Why Coronary Heart Disease Is Very Dangerous

Even though it is in charge of moving blood from place to place, your heart needs blood to keep it functioning. This is provided via your coronary arteries, of which there are four. They provide nourishment and oxygen to this vital organ.

Several things can go wrong with these arteries. The most common threat is when they are restricted by plaque, causing them to become hard. Cholesterol is usually the culprit in these cases. If the blood flow is low enough, parts of your heart will actually die. It can also cause an aneurysm, or a break in the arterial wall. That can cause you to bleed to death.

Prevention is the best bet, and it is possible even if you have a family history of this condition. Some of it will probably have to come from your doctor, but there are others you can do at home. It's a good idea to sit down with your doctor and discuss exactly what is necessary.

At Home

Diet: Burgers and fries taste great, but they are very high in fat and cholesterol. A heart healthy diet includes lean protein such as boneless/skinless chicken and turkey or fish. Lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains are also essential.

How you cook is going to be as important as what you cook. There are three safe methods of food preparation: water, oven or grill. Frying is out unless you do it in a non-stick skillet or use cooking spray instead of oil. Steaming, boiling, braising, baking, roasting and grilled are better choices.

If you are already overweight, you may be tempted to skip meals and keep your calorie consumption far lower than what you burn. That is not going to be helpful at all. Keep your calorie deficit no higher than fifteen percent.

Exercise: You should get into the practice of doing a cardio type workout a minimum of three times a week for at least twenty minutes per session. Ideally, this would be done with two days a week of toning exercises. This helps your body burn excess fat.

Herbs: The most important thing about using herbs is that you coordinate it with your doctor. It would be a good idea to consult a qualified herbal practitioner as well. This is even more true if you already have a medical condition and take medication.

Garlic is very good in this area. It can help lower blood pressure and may help reduce LDL cholesterol. Although it's a blood thinner in its own right, it usually is safe to take with other medications.

Red yeast rice may be another option, but this is controversial. It is a natural statin, and has the same side effects and drug interactions as the prescription medications. If you wish to use it, check with your doctor and be sure to get regular blood tests to make sure your liver is functioning properly.

Doctor's Orders

Angiograms: An angiogram can find blocked arteries. A dye is inserted into your blood stream. A camera is then inserted into an artery in your groin and threaded up to check out the condition of your arteries. If blockages are found, they can be opened via angioplasty, usually at the same time. Stints may be put in to keep them open.

Blood Tests: Lipid panels can help you find conditions known to cause hardening of the arteries before any damage is done. Lipids include cholesterol and triglycerides.

Medications: There are several categories of medications that can help reduce your risk of having or repeating coronary artery disease. They include such categories as blood pressure, cholesterol reducing and blood thinning medications. In fact, aspirin is usually on that list.

Preventing a heart attack is doable, but you will have to work at it. It's easy to get lulled into complacency and slip back into old habits. Doing so could mean your life.

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