You probably know by now the extent of damage that heart disease has done on our modern society.
A stagnant lifestyle, bad eating habits, and constant stress have taken effect on us and our bodies. Men over 50 are the ones who used to be considered at most risk, but this has now changed. Young men, and young and old women, especially after menopause, are also becoming at risk of cardiovascular disease, be that heart attacks, chest pains, or stroke.
Some heart conditions are congenital (you are born with them) and they might go undiscovered if you don’t have regular check-ups, but most problems come later and can largely be avoided; they usually involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels - but other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart's muscle, valves or rhythm - also are considered forms of heart disease.
The most common and known problem is heart attacks. You hear about it happening all the time, and sometimes it comes undetected; but most of the time, and because you might expect the chest pains and numbness everyone talks about, subtler symptoms your body gives you go unnoticed, such as shortness of breath, weakness in the legs, pain in the neck or jaw, stomach pain and indigestion.
It’s true that some people who are usually very healthy individuals can still end up having heart attacks, but that’s the exception and not the norm. Normally, a vegetable based diet, with fish about twice a week and meat once or twice, combined with 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise, are great for the heart’s health - provided you don’t smoke or have other unhealthy habits. You should know though, that if you have family history, are overweight, diabetic, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, then you are more at risk and should be much more cautious.
If you feel that you fit the description, or that you have any of these symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor! It’s always better to be safe than sorry.