Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. In fact, it is very likely you or someone you know will die of cardiovascular disease. But there’s no reason to feel depressed just yet! With the right lifestyle habits, you can do a lot to delay or prevent heart problems.
But what exactly is cardiovascular disease? According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term that refers to a number of conditions such as atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, and more. Let’s look at some cardiovascular conditions you may have heard of.
What is atrial fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a type of arrhythmia (i.e., irregular heart rhythm) when the heart beats faster than normal and the upper and lower chambers don’t co-operate. Atrial fibrillation may mean not enough blood is pumped from the lower chambers of the heart to the lungs and body. This may lead to feelings of dizziness or fatigue. Other symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, and low blood pressure. There are four types of atrial fibrillation (or A-Fib):
- Paroxysmal A-Fib is when the arrhythmia is brief. It may go away on its own, or you may require medical treatment.
- Persistent A-Fib is when the arrhythmia lasts for more than a week. It may go away by itself, but you’re more likely to require treatment.
- Long-term persistent A-Fib is when the arrhythmia lasts for more than a year and persists.
- Permanent A-Fib is when the arrhythmia persists even after repeated treatment attempts.
What is atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis is when plaque builds up and hardens along the walls of your arteries, reducing blood flow to parts of the body. Plaque is made up of substances like fat, cholesterol, and calcium. Plaque can also rupture. Platelets may then flood the injury site and form a blood clot. The blood clot further narrows the artery, and this may cause a serious event like angina (i.e., chest pain), heart attack, or stroke.
Atherosclerosis is dangerous because it often shows no symptoms until it gets to a point where a serious event like a heart attack happens. If atherosclerosis affects certain areas in your body, you may experience symptoms like chest pain, numbness, stroke, and kidney disease.
What are heart attacks?
A heart attack is when blood flow to a section of heart muscle stops suddenly. Without oxygen-rich blood to feed it, the heart muscle begins to die. Heart attacks are a medical emergency. Even if you’re not 100% certain whether someone is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1. Unlike the movies, heart attacks may not look as dramatic. Symptoms can be mild to begin with. Chest pain, upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, and pain in the back, shoulders, and jaw are all signs. Occasionally, people can experience no symptoms at all.
What are strokes?
Once you understand how heart attacks work, you can think of strokes as a brain attack. In a stroke, blood flow to a part of the brain stops suddenly and the tissue begins to die. Symptoms of a stroke include numbness on one side of the body, disorientation, dizziness, breathing problems, vision problems, and even loss of consciousness. Strokes, even so-called “mini strokes” (i.e., transient ischemic attacks or TIAs) are medical emergencies and require immediate medical attention.
How can I prevent these conditions?
Many types of heart or cardiovascular diseases have similar risk factors and prevention methods. A combination of healthy eating, fitness, and abstinence from tobacco can help prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases. Tips from the American Heart Association include the following:
- Regulate your sodium intake, most of which comes from processed and restaurant foods, not your salt-shaker.
- Reduce your sugar intake to six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons a day for men.
- Eat a rich rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Move throughout the day, and get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.
- Quit smoking.
- Ease stress, and prioritize sleep.
How are cardiovascular diseases treated?
A variety of medications can be used to treat cardiovascular diseases, such as:
- Blood thinners like ELIQUIS® (apixaban), warfarin, and heparin work by preventing blood clots. They also lower the risk of stroke. However, using blood thinners can put you at risk for bleeding.
- Beta blockers help regulate heart rate by slowing down the rate of pumping done by your heart’s lower chambers.
- Calcium channel blockers also help with heart rate control.
- Statin medications like astorvastatin can help lower your cholesterol levels.
Where can I buy cheap ELIQUIS® online?
If the price of prescription medications like ELIQUIS® costs gets your heart pounding, worry less by buying medications like ELIQUIS® online through an online Canada drug center like Canadian Med Center. Canadian Med Center is an international and Canadian pharmacy referral service that helps patients like you access affordable medications. As many countries have stricter drug price regulations than the United States, you can find significantly cheaper prescription drugs like ELIQUIS® from licensed, high-quality pharmacies abroad.
Take care of your heart. It’s a muscle that keeps working until you die, so make sure you <3 your heart!
DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.