Flowers Medical Group offers specialized adavanced testing for our patients to develop treatment plans to get you and keep you healthy as you age. We assess risk factors with genetics and detailed cardiovascular testing and work with you to design a plan that meets your needs.
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Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States? While you cannot control some risk factors such as age, gender, and family history, there are risk factors that you may have control over. And, if you have known heart disease, you can lower your risk of having another event by taking action.
High blood pressure raises your risk of heart disease. It usually does not have symptoms, so have it checked regularly. To lower blood pressure, aim to lose weigh if overweight, stay active, do not smoke, eat healthy, unprocessed whole foods, lower salt, be moderate with alcohol, and take medication if prescribed by your doctor.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in all cells. The body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but we also get some fat and cholesteraol from foods, mainly animal products. Over time, high levels can clog arteries. Reducing sources of saturated fat and cholesterol such as mean, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods can help reduce cholesterol along with medication if needed. It is also important to try to reaise the good cholesterol levels by increasing intake of healthy unsaturated fats such as plant oils, avocado, fatty fish, nuts, and seeds.
Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes
Uncontrolled diabetes can damage arteries and increase the chances of developing high blood pressure and blood clots. Diabetes can easily go undetected, so have your blood sugar checked regularly, reduce weight if you need to, and stay active.
The more overweight a person is the higher the risk of heart disease, even without other risk factors. The heart has to work harder to pump blood and this increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Reducing calories and increasing activity can help keep weight in check.
If you smoke, look into quitting – there are many options available. Smokers are up to four times more likely to develop heart disease, even if they are young. The good news – within one year of quitting, that risk is cut in half.
Less than 1 in 5 Americans gets enough activity.
The heart is a muscle, and activity helps it to become strong. Activity also helps keep blood vessels flexible and open thus lowering the risk for other risk factors.
Aim for atleast 30 minutes a day.
There is no special vitamin or food that can prevent heart disease but look to reduce processed foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and added sodium and sugar. Increasing intake of healthy fats found in fatty fish, plant oils such as olive, avocado, nuts, and seeds can raise good cholesterol levels.
Stress puts “stress” on your body and also may cause someone to be less active and make poor food choices. While easier said than done, look for ways to eliminate stress and take time for relaxation and self-care. And, just a few minutes of meditation a day can work wonders!