Memory Loss, Swollen Feet & Erectile Dysfunction Could Be Warning Signs Your Heart Is In Danger
Identifying Hidden Factors
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality in India. An individual experiencing various lifestyle conditions like diabetes, hypertension, obesity due to physical inactivity, dyslipidemia, or even indulging in smoking can be one of the CVD risk factors.
In 2016, the prevalence of CVDs in India was estimated to be around 55 million. An alarming proportion of these cases remain undiagnosed until they get serious.
While shooting pain in the chest or the left arm are obvious signs that have been pointed out by doctors for years, there are plenty of others symptoms one should watch out for.
On World Heart Day, Dr HP Bharathi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Naturecure Institute lists out the hidden risk factors.
If you notice visible swelling in your feet, it is a serious indication of heart problems. Swelling is a tell-tale sign of reduced circulation. When the blood flows out of your heart at a slower rate, the blood returning to your heart gets backed up. This results in a build-up in the tissues surrounding your legs, ankles, and feet.
Pain caused by heart problems can be felt in areas other than just the chest. That is when the pain signals running down your nerves start to overwhelm all the nearby nerves. Most patients experience referred pain at some point before the condition becomes severe. Referred pain due to heart problems are usually felt in the arms shoulders, neck, and jaw.
If you are struggling to finish non-strenuous physical tasks, it is the sign of a circulatory problem. You may experience shortness of breath while climbing the stairs or feel the need to rest more often while exercising. If this sounds familiar, it could be an indication that your heart is unable to supply your muscles with oxygen-rich blood.
If you notice your thinking of getting muddied and confused, it could be a sign that your brain is not getting enough blood. If the problem is left unaddressed, it can damage your brain cells and lead to serious issues like short term memory loss. Regular episodes are an indication that there is an underlying medical problem that needs serious medical attention.
In men, erectile dysfunction is one of the most common signs of a heart problem. When the blood vessels that feed the penis do not receive enough blood, it becomes difficult to maintain an erection during sex. In many cases, this is a symptom that presents itself far in advance of any other symptoms.
Tips To Reduce The Risk
Fortunately, making a few lifestyle adjustments can significantly lower CVD risk factors like high LDL cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways of protecting yourself against heart disease. It lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, and increases cardiovascular strength. Try and get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. If you can't do cardio, try incorporating yoga into your daily schedule. Studies have demonstrated that both short- and long-term a yoga practice helps bring down the blood pressure and heart rate.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is essential for heart health. Cutting down on foods high in sugars and saturated fats will help lower the level of LDL cholesterol and prevent the onset of type-2 diabetes. Reducing salt intake will also protect you against high blood pressure, which is one of the key CVD risk factors.
Portion control is equally important. Taking in more energy than you can expend can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which ends up putting extra pressure on the heart. Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is particularly dangerous as it dramatically increases your chances of developing heart problems. Consult a licensed naturopath if you have unhealthy eating habits. A naturopath will factor in physical, metabolic, environmental, and psychological factors before giving you tips to improve portion control.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Prevention remains the best cure for heart problems. By leading a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly, improving the quality of your diet, and avoiding habits like drinking and smoking, you can significantly reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases.