Heart Health

Icon for Heart Health

Risks for heart disease include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Preventing or managing these conditions can improve heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of both men and women, ahead of cancer, diabetes, and accidents. In people with heart disease, blood vessels become narrowed or blocked, reducing blood flow to the heart and brain, and increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

You may not realize you’re at risk for high blood pressure and heart disease, because high blood pressure symptoms usually don’t emerge until blood pressure has already reached a dangerous level. That’s why this disease is often termed a “silent killer.” At the dangerous stage, high blood pressure symptoms can include shortness of breath, nosebleeds, and severe headache.

Having high blood pressure over time forces the heart to work harder. Eventually, the heart begins to grow—a condition known as enlarged heart. If an enlarged heart isn’t treated with medicine, devices, or surgery, it can lead to complications such as heart failure.

Some people with an enlarged heart develop a heart murmur—a whooshing or swishing sound caused by abnormal blood flow through the heart. A heart murmur isn’t necessarily dangerous, but doctors do monitor it because it can be a sign of an underlying heart condition.

In heart disease, a sticky substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. When an area of plaque breaks off and becomes lodged in a blood vessel supplying the heart, it can block blood flow and cause part of the heart muscle to die. This is a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms include chest pain; discomfort in the arms, back, shoulders, and neck; shortness of breath; and nausea.

Poor blood flow to the heart can produce chest pain called angina. Although angina is not a heart attack, it is a sign of heart disease and can warn of a future heart attack. Other angina symptoms include discomfort in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back.

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blood pressure readings

Getting Accurate Blood Pressure Readings at Home

· · Heart Health
The American Heart Association recommends that anyone with hypertension should be monitoring blood pressure at home. Monitoring at home is the best way to see if your treatment is working to control your blood pressure. [1,2] Home monitoring may also help your doctor diagnose hypertension. Some people tend to have … Read More
low heart rate

Is a Low Heart Rate Dangerous?

· · Heart Health
A low heart rate may be a sign of an efficiently working heart. Or, if the rate becomes too low, it could be a sign of health complications down the road. A normal or healthy resting heart rate for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats a minute. A … Read More
breathing to lower blood pressure

Breathing To Lower Blood Pressure

· · Heart Health
Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take a deep breath while you count to five, then count to five again as you exhale. Go ahead and try it right now for six breaths. It feels good, doesn’t it? Breathing to lower blood pressure can be an effective strategy. Here’s … Read More
turmeric benefits

Turmeric Benefits May Lower LDL Cholesterol

· · Heart Health
If you want to lower LDL naturally, the answer may lie in your spice rack. Turmeric is the Indian spice that gives curry its golden color. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind for cholesterol health, research indicates turmeric's benefits include that it is one … Read More
tired legs

What’s Causing My Tired Legs?

· · Heart Health
If you often experience tired legs when the rest of you is wide awake, it could be time to have your cardiovascular health checked and to evaluate your muscular fitness. Tired legs can actually be a symptom of several conditions, but typically the feeling is caused by decreased blood flow … Read More
swollen feet

Swollen Feet May Require Medical Attention

· · Heart Health
Swollen feet can be a normal inflammatory reaction due to overuse or a strain—the result of taking a bad step, for example. But swollen feet can also indicate a life-threatening medical condition, such as congestive heart failure. It’s important to determine whether there's a known cause (like stepping in a … Read More
heart problems

The 4 Heart Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

· · Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., so it’s important that you can recognize the signs of a heart problem. Symptoms of heart disease, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), and heart failure sometimes overlap. But if you’re at risk for any … Read More

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