What is Heart Disease?

Heart DiseaseThe heart is an extremely powerful muscle and arguably the most important organ in the body. It is working diligently 24 hours around the clock to pump blood filled with oxygen and other nutrients through the body. The average heart will beat around 100,000 times every day and moves about 5 quarts of blood each and every minute. In total, that’s around 2,000 gallons of blood pumped each day.

As with any muscle or machine that works constantly around the clock, it undergoes some natural wear and tear. That is one of the many reasons why it is so important to think about heart health on a daily basis. Practicing smart heart health includes dieting, exercising, and other forms of stress relief. It’s even more important for people who are at increased risk of developing a heart disease.

Unfortunately, everyone in the world has some risk of developing a heart disease, whether large or small, it’s just statistics. However, there are some people who are at increased risk because of their parents, their lifestyle, or because of something that has happened in their life. There are also a lot of different types of heart disease, so there’s no one single preventative measure for stopping them all.

Different Types of Heart Disease:

There are several different types of heart or cardiovascular diseases. The phrase heart disease is often used as an umbrella term to cover any one of these conditions, ranging from birth defects, to vessel diseases, to abnormal rhythms. Understanding the different heart disease symptoms and causes helps people make smarter and healthier choices in life.

Abnormal heart rhythms are often associated with heart disease. The average heart should beat between 60 and 100 times each minute. The heart normally beats at a steady pace on a constant rhythm throughout the day. However, some may notice at times that something seem to speed up or slow down their heart beat randomly. Some people deal with this on a constant basis and it’s a serious problem known as arrhythmia.

Irregular Heart Beat:

Arrhythmia basically means that the heart is not beating on a regular rhythm. It might not be beating fast or slow, but just irregular. This often feels like the heart is fluttering or skipping a beat. When experiencing this because the heart is beating too fast it is referred to as tachycardia.

Arrhythmia can be affected by a few different factors, ranging from other related heart diseases to damage to the heart muscle. Some people experience a temporary arrhythmia after heart surgery. It can also be a result of a diet lacking in electrolytes.

Healthy HeartCoronary Artery Disease:

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the hardening of the arteries connected to the heart. These arteries are essential for transporting oxygen. Their hardening makes it harder for them to do their job and can lead to a heart attack and even death. CAD is one of the leading killers in America and is responsible for affecting around 14 million people every year. Everyone should understand the heart disease symptoms and causes of CAD.

CAD is commonly caused by regular plaque build up within the arteries. The plaque will restrict the blood flow to the heart. The heart then cannot get the nutrients and the oxygen it needs to function properly, which could lead to a heart attack.

Sometimes the body is able to fight against the disease itself. The body will create a new blood vessel that goes around the source of the blockage. These blood vessels are rarely as large or strong as the normal vessel and may fail at supplying oxygen in times of extreme stress, such as during a workout or emotional upheavals.

Symptoms of CAD include a shortness of breath, constant sweating, and feeling of nausea. It can also lead to forms of tachycardia or arrhythmia. Most patients recall experiencing weakness or dizziness and extreme exhaustion.

Mitral Valve Prolapse:

A less common, but still serious heart disease is a mitral valve prolapse. These often lead to heart murmurs. Most people experience heart murmurs that are completely healthy, but those caused by a mitral valve prolapse are very serious and should be addressed immediately by a doctor.

The mitral valve is an important part of the heart. It is a valve connecting the left atrium and ventricle of the heart. Blood must pass through the valve from the atrium to enter the ventricle. A prolapse stops this from happening normally because a piece of the valve slips into the atrium and becomes stuck.

The valve usually gets stuck in the atrium because of abnormal sizing. A normal-sized valve isn’t usually large enough for this problem to occur. The exact reason behind the irregular size is still unknown.

Symptoms of a mitral valve prolapse include chest pains, weakness, shortness of breath, and swelling in the extremities.

As with any other heart disease symptoms and causes, if you are experiencing these symptoms you should visit your doctor. Do what you can before then to prevent the problem with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

 


Heart Disease Prevention with Exercise

Love your HeartHeart disease is one of the leading causes of death in US. A number of risk factors have been determined by researchers that may lead to heart disease. Most of these risk factors are in the preventable category which means a simple change in lifestyle can prevent onset of heart disease. Among all the preventable causes, physical inactivity is the leading cause of heart disease.

Many research studies have reported that heart disease prevention with exercise is possible at any age provided it is done on a regular basis. Regular physical activity not only helps the heart stay in shape but it also helps in preventing overeating. It also decreases stress. In other words, regular physical activity like abdominal exercises can help with all the major preventable causes of cardiovascular diseases.

How does Exercise Prevent Heart Disease?

Heart is a muscle and similar to all the other muscles in the body, it is responsive to exercise. Contrary to popular myth, you do not need to spend a lot of time on exercise. Many studies have concluded that even moderate activity for 30 to 60 min for around four days in a week is sufficient to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Exercise can be of any type but it needs to be done on a regular basis.

As you are aware, heart disease is caused by inadequate flow of blood to the heart. This happens due to progressive narrowing of the main coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart. The diameter of these coronary arteries should range from 3 to 4 mm.

Once the arteries get smaller due to the deposition on the walls, proper blood flow to the heart is affected and this results in onset of cardiovascular diseases. Research studies have shown that regular exercise can help in expanding the diameter of these arteries and exercise also makes them more flexible.

Exercise Frequency

If you are physically inactive, you should not start doing intensive exercise right away. It is recommended to start slowly by exercising for around 20 to 30 min for 3 to 4 times a week. You should gradually increase the time of exercise. Also, you should stop exercising if you experience shortness of breath or feel uncomfortable.

Types of Exercises

There are a number of different types of exercises that you can perform to make your heart work at a faster rate. Depending on your physical condition, you may consider swimming, walking or other physical activities. You also need to take into account your convenience and availability of time.

For instance, if you can find time to go to a gym, you should go to a gym and work out on a regular basis. Similarly, you may join a dance class or a hiking group for any other recreational sports team so that you remain physically active. You may also do cycling, skating, skiing or any other exercise that increases your heart rate.

Once you are comfortable with your exercise routine, you should increase the intensity of the workouts. A research study done at Harvard reported that intense activities such as swimming, jogging or hiking for just two hours a week can cut down the risk of death due to heart disease by 20%.

High intensity workouts need just 20 minutes per session and it needs to be done twice or thrice a week. A high intensity session should start with warm up for a period of 3 min followed by intense exercise for 30 seconds with exercise at low to moderate pace for around 90 seconds. This cycle should be repeated for around seven times.

One of the biggest problems with exercising on a regular basis is that it quickly becomes stale and boring. Therefore, experts recommend adding variety to the fitness routine to ensure that you do not feel bored and keep exercising.  Mix cardio exercises such as walking, jogging, and hiking with strengthening exercises such as weight lifting and abdominal exercises.

Exercise For Your HeartIdeally, you should design a well-rounded fitness program that includes a lot of different exercises to ensure that every muscle in your body is exercised. It also keeps your fitness routine challenging and interesting. Here are some of the exercises that you may include in your fitness program.

Brisk Walking

Brisk walking for 30 to 40 min is enough to sufficiently work out your heart. To get the best results from brisk walking, you should pump up your arms and breathe deeply with good posture. It is important that you walk on even surfaces to avoid any possibility of injury.

Swimming

Swimming is a highly intensive activity and 1 mile of swimming is roughly equal to 3 miles of brisk walking.

Hiking

You may also go hiking. Hiking for 1 mile at a 5% grade is equivalent to 2 miles of brisk walking. You can go to your favorite park and enjoy some nature.

Core Strengthening Exercises

Working out your core is a great way to change up your routine. Your core is very important for any exercise you do. Try doing some lower ab workouts or oblique workouts to strengthen these muscles. You will not regret having a strong core.

