Heart disease often sounds like such a broad condition that you may be left wondering: what are my risks? While we always recommend that you consult a cardiologist regarding your heart health, there are some conditions that are often precursors to heart disease. If you or members of your family suffer from the following conditions, your risks may be elevated.
Cholesterol
There are a number of different ways that you can develop high cholesterol. While elevated cholesterol can be genetic, due to a mutated gene, many other people get it due to lifestyle-related factors. An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise are two of the most common lifestyle factors for high cholesterol. And bear in mind that while often these characteristics coincide with increased size or a weight, a person with unhealthy habits may not present as obese. The problem with elevated levels of cholesterol is that it builds up like a plaque inside your veins and arteries. This sticky substance then makes it more difficult for blood to pass through. Patients will a history of high cholesterol are more likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.

Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is an all too common ailment that can be brought on by a number of different factors. Like cholesterol, it can be genetic, meaning that if your parents have high blood pressure you’re more likely to present with those symptoms. Also like cholesterol, high blood pressure can develop due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Some of the other causes of high blood pressure are obesity, lack of physical activity, consuming too much alcohol, and elevated stress. High blood pressure refers to the amount of pressure required to move blood through the heart muscles. Over time this may cause your heart muscles to weaken and can lead to heart disease.

Diabetes
Patients with Type 2 Diabetes are far more likely to develop heart disease due to the elevated levels of glucose in their bloodstream. This glucose can cause arteries to stiffen leading to coronary artery disease, heart attack, or even stroke. Diabetic patients can treat their own condition by closely monitoring their diet and exercising regularly. In addition it’s recommended that diabetic patients quit smoking and drinking alcohol and that they diligently take the medications prescribed to them.

Whether you have one of these conditions or all of them, rest assured that there are things you can do to bring yourself back to heart health. It’s never too late to start making changes to your diet and lifestyle to lower your risk of long-term heart damage. But if you do suspect you’re at risk, we urge you to find a cardiologist. If you’d like to be connected with a member of our team, contact us today.