Cardiovascular disease is a common chronic health condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Cardiovascular disease costs Americans about $363 billion and is fatal for up to 659,000 people each year. At Nexus HealthSpan in Lake Forest, California, Zachary Lott, MSN, ARNP, AGACNP-BC, can help you take charge of your cardiovascular health and offer suggestions for how you might be able to prevent a heart attack, or to prevent a stroke, and to prevent diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to many different heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. In the United States, the most recognized type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can affect the blood flow to the heart. Decreased blood flow to the heart can result in a heart attack. Click the link to learn How a Heart Attack Actually Happens.
People who smoke, are overweight, drink too much alcohol, eat poorly, and don’t exercise are at an increased risk of heart disease. Thankfully, these are lifestyle choices that can be modified. People with inflammatory conditions, periodontal disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high blood cholesterol are also at an increased risk of heart disease. Click the link to learn more about the Cardiovascular Disease Dirty Dozen.
Cardiovascular disease development is silent; and in fact, more than 50% of heart attacks and strokes occur silently and if symptoms occur, they may not be recognized for their significane. Cardiovascular disease may not be diagnosed until a person experiences signs and symptoms of a cardiac event such as a heart attack. A person may experience crushing chest pain, back pain, indigestion, nausea or vomiting, sweating, or trouble breathing during a heart attack. Each of these symptoms warrant calling 911.
Cardiovascular disease screening can be performed in the Nexus HealthSpan offices with the use of ultrasound technology. This technology can show cardiovascular disease in seconds. This test is known as the Carotid Intimia Media Thickness Test, or CIMT Test. Nexus HealthSpan is one of the few offices in California who offers the CIMT Test by CardioRisk® Laboratories. Cardiovascular disease risk factors can also be assessed by blood tests, genetic tests, and family history. Click here to read more about why our clinic advises sscreening with the CIMT Test. Screening should also be performed with particular blood tests to determine inflammation levels to assess, how hot are your arteries?!! Another screening that should be done is for metabolic synrdome, as this is one of the greatest risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Taking charge of your health and living a healthy lifestyle can help lower your risk of heart disease. A few lifestyle modifications are often needed to keep your heart healthy and functioning at its best. For example, eating a healthy diet and incorporating some physical activity into your day-to-day routine can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
If you have a condition that puts you at a higher risk of heart disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, you can still take steps to lower your risk. It’s important to take your medications as prescribed and incorporate some dietary changes into your life. For example, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a diet low in sodium to help keep your blood pressure in check.
Work with your health care team and make sure you schedule regular appointments to check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. By monitoring these conditions, you’ll be taking the necessary steps to help lower your risk of heart disease.
If you’d like to speak with the team at Nexus HealthSpan about how you might be able to prevent a heart attack, call the office to schedule an appointment today or use the online scheduling tool.