Golfing

Some people enjoy playing golf. If you also enjoy golfing, include it in your workout routine. 9 holes of golfing are equivalent to walking for around a mile.  Golfing has a lot of trunk rotation movements.  This trunk rotation is made easier by a strong core.  Oblique workouts are the best way to train the core muscles that are involved with trunk rotations.  As you can see all of these exercises fit together to make you strong and healthy.

Running

Running for around a mile is equivalent to 1.5-3 miles of walking. It depends on the intensity.

Overall, heart disease prevention with exercise is possible provided you do it on a regular basis. Keep the above tips in mind to design a well-rounded workout routine and keep heart disease at bay.

 


Heart Disease Prevention with Healthy Eating

Heart Disease riskHeart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is responsible for more deaths than all forms of cancer. Even when heart disease doesn’t lead to death it can still severely impact your life. Your daily routine can suffer because you’re constantly tired, weak, or experiencing pain. There are a variety of conditions considered a heart disease and they all affect the body differently.

It’s in your best interest to practice heart prevention techniques whenever and however possible. This is especially true if you have a history of heart disease in your family. Along with regular exercise, heart disease prevention with dieting is the most effective option.

Everything you eat has an impact on the body and the function of the organs. Whether it’s because you’re eating too much of something or you’re not eating enough, you should start paying attention to your diet today and considering how it affects your heart health.

What Is Heart Disease?

It’s a good idea to first understand what is heart disease? It’s more than one possible condition. Certain foods may have a direct impact on the risk of developing a certain heart disease. For example, cholesterol is one of the primary risk factor for developing coronary artery disease (CAD).

CAD is the most common heart disease and is responsible for more deaths than any of the other conditions. It occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries and prevents normal blood flow. Anyone can be affected by CAD, even if it doesn’t run in the family. Your diet will have a serious impact on your likelihood of developing CAD.

Heart failure, heart valve disease, and congenital heart disease are three other big names that cause a lot of damage. Some other conditions, such as arrhythmia may be less severe, but can still result in constant discomfort and a variety of other unpleasant symptoms.

Heart Disease Prevention with a Healthy Diet

Your diet is something you control on a daily basis. You can’t control your genetics or other accidents that might have happened in your life, but you can control what you eat. This is good news because what you eat has a big impact on your heart health. Too much unhealthy food will increase the risk. Replace foods full of bad trans-fats with nourishing fats like coconut oil. There are so many uses for coconut oil and the benefits are amazing

A healthy diet is about more than just eating healthy foods. You also have to think about the portions and how often you are eating. There are different factors that influence how hungry you feel throughout the day. Eating foods high in fiber will keep you feeling full for longer. This can help you better control portion sizes, which in turn reducing your chances of over eating unhealthy foods.

Heart Healthy FoodThe Foods You Want More Of:

Adding more healthy sources of fiber is usually a good start. In addition to controlling the appetite, it’s also been shown to have a more direct impact on heart health and disease prevention. It is said to help lower bad cholesterol and control blood pressure. Whole-wheat bread, carrots, and apples are all good sources of fiber.

Most vegetables and fruits are a good addition to a heart-healthy diet. Not only are they low in calories, but they are usually very high in nutrients. Low sodium vegetables in a can, fresh fruits, and even frozen fruits are all healthy sources of fruits and vegetables. You should eat your fruit often and keep your supply restocked with fresh options.

Add high quality sources of protein and fat in to your diet. Grass fed chicken and beef are a very good source of healthy protein. Make nourishing bone broth with the bones of grass fed animals for all the minerals your body needs. The bone broth health benefits are too numerous to discuss here but you must look in to this super food.

Whole grains seem to fall in both categories: foods you want more and foods you want less of. It all depends on the source of the whole grains and your portion sizes. Oatmeal is always a good source of whole grain, while frozen waffles aren’t exactly the ideal source. Snack crackers are a whole grain you want to limit, but whole grain bread is always a healthy choice for the heart.

Foods to Limit:

Heart disease prevention with dieting is just as much about limiting the bad foods as it is increasing the good foods. There’s also the matter of how the food is prepared or stored. For example, it’s common knowledge that processed foods are a bad idea in any healthy the diet. This is especially true of heart healthy diets.

