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Myths About Heart Health That You Should Know

It's incredibly simple to fall into a false sense of security when it comes to your heart. You might believe that heart disease mainly affects older people or that if you did have it, you would have symptoms. If it runs in your family, you could just shrug it off and accept that there is nothing you can do to change it. But hear this first, before you go for the cheeseburger and fries: The leading cause of death in America is cardiovascular disease. But by distinguishing fact from myth, you can reduce your risk and improve your heart intelligence. Here is the truth about a few popular myths.


Every heart attack has the same symptoms


We are all familiar with the typical heart attack symptoms, including shortness of breath, arm/back pain, and chest pain. What if, however, we told you that you might not experience any of those signs and still experience a heart attack? One in five heart attacks, according to the American Heart Association, are "silent." These cardiac arrests go unreported and are occasionally found while the heart is being examined for another issue. It's important to call your doctor if you have concerns and to not overlook even the smallest symptoms.


You are allowed to eat everything if you take a cholesterol-lowering drug


There are two sources of cholesterol in the bloodstream: some are produced by the liver and some are obtained from particular foods. The amount of cholesterol produced by the liver is decreased with statins. As a result, your blood cholesterol levels fall, resulting in less cholesterol being deposited in your arteries. If you take a statin and continue to consume meals high in saturated fat and cholesterol, the medication will not work as well as it should, and your cholesterol level may even increase.


You would know if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, or any other risk factors 


No, actually. Nearly 15%, or 11 million people, of the 75 million Americans with high blood pressure are unaware that it is too high. This indicates that they are not receiving treatment to manage it. Moreover, persons with high blood pressure or high cholesterol frequently have no symptoms at all. "Genetics also plays a significant role in both, so even if you're active and not overweight, your risk may still be higher."


Get a yearly physical test, as this is the only surefire way to determine whether you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Your doctor will then be able to assess your cholesterol levels and check your blood pressure.


Don't worry about heart attack if you are young


Being proactive with your health is always a smart idea when you're young. But it's crucial in the case of heart health. A study of hundreds of heart attack hospitalizations found that 30% of the patients were between the ages of 35 and 54. The increase in young heart hospitalizations was another finding of this lengthy investigation. Never too early to think about developing better heart habits


High blood pressure is ok when you are old


Age-related increases in blood pressure are common, but just because they are "normal" doesn't mean they are healthy for you. Age-related stiffening of arterial walls is the cause. The heart must pump harder due to stiff arteries. The result is a vicious circle. Over time, the artery walls become damaged from blood pounding against them. When the heart muscle is overused, it loses efficiency and must work harder to pump blood to the body. The arteries are further harmed by this, and fat is encouraged to enter the artery walls. This is how having high blood pressure raises the possibility of having a heart attack or stroke.


Check the reading on your blood pressure. Find out what you can do to lower it if it's higher than 140 or 90 millimeters of mercury by speaking with your doctor.


Heart disease is similar for men and women


Unfortunately, not everyone dies from heart disease. For instance, men and women frequently exhibit very distinct heart attack symptoms: Men typically present with more traditional symptoms, including perspiration, shoulder or arm pain, and chest pain, according to Ruthmann. But what we refer to as "silent heart attacks  frequently affect women. They might merely experience weariness or symptoms similar to the flu or a cold.


An incorrect diagnosis is also more likely to occur in women who have heart attacks. According to a recent study, compared to 3% of males, roughly 5% of women who present to the hospital with a heart attack are likely to receive the incorrect diagnosis.


Additionally, women are more likely than men to suffer from microvascular coronary disease, a type of heart disease. Detection of this problem during screening procedures like angiograms is challenging.


Diabetes doesn't result in heart disease when you take diabetes medicine 


Medication for diabetes lowers blood sugar levels. Microvascular problems (complications affecting the smaller blood vessels), such as renal disease, eyesight loss, erectile dysfunction, and nerve damage, can be avoided by maintaining normal blood sugar levels.


However, the big blood vessels that develop inflammation and illness and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke are less affected by blood sugar regulation. These vessels benefit more from decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure.


You Can't prevent a heart attack if you have a family history of it


When you learn that your family has a history of heart illness and think there is no way to prevent cardiac arrest, it is easy to become dejected. It's crucial to realize that this is untrue, even though it's easy to believe it. For those who have a history of heart disease in their families, taking preventative measures could literally save their lives. A wonderful way to begin is by going to a cardiologist with a list of questions.


Don't exercise if you have heart disease 


Regular exercise is especially crucial if you have a history of heart disease. According to research, even moderate physical exercise reduces your risk of passing away in the year following a heart attack.


"Your heart is a muscle, just like any other muscle in your body, so you should exercise to help keep it in shape and build it up."


You use both the large and small blood vessels that supply your body's blood flow while you exercise. The more active you are, the better this vascular network performs. That may make it easier to maintain the heart's blood flow over time.


If you do have this issue, cardiac rehabilitation might be helpful, according to Goldberg. You can recover from a heart attack or heart surgery with the support of this outpatient exercise and education program. Typically, it entails instructions on how to modify your lifestyle to lower your chance of developing heart disease. Additionally, you'll receive instructions on how to work out effectively and safely. According to research, it reduces your risk of dying from heart disease and developing new heart issues.


Mental health and heart disease have no connection 


You might propose regular exercise, a balanced diet, and quitting smoking while considering measures to prevent heart disease. Many people do not believe that mental health is a component of heart health, though. Adults with depression are 64% more likely to develop coronary artery disease when compared to those without the condition, according to a study. Cardiologists and mental health professionals can work together to give your heart the boost it needs.


DR. Ritesh Kumar Gupta
Cardiac Care
Meet The Doctor
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