It goes without saying that your heart is one of your most important organs, and the thought of something wrong with your heart can be overwhelming. Although heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, many cardiovascular conditions can be prevented or even reversed.
As a board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Henock Saint-Jaques and his experienced team of cardiologists at Harlem Cardiology in East Harlem, New York, want you to know what steps you can take to prevent these five cardiovascular conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), someone in America has a heart attack every 40 seconds. To compound this, about 20% of those are silent heart attacks, meaning your heart is damaged but you’re not yet aware.
The American Heart Association lists the following lifestyle changes as proactive steps toward preventing heart attacks:
You can’t stop a heart attack once it’s in progress, but acting quickly could save your life. Medication and even a catheterization with a stent can open your artery. Once you have a heart attack, you can continue to take strides to reduce your risk of future heart attacks by taking any prescribed medication and adopting healthy lifestyle choices.
High blood pressure is dubbed a silent killer, but thankfully, once you’re aware of it, you can reverse it. Sometimes high blood pressure can be reversed through diet (especially reducing sodium intake and following DASH dietary guidelines) and regular exercise. If lifestyle modifications aren’t enough to safely lower your blood pressure, medication may help you. Managing high blood pressure is essential for preventing other cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke.
Although strokes are nicknamed “brain attacks,” they are still considered a cardiovascular condition. Some risk factors for strokes, such as aging, are unavoidable. However, there are plenty of risk factors within your control 一 obesity, hypertension, sedentary lifestyle. By addressing your specific risk factors, you can help prevent future strokes. This includes:
If you do suffer a stroke, there are many medical interventions that can help prevent future strokes. This includes carotid endarterectomy as well as angioplasty and stents.
Heart palpitations can have innocent causes, such as anxiety, stress, or too much caffeine. In these instances, the best approach to reversing heart palpitations is to reduce stress, manage anxiety, and limit (or avoid) caffeine.
On the other hand, heart palpitations can be signs of more serious conditions, such as arrhythmia. Arrhythmias can be caused by heart disease or heart valve problems. The best way to reverse heart palpitations in these cases is to identify the root cause of your heart palpitation and treat that.
Heart valve disease happens if one of the valves in your heart isn’t working quite right. Heart valve issues can be present at birth, but they develop later in life too. For example, rheumatic fever can contribute to heart valve disease. For this reason, seeking swift treatment for strep throat can help you avoid rheumatic fever and potential heart valve complications.
Additionally, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests that exercise, eating a heart-friendly diet, and taking cholesterol medication (if prescribed) can help reduce heart valve damage.
Because so many cardiovascular conditions respond well to treatment, it’s important to seek medical intervention if you suspect you have one of these conditions. To make an appointment at our Madison Avenue office, request an appointment online at any time. You can also reach us at 646-381-2181.