You need room for all of the new vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sources of fiber. You should always start by removing as many processed foods as possible. The same goes for foods high in salt, which can be particularly bad for the heart.

Sugar is something else that should be avoided as much as possible in any heart healthy diet, right alongside unhealthy sources of fat. Everyone loves to enjoy a sweet snack now and again, but it’s always a better idea to snack on an apple or other sweet fruit.

Diet has so much impact on the heath of your body. Start today to eat right and prevent Heart Disease.


Heart Disease Prevention with Meditation

MeditationIt is estimated that more than 600,000 people die due to heart disease related complications in the US each year. In other words, 25% of the deaths in US each year can be attributed to heart disease.

More than 735,000 people in America suffer a heart attack each year. Of these, 210,000 people have already suffered from a heart attack and 525,000 experience their first heart attack.

There are a number of causes of heart disease both preventable and non-preventable. Non-preventable causes include heredity and genetics among others. The preventable causes of disease include poor lifestyle, being overweight, chronic stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and many others.

A number of drugs have been approved for use to cut down the risk of death due to heart disease but most of these drugs come with some serious side effects. Researchers have been trying to find non-drug ways to reduce the risk of death due to heart disease.

Other than lifestyle changes, meditation has been found to be one of the most effective ways to cut down the risk of death due to heart disease. A number of research studies have indicated that heart disease prevention with meditation is possible and regular meditation can help in reducing the risk of death due to heart disease by more than 20%.

How does Meditation Prevent Heart Disease?

In simple terms, meditation can be described as a practice that provides relief from stress and help individuals feel peaceful and enjoy a relaxed state of mind. There are many different types of meditation including Transcendental meditation and Mindfulness meditation among others.

A typical meditation session lasts anywhere from 20 to 30 min. The meditation experts like to call these meditation sessions as vacation from stress.

Most of the people today live a hectic lifestyle that leads to chronic stress. Chronic stress leads to release of a hormone known as adrenaline that increases breathing rate, blood pressure and heart rate. However, chronic stress takes its toll on the body. Regular meditation has been found to be effective in reducing high blood pressure and stress levels.

Meditation has also become popular all over the world. It is now estimated that more than 10 million people in America practice different forms of meditation on regular basis.

Research studies indicate that among all the different variations of meditation, transcendental meditation has been found to be most effective in cutting down the risks of heart disease. Other forms of medication such as Mindfulness meditation have also been found to be highly effective in reducing stress thus leading to reduction in risks associated with heart disease.

In one study published in the year 2012, researchers reported that people already suffering from heart disease reduced the risk of death, stroke and heart attack by 48% by practicing Transcendental meditation on a regular basis.

Yoga on the BeachTypes of Meditation

As mentioned above, there are a number of different types of meditation. Doctors recommend practicing a form that works for an individual.

In fact, some doctors suggest that just listening to one’s favorite music while working at a moderate pace is a form of meditation and if a person gets relief from stress with such activity, it should be performed on a regular basis.

There are thousands of books available online on various forms of meditation and there are thousands of websites dedicated to different types of meditation. You can easily find local groups and teachers for meditation in all the major cities.

Also, you do not need to sit down with legs crossed to perform meditation. Tai Chi, also known as moving meditation, is a form of meditation that incorporates gentle movements.

Similarly, yoga is also helpful for preparing body for longer periods of meditation. Praying is also a form of meditation.

Experts also caution that while meditation is helpful for reducing the risk but it cannot replace the benefits of other lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthier, reducing salt intake and regular physical activity.

Meditation has been found to be highly effective but one needs to continue taking the drugs prescribed by the doctor and also focus on regular physical activity to bring down the risk of heart disease.

Other Benefits of Meditation

There are a number of other benefits of meditation that help in preventing heart disease. For instance, mediation helps in preventing food cravings that helps with weight loss. Similarly, meditation can help individuals in giving up smoking that again reduces the risk of heart disease.

Researchers have also found that practicing meditation on a regular basis helps in reducing the thickness of carotid artery.

