According to Heart Foundation research, Queensland above all other states had nearly 62 admissions per 10,000 for heart ailments, with towns of Ipswich and Wide Bay constituting the first five. “The data is concerning”, says Rachelle Foreman, health director, Heart Foundation, Queensland. She adds that although people believe that in the Sunshine State all are exercising, fit and healthy with beaches all around, the data doesn’t support this image at all.
Cardiovascular disease or CVD encompasses stroke, heart and blood vessel diseases. In 2016, an average of 22 Australians died from a heart attack each day; this is equivalent to one death from a heart attack every 66 minutes.
Getting diagnosed with a heart ailment can be a frustrating experience. You never know when the advancing age takes its toll, or you discover that hidden genetic trait that led you to develop a heart ailment at an early age!
Nevertheless, you can fight back. All you need to do it stay educated about your disease, how it affects your systemic health, how to check its progress and devise ways to reverse it as much as possible.
Listed below are a few lifestyle habits that can help you regain sound heart health and improve your quality of life:
- Quit smoking: Nicotine has a vasoconstrictor action and reduces blood supply to the major arteries of the heart. This narrows the blocked blood vessels further and adds to the CVD. Smokers are two to four times more prone to develop vascular diseases. What’s more? You also keep those around you safe by preventing them from getting exposed to secondhand smoking.
- Stay active: Depending upon how advanced is your cardiac health; you can design an exercise module in unison with your cardiologist in Brisbane. Even a small change in your sedentary habits goes a long way, e.g. walking alone helps enhance your HDL levels (the famous good cholesterol). Also, maintaining a healthy weight enables you to combat the distress symptoms and avoids the extra burden on the heart.
- Practice meditation: Learning relaxation techniques will assist you to keep that unavoidable stress at bay. Keeping engaged in activities you enjoy, surrounding yourself with your loved ones, and shun any negativity lowers the impact of stress hormones on the heart health.
- Medication: It’s advisable to follow the medicinal protocol assigned to you. Get your hypertension and dyslipidaemia checked and set your biochemical parameters within a standard limit.
- Regular assessment: In Australian guidelines, absolute risk (probability of developing stroke, myocardial infarction, peripheral arterial disease or heart failure occurring within five years) should be calculated in patients aged 45 and older with absolute CVD risk calculator.
- Dietary modifications: Eat healthily. While natural organic oils like those rich in omega three fatty acids (olive oil) are healthy for you, saturated fats (margarine, butter, coconut oil) are best restricted. Choosing foods low in cholesterol and saturated fats also lower the risk of developing long-term complications like stroke and future damage to the blood vessels
- Diabetes control: If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes type 2, it is best to manage your blood sugar and HbA1c levels. Keep yourself educated about the lifestyle and diet for diabetes.
Staying positive, reducing stress and taking prescribed medications routinely aids you in lowering the cardiac disease load and the co-morbidities associated with it.