Artery Disease, A Silent Killer – Part 1
Did you know that two of the top 10 leading causes of death around the world, according to the World Health Organization, have a correlation to poor circulation and artery disease? Stroke and diabetes are not only debilitating diseases that affect the arteries and circulation throughout the body but can also be life threatening if steps are not taken to manage the symptoms in the early stages.
However, there are crucial steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic:
- Know the symptoms and risk factors.
- Educate yourself on the prevention and management of these diseases.
- Keep regular appointments with your physician.
Poor Circulation and Stroke
Your arteries deliver and circulate life-sustaining blood throughout your body. When normal blood flow to the brain is restricted, due to a blood clot or plaque buildup, the brain cannot receive the blood and oxygen it needs to survive. It is at this point that brain cells begin to die causing a stroke.
People with high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease are at a greater risk for having a stroke. However, the risk for a stroke can be decreased and even prevented by making a few simple lifestyle changes such as:
- Stop smoking. Smoking accelerates clot formation, thickens blood, and increases the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Eating a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, along with foods that are high in fiber. Limiting salt can help lower your blood pressure. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans fats, may reduce the plaque in arteries.
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can make you more apt to develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes—which can all increase the risk for stroke.
- Adding exercise to you routine. Physical activity can help you lose weight and reduce stress— which can lower blood pressure. Being active can also help lower cholesterol, control diabetes, and improve overall health.
- Drinking less alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and the risk of
- Keeping regular appointments with your physician. If you are in the risk category for a stroke, make and keep all your physician appointments.
The most important thing to remember is that time is of the essence if you or a loved one is having a stroke.
Next week’s article will cover diabetes and how it affect the vascular system and so many people in our community.