With more and more people suffering from heart problems at a younger age combined with our sedentary lifestyles, taking care of your heart health is paramount. HEALTH met with cardiologist Dr. Ehab M. Esheiba who explained.
You Should Seek Medical Attention and Consult Your Physician if You have Any of the Following Warning Symptoms:
- Chest discomfort, heaviness, or burning sensation, in the central chest or left-side, especially if it radiates to the left shoulder, left arm and hand, back, neck or jaw. Pay extra attention if the pain started to occur during physical activities and it improves or decreases by rest.
- Unexplained difficulty in breathing, particularly if it started to limit your daily physical efforts.
- Unusual feeling of change of the rhythm of your heart beats often referred to as palpitations, particularly if recurrent or of prolonged durations.
- Unexplained sudden loss of consciousness.
- Extra attention should be given if the symptoms were associated with other unusual feelings, such as breathing
difficulty, sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
- Be aware of your own risk profile; this is the overall possibility of someone to develop heart conditions in the near or far future.
- Be aware of the risk factors that are proven to be associated with future cardiac conditions. These include: obesity,
hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking, abnormal cholesterol levels, sedentary lifestyle, with lack of exercise and unhealthy dietary habits, and the presence of family history of such conditions, particularly at a younger age.
- If you have any of these risk factors, make sure you are getting the optimal treatment and lifestyle modification to get them tightly controlled.
- It is time to stop smoking if you are a current smoker.
- Pay attention and be aware of your cardiovascular risk (as mentioned above).
If You Experience Symptoms, Do the Following
- Early consultation; if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is always better to prevent heart disease rather than to wait and then start treatment.
- Your doctor may order some investigations for you to make sure that you are in the safe zone. These tests range from simple laboratory tests to more complex cardiac investigations (depending on your condition and the recommended management plan by the treating doctor)
Make Your Life Healthier With the Following Tips
- Focus on “doing something from your side” to have better health and do not just depend on medication.
- Stop smoking if you are currently smoking.
- Adapt a healthy lifestyle pattern that can be well-integrated into your daily routine. For example, do regular and daily continuous moderate exercise (such as step walking) for at least 40 minutes at least five times weekly.
- Adapt healthy dietary patterns, with a focus on consuming food rich in vegetables, fiber, whole grain, fish rich on Omega-3 fatty acids and fruits in exchange for high carbohydrates, high oil and fat contents. You may need to consult a dietician to help you calculate your ideal daily caloric intake of healthy foods.
- Routine visits to your treating doctor, with a regular health check-up for lipid profile, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Make sure that these are tightly controlled.
- Early medical consultation if you suffer any of the warning symptoms mentioned earlier.
- Be positive towards your health, aim at “live longer and live better.”