Overall, heart disease prevention with meditation is a fact that is well known in the east. Now, research studies have proved what some of the practitioners of meditation already knew. So, if you are suffering from heart disease or are at increased risk of developing heart disease, you should include meditation in your daily schedule to get relief from stress and enjoy a peaceful mind.

Meditation does not take too much time. With practice, you can get all the benefits of meditation with just one 20 minute session.

Physical Disease and Oral Health

Dentist

Is there a link between the two?

It is quite a surprising discovery among researchers regarding the link between periodontal disease and medical conditions such as stroke, cardiovascular ailments and diabetes. In addition, pregnancy-related problems and dementia are also linked with poor oral health. Check out this post on the link between oral health and physical disease based on actual studies.

Gum Disease and Health Concerns

Periodontal disease refers to the infection of tissues in the mouth that support your teeth. For instance, diseases that affect the gums are due to plaque buildup, which eventually leads to bacteria growth and accumulation.

Individuals who suffer from gum disease become prone to inflammation as the body reacts to the bacteria present in the oral cavity. With chronic inflammation of the gums, the bloodstream becomes negatively affected, thus resulting to damages to blood vessels in the brain and heart if the condition remains unaddressed.

In fact, several health issues are linked to gum disease including stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. These conditions, however, arise with chronic gum disease and complications in later life. When combined with other factors that cause diseases including stress, poor diet and lifestyle, the condition becomes worse over time.

This is the reason you need to find a Kelowna dental clinic as soon as possible.  Your oral health is of vital importance to your overall health and your dentist can help.

Other Medical Conditions Caused by Gum Disease

Once plaque forms on the teeth, the area becomes thicker and harder, thus coating the teeth for a period of time. If it remains of your teeth due to poor oral hygiene, the plaque turns into tartar and triggers gum infections. Over a period of time, gum disease results to tooth loss, as well as susceptibility to other diseases such as those affecting the respiratory system. Bacteria in the oral region travel from your mouth and into the lungs, which lead to infection and worsening of lung problems.

Several studies that involve complications in pregnancy and oral disease are also surprising. For instance, researchers have pointed out the increased risk of low-birth weight and pre-term babies among women who suffer from gum disease. Babies who have low birth weight are at a greater risk of developing complications throughout their life.

Some of these conditions include behavioral difficulties, ear infections, asthma and even infant death. While there is a need for further research to conclude these claims, there is indeed no harm in maintaining good oral condition at any stage of your life, particularly pregnant women.

Important Facts on Oral Health

As part of good oral hygiene, you need to keep your teeth and gums clean to prevent gum disease and cavities. With poor oral conditions, you are at risk of tooth loss, bad breath and misaligned teeth, which all trigger low self-esteem. Moreover, sleeping problems can be a product of oral disease, as well as developmental and cognitive issues in children. With oral problems, you become less capable of chewing food properly, and this can negatively impact digestion.

For people who smoke cigarettes, they are at higher risk of developing dental issues and eventually oral cancer. Tobacco contains toxic and carcinogenic components that can harm your mouth and overall health. Aside from causing tooth loss and damages to the bones surrounding your teeth, smoking can cause oral and lung cancer.

Hence, oral health is vital in ensuring your well-being at any stage of life you may be. Children, adults and seniors should make it a habit to care for their gums and teeth to prevent complications and medical conditions that could affect the quality of their life. Before serious problems arise from periodontal disease, be sure to do your part in preventing this condition through good oral hygiene.

Achieve Oral Health

Prevention is indeed better than cure. This means, before you start experiencing any symptoms, you should make it a point to include in your daily routines techniques to improve your oral health. These include brushing and flossing regularly.

After brushing, you should also gargle with a mouth rinse that contains anti-microbial components to kill bacteria in your mouth. Also, it is important that you visit one of  the many Kamloops dentists twice a year for checkup and examination. If you experience any problems with your teeth and gums, never hesitate to consult your dentist immediately.

A healthy diet is also a precursor to good oral health. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid sugary foods, and drink plenty of water every day. With all of these tips on proper oral care, you will be on your way to healthier teeth, gums and body.