Heart disease affects millions of people in the United States. It is used as an expansive term to cover the wide range of diseases and conditions that can affect the heart health of individuals. Although it takes work, heart disease can be improved and even reversed. You can see great benefits by changing certain parts of your lifestyle and making simple, long-term changes.
Cigarettes are full of carcinogens that are deadly to anyone. However, in a person with heart disease, smoking will cause additional damage to the heart. The Mayo Clinic reports that the nicotine in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. This can damage blood vessels and cause additional problems for a person with an already compromised heart.
If you have heart disease, you have to maintain a heart-healthy diet by eating fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Eating foods high in fiber but low in sugar and fat is critical if you want to reverse heart disease damage. In addition, exercising at least 30 minutes a day is another suggestion many physicians make to help with reversing heart disease. Exercise is helpful in several ways. It can help keep your body weight in a healthy range. It also can help to reduce cholesterol levels, keep blood pressure under control and reduce stress levels.
Cholesterol reduction is an important aspect of reversing heart disease. Keeping a close track of your cholesterol levels is very important because high cholesterol causes arteries to become clogged with plaque. This causes blood flow to be restricted. High cholesterol can lead to future heart attacks, which can cause even more problems for someone who already suffers from heart disease. Therefore, keeping cholesterol levels under 100 mg/dl is the best option for people with heart disease.
High blood pressure causes the heart to work in overdrive. Overuse of the heart causes the heart to become enlarged and thickened, which causes the heart to become additionally diseased and unable to pump the blood the body needs. As a result, keeping your blood pressure below 120/80 is preferred by most physicians. Blood pressure, along with other risk factors such as obesity or diabetes, can be a deadly combination.
In research being done by Christine S. Moravec, Ph.D., it has been shown that using left ventricular assistive device (LVADs) can help reverse some cases of heart disease. LVADs are mechanical heart pumps that are implanted to provide assistance for patients suffering from severe heart disease and awaiting heart transplants. According to the American Heart Association, LVADs also are showing great promise in improving heart disease because they help the heart to pump the blood and improve the condition of the heart.