensive and compassionate medical attention. Preventative healthcare is the BEST kind of healthcare.
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