Cardiovascular or heart diseases are a range of diseases that affects the heart. It can interfere with the normal functioning of the heart in several ways where the blood vessels can be affected; there can be heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias), congenital heart defects by birth, defects of heart valves or muscles, or any kind of heart infection.
Whatever might be the ill effect, it is best if they can be avoided as heart complications can prove to be fatal. Regular cardiac checkups can be a savior at times.
Regular Cardiac Checkups And Their Benefits
Regular heart checkups can do away with many risks of heart conditions that might otherwise go undetected. Before developing into something serious, preventive healthcare can help someone find out about potential health issues that can be then taken to a doctor’s notice for further consideration.
With a doctor to guide and checkups to assist, one can expect to detect certain ailments or conditions that need early interpretations and get immediate treatments and to reduce the chances of severe illness thus, maintaining and keeping under check the overall health.
When do we need one?
Certain symptoms should probably be addressed immediately and the doctor should be informed of if there are symptoms like:
- A chest pain or uneasiness like fluttering in the chest
- Very slow or very fast heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness and feeling fatigued
- Swelling in the feet or abdomen areas
Suggestions to follow
According to the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines, even without any prior history of heart diseases in the family, the following heart health screenings should be recommended by the doctor frequently.
- If you have issues of high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar or diabetes and obesity
- If you suffer from atrial fibrillation
- If there had been any complication during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, high systolic and diastolic pressure or preeclampsia
- If there are certain lifestyle factors like smoking tobacco
During the checkups
The AHA suggests regular annual checkups of weight and BMI, blood pressure tests at least once biannually, blood cholesterol tests at least once in 4 to 6 years, and blood glucose tests once in every 3 years. Usually, the tests are suggested for people greater than 20 years. However, the heart condition actually decides at what age the screenings should be done.
During the screening tests, the doctors perform a series of tests to obtain the best treatment option for the individual. The most common ones are:
- A blood pressure test: High systolic and diastolic blood pressures can put a lot of stress on the heart and its arteries causing irreparable damage. Hence, an early detection and treatment can prevent from blood clots to develop, which can lead to cardiac arrests.
- A cholesterol test: It is important to test this as the high cholesterol levels in the blood would show no significant symptom. However, the higher counts of cholesterol will unknowingly put you at a greater risk.
- Blood glucose test: Blood glucose levels are very important to determine our heart condition. High sugar levels in blood cause diabetes which in turn affects the functioning of the heart and if left untreated, it can cause strokes.
- C-reactive protein (CRP) tests: This test is suggested to people with higher risks of attaining cardiovascular diseases. It is a high-sensitivity testing that measures CRP which is a marker of inflammations or infections.
- A doctor might also measure ones heart’s electric activity using a Holter monitor.
At home measures to avoid cardiac risks
Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, it is advisable to practice a healthy lifestyle as an act of prevention. Smoking should be avoided, 150 minutes of moderate exercises should be done, a healthy and balanced diet including all the essential and nutrient-rich food should be taken and curb the intake of sugar-containing fatty food. A check should also be imposed on the weight.
Cardiovascular diseases have been reported to kill one person every 37 seconds in the US. Annually, about 647,000 people lose their lives to heart diseases. It is considered to cause the largest number of deaths both in men and women. So, the only way this can be mitigated is through preventive cardiology. It is important to look out for the signs and symptoms and consult doctors for regular checkups.
Lacey Arlo is a wellness expert and a nutritionist who aims to help members with health and diet queries. Lacey Arlo has worked with junior, national, and Olympic-level athletes by providing them with customizing programmers, supplement strategies, and support during their travel and competition. From weight management, PCOD, thyroid-related weight loss, and nutrition for children to diets for pregnant and diets for senior citizens, She offers nutrition-aided solutions for different age groups with consideration for each person’s unique health demands.