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 Corona del Mar and Lake Forest, California, Zachary Lott, MSN, ARNP, AGACNP-BC, can help you take charge of your cardiovascular health and offer suggestions for lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease 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.
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 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high blood cholesterol are also at an increased risk of heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease is often silent and 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 minutes. This test is known as the CardioRisk® IMT Test. Cardiovascular disease risk factors can also be managed by blood tests, genetic tests, and family history.
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 preventing heart disease, call the office to schedule an appointment today or use the online scheduling tool.