There are many causes of heart disease but for most of them depends on what kind of decisions you make, regarding your health. I learned this the hard way.
My advice, is to take care of your body on time because the later you start doing so, the harder it gets to repair the damage. You know how they say: "Better to be safe, than sorry".
TYPE 1 - CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE - are factors on which we don't have much control on. Luckily for us, there are only a few of them, if you look from the bright side.
Age. The older you get, the higher the risk for developing heart disease. Most deaths from heart disease occur in people older than 65. On the other hand, I was diagnosed with heart disease at the age of 17 and now I am completely heart disease free with great endurance and cardiovascular system.
I am not saying that fifty or sixty year old people can get the results that I got while i was still very young. However, at very least, everyone can improve condition of their cardiovascular system, significantly, if they put the work in.
Genetics. Although genetics shouldn't be considered as one of the causes of heart disease, they do matter, a lot. Heart related problems tend to run in families. It doesn't mean that you will have heart disease in the future, it just puts you into higher risk group.
Take me, for example. My father has enlarged heart as do I but to overcome that, I started living healthy and now I am heart disease free. My heart, although still enlarged, functions excellent between 40 and 55 beats per minute.
This just shows you that even when it comes to causes of heart disease such as heredity and genetics, you can always make a difference.
Racial and Ethnic Groups. Some studies have shown that African-Americans have more severe high blood pressure and a greater risk of heart disease than caucasians. However, I am male caucasian and I had heart disease, including seriously high blood pressure. Highest measured was around 190 over 100.
When it comes to Hispanic/Latino people, studies are providing conflicting results. These differences are probably caused by place of residence and eating habits, not by genetic code.
On the other hand, east-asian nations have significantly lower rate of heart disease, compared to caucasians. In this case, decisive factor is probably diet since japanese people living in US have same rate of heart disease as average americans.
Eskimo's and their diet are also a good example. Despite fatty meats make 90 percent of their diet which is one of the main causes of heart disease, they have very low risk for developing heart disease. This is primarily thanks to the fact that the meat on their menu, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
Gender. In general, men are at higher risk than women although the difference narrows after women reaches menopause. After the age of 65, the risk of heart disease is about the same between men and women, if other risk factors are similar.
This is probably due to hormonal changes since estrogen production decreases, while progesterone production drops to almost zero, when women enters menopause.
Men also produce progesterone but in smaller quantities. Like in women, our progesterone as well as testosterone production decreases with age. Lower production of these hormones is associated with the increased risk of heart disease.
TYPE 2 - CAUSES OF HEART DISEASE - are factors that we can have huge effect on. Even better, there are plenty of them for us to work on.
Diet. You will see the word diet mentioned many times on this website and there is a reason behind that. Healthy diet should be number one priority, when it comes to treating and preventing heart disease.
Lack of Exercise. Right next to the healthy diet, on the second place is exercise. Benefits of regular exercise for a strong heart, mind and body have been proved a long time ago.
Smoking. As you all know smoking is one of the major causes of heart disease, besides lung cancer. Cigarettes contain numerous chemicals such as nicotine which can damage the heart. They can affect blood pressure, cholesterol levels, even hormones and heart rhythm.
However, the most significant effect that smoking has on the cardiovascular system, is its ability to narrow the arteries and speed up build up of fatty plaque, while distrupting blood cloting mechanisms. All this increases the risk for developing blood clot which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
I managed to quit smoking but I wasn't a long time nicotine addict which made the process easier for me. Maybe you want to check my story or my approach on how to quit smoking. I hope it helps.
High cholesterol is one of the main causes of heart disease. High cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries which can lead to blood clots and heart attack.
There are many tips on this page, when it comes to lowering cholesterol such as cholesterol lowering supplements. Also, saturated and especially trans fats raise LDL cholesterol, so watch out for these two.
High blood pressure, alone, is a form of heart disease but it is also one of the main causes of heart disease, in general. It can damage the heart muscle, walls of the blood vessels, kidneys and other organs. Over time, it can even cause heart attack and stroke.
Ideal blood pressure is little less than 120/80 at rest but if you are around that number then you are ok. If not, work you way toward it.
Alcohol can be good and bad for the heart. Scientis have concluded that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol had lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers.
However, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is one of the main causes of heart disease which may lead to high blood pressure, arrhythmia and damage the heart muscle.
Alcohol is also harsh on the liver which is responsible for many metabolic processes. Drinking too much alcohol interferes with liver function, while calories from alcohol cause weight gain, especially around mid section.
Weight. Optimal weight for your height is usually a very good indicator, when it comes to assessing the risk of heart disease. I was around 220 Ibs (100 kg) and I am 6 feet 2 inches (1,88 m) tall.
I have noticed how my blood pressure and heart function improved as I lost weight. Now I weight around 180 Ibs (81 kg), my blood pressure is perfect and I no longer have arrhythmia.
For more informations on how I lost all that weight, check "reduce body fat" link in the navbar, on the left.
Diabetes. It has been shown that heart disease is the leading cause of death among diabetics, while diabetes is one of the most frequent causes of heart disease.
Glucose is primary source of energy for our body. High blood glucose can impair natural production of insulin and decrease sensitivity of insulin receptors which lowers energy levels and causes hormonal imbalance.
It affects all the major organs and especially high energy demanding ones, such as the brain and the heart, besides pancreas.
If you want to avoid diabetes or your have one, then healthy diet and exercise can be very helpful in avoiding, managing and even curing some forms of diabets. There are also some diabetes herbs and supplements which can be helpful.
Stress is one of those unavoidable causes of heart disease. However, you can control it to some degree, by learning more about stress menagment and relaxation techniques. Stress also affects the endocrine system.
It is a nervous reaction which raises adrenaline, cortisol, blood pressure and heart rate. However, the most significant factor, is its ability to increases the amount of blood clotting factors.
If this is combined with high cholesterol and clogged arteries, then the heart attack is eminent. On the other hand, stress can often cause a person to start smoking, overeating or drinking, while trying to reveal stress, like I did.
So, not only that stress by itself may cause heart related problems but it also has negative affect on other causes of heart disease.
Hormones. Sex and stress hormones have the biggest effect on the body and heart muscle. You should try to stay away from synthetic hormones and xenoestrogens since they can distrupt hormonal balance.
Also, coffee has an influence on heart disease, due to its nutritional content and its ability to affect several hormones.
If some of your hormones are unbalanced, then first learn more on how to deal with the problem, naturally. However, if you decide for hormone replacement therapy, whether you are a men or women, go with the natural sources of hormones such as those made from wild yam.
Viral and bacterial infections may damage the heart muscle and blood vessels. This usually happens when the immune system function becomes compromised, whether it happens due to stress, overtraining, nutritional deficiencies or some other reason.
Inflammation is also one of the causes of heart disease which has an effect on the heart muscle. Acute inflammation is normal reaction but prolonged, chronic inflammation can trigger autoimmune reaction and lead to destruction of otherwise healthy tissue.
As you can see, a lot of that is in our hands. Even some of heart disease causes that we seemingly, "don't have much control on", aren't that "unbreakable".
Also, there are all these other type 2 causes of heart disease on which we can have tremendous effect on but it all comes down to you and your choices.
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