Are you at risk for cardiovascular disease?

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Understanding your heart health and overall wellness for that matter, is essential to both the quality and longevity of your life. If you have a comprehensive grasp on the mitigating factors and actionable steps outlining a path to a functionable and healthier lifestyle, the chances of you being at risk for cardiovascular disease decrease exponentially.

We believe the first step to facilitating risk management is achieved by utilizing a thorough and educational based foundation. With this, you will be better equipped to set you and your entire cardiovascular system up for healthy success.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Let us begin by first breaking down the disease in to a comprehendible reference, outlining the nuanced regularities and some irregularities involved in cardiovascular issues. Most commonly, and incorrectly, cardiovascular disease is also referred to as heart disease. While this statement can be true, it is not always true on an encompassing scale. Your cardiovascular system is more than just your heart.

Simply put, your heart is a main component, just not the sole factor.

What are some issues warranting cardiovascular disease?

  • Atherosclerosis: plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries.

  • Heart attack / myocardial infarction: substantial blood flow to your heart is held up due to a blood clot located elsewhere.

  • Stroke: blood flow to the brain by way of blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot located elsewhere. There are two primary stroke differentiators. This one is referred to as an ischemic stroke. The other is known as a hemorrhagic stroke. A hemorrhagic stroke is when one of the brains feeding blood vessels bursts.

  • Arrhythmia: abnormal heart rhythms. The issue with arrhythmia’s is that your heart may fail to pump enough blood throughout your body as a direct result of the irregular beats.

  • Complete heart failure: congestive heart failure does NOT mean that the heart stops working completely – instead it refers to the lack of production and necessary blood flow needed to support the rest of the system.

  • Heart valve issues: if the valves stop opening up all the way, flow is restricted. Same goes for when the valves stop closing complete, blood leaks through the “cracks”. Both of which are extremely inefficient and dangerous to the systematic approach to your entire cardiovascular system.

Cardiovascular disease factors

Essentially, there are two varying categories that individual risk factors must be sub-categorized into. Those are modifiable factors and non-modifiable factors. We will break the two lists down below starting first with the factors we have control over (modifiable factors).

Modifiable cardiovascular disease factors:

  • High blood sugar: can be neutralized or minimized with healthy and attentive nutrition.

  • High LDL cholesterol: LDL cholesterol is the “bad” cholesterol that you want to keep low. This can also be minimized through a healthy diet and intentional nutrition analysis.

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure): while this can in fact be a genetic predisposition, you can still take action to minimize the severity through diet and exercise.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: leading a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system.

  • Eating unhealthily most of the time: If the predominance of your diet is made up of processed, high saturated fats, and fast food, then you may want to begin considering a nutritional overhaul for the wellbeing of your future self.

  • Smoking: cigarettes are detrimental to your cardiovascular health.

  • Are you overweight or obese? By implementing a consistent exercise regimen and healthy diet and lifestyle, you essentially set yourself up for long-term success. Being overweight causes your heart to work overtime to pump enough blood throughout your body in comparison to a person at a healthy weight.

Non-modifiable cardiovascular disease factors:

  • Age: Obviously, you cannot slow your age down or reverse it. Your age can increase your chances of cardiovascular disease. The best way to mitigate the risk is to implement a healthy lifestyle sooner than later.

  • Family history: We do not choose our family. Some of us are born into families with an increased risk or history of cardiovascular disease. It is important to be fully aware of your family history of all diseases and issues.

Who is generally the most at-risk for cardiovascular disease?

While cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death for both men and women, there are some relevant factors that can increase the chances of acquiring any of the aforementioned complications.

Races predominantly affected by cardiovascular disease:

  • African-Americans

  • American Indians

  • Caucasians

  • Alaskans

Conclusion

Our team here at Proactive Wellness Centers understands that cardiovascular disease and all of its nuanced complexities can be daunting for an individual to attempt to navigate on their own. We are here to help you through the labyrinth of questions you may have.

We want to equip you to be better prepared and proactive in your quest for health and wellness. Please reach out to us here today with any questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to hearing from you. Be well.

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