Heart disease is a big umbrella phrase used to describe the many conditions that occur when your body begins to build up plaque on the inside of your artery walls. This process is called Atherosclerosis and when it builds up over time your arteries become more and more constricted and blood is no longer able to pass through. This can lead to heart attack, stroke, and the general weakening of the muscles that make up your heart. Fortunately, Atherosclerosis and the related heart conditions are in many cases preventable.
Here are some things you can do to promote heart health:

Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
We always like to start by discussing the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle because more than anything in your life you can control what you eat, whether or not you smoke, and how frequently you exercise. On the other hand, factors like stress and genetic makeup are either more difficult, or completely impossible, to control. If you don’t currently live a heart-healthy lifestyle it can be intimidating at first. Just remember, you don’t have to be perfect you just have to get better each day. And the healthier you get the more likely you can prevent the onset of heart disease.

Reduce Stress
Job, family situation and financial hardship are all things (among dozens of others) that can contribute to stress. When we are stressed we have a harder time maintaining the healthy lifestyle we discussed above. So extra stress in your life may be pushing you to smoke or drink excessively which is actually making your condition worse. We frequently see patients who have elevated blood pressure and due to stress which can eventually damage your artery walls. Whatever is creating your extra stress has the potential to contribute to your risk of future heart conditions. Take some time to yourself, meditate, try a yoga class, or even invest in talk therapy. Managing your stress is good for your health and makes for a happier life.

Get Screened Often
The reality is, most people who suffer from heart disease are men over the age of 65, people with a family history of heart conditions, and people of color. If you find yourself in one or more of these categories it’s important for you to get screened early and often. Be sure to mention your family history to your primary care doctor so they can help you connect to a cardiologist. Discovering your risks early is the best prevention.

Whether heart disease runs in your family or feels inevitable due to your lifestyle, it is usually preventable. The earlier that take the reins to prevent a cardiac incident, the more likely you will be to thwart it. If you, due to heredity or lifestyle, believe that you are at risk of heart disease, contact us today and get started on the road to prevention with the help of a cardiologist.