Identifying A Cardiovascular Problem Early Is The Key To Avoiding A Heart Attack

by R.D. Hawkins - Date: 2010-06-26 - Word Count: 506 Share This!

Each year heart attacks kill more than 150,000 Americans, surprisingly half of which are women. But while all fatal heart attacks can't be avoiding most experts agree that by being able to identify a cardiovascular problem before it results in a heart attack you can greatly improve your chances of avoiding this potentially serious event.

There are many symptoms that can tip us off that a cardiovascular problem is brewing. These would include, but not be limited to, fatigue, swelling in the ankles or abdomen (edema), shortness of breath, increased urination due to fluid buildup, nausea, excessive sweating, chest pain, dizziness, along with numbness in the extremities.

All of the symptoms above can be caused by varying degrees of arterial blockage, though most studies suggest that 70 percent blockage is needed to produce the symptoms that raise the warning flag for the presence of a cardiovascular problem.

It should also be pointed out that in patients with an underlying cardiovascular problem, taking certain types of medicines can lead to the worsening of heart related conditions such as congestive heart failure. This is especially true for medications that can cause sodium retention or reduce the pumping power of the heart itself. Examples of commonly used medications are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Others medications that cause fluid retention or reduce heart strength are certain steroids, diabetic medications, and some calcium channel blockers. This is just a partial list so some extra research may be required in this area if you feel you are at risk of a cardiovascular problem.

What else should I know about identifying a cardiovascular problem?

Another important concept that opens the door for heart disease later in life is the fact that as we age the status quo is no longer sufficient to stave heart disease and it should come as no surprise that almost half of all deaths occurring in seniors, ages 65 to 74, are from heart disease. One of the primary reasons for this is a loss of heart pumping power combined with a natural age related increase in artery clogging blood cholesterol levels.

The heart pounds out about 100,000 beats per day, all the while adjusting to problems, and slowing down or speeding up to adapt to the situation. But the truth of the matter is that just like any other muscle at some point it starts to wear out. As your heart wears out it must pump harder and faster to push blood through the ever narrowing arteries. At some point a tipping point is reached resulting in heart failure or a heart attack.

What else? For anyone who believes they have a cardiovascular problem a trip to the doctor should be right at the top of their to do list along with adopting a heart healthy regime consisting of reducing saturated fat and cholesterol, staying active, effectively managing blood pressure, keeping blood sugar levels in check, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, saying no to cigarettes, and considering a cholesterol lowering medication or natural cholesterol reduction supplement if needed.

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