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An Overview of Heart Disease

Word Count:
Heart disease is one of the most serious health problems of our times. What are
the warning signs, and how can you reduce your risk?
heart problems,angina,cardiac disease
Article Body:
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in most developed countries
around the world, and the number of cases is rising constantly as a result of bo
th modern lifestyles and increased overall longevity. While developing the condi
tion can have a devastating impact on the sufferer's life, modern medicine has d
eveloped several effective treatments for heart disease, ranging from drugs and
lifestyle improvements right through to surgery.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so before we look at some of t
he symptoms of cardiac disease we'll look at some of the ways you can help your
body ward off the risks.
Living a healthy lifestyle can go a long way to reducing the chances of developi
ng cardiac problems, but there is unfortunately an element of inherited risk, so
even those with excellent overall health may find that they're genetically prog
rammed towards heart disease in later life. Thankfully, the greatest influence g
enetics has on heart disease is that of making us more susceptible to certain ca
uses, and with careful adjustments of our lifestyles we can greatly improve our
prospects of avoiding it.
The two most deadly contributors to cardiac problems are smoking and obesity. Bo
th of these can raise blood pressure to dangerous levels, putting extra strain o
n the heart. Smoking causes the build up of fatty deposits within the arteries,
also causing circulation problems. Being overweight also tends to mean that a he
althy diet is not being followed, and so the body may well be short of essential
minerals and nutriments that the heart needs to keep on functioning healthily.
Stopping smoking and other unhealthy practices such as excessive drinking, along
with improving diet and taking up exercise to reduce weight can go a long way t
owards averting problems.
The symptoms of a developing heart problem can be both subtle and dramatic. Unfo
rtunately, many of the symptoms can also signify other less dangerous conditions
, and so a diagnosis of heart disease is often made later than it could have bee
n. If you come across more than one of the symptoms below, then a trip to your d
octor is highly advisable.
Breathlessness when engaged in physical exercise is normal to some extent for al
most everyone, but if you find you're becoming breathless more and more easily t
hen this is a clear sign that your general fitness levels aren't all they could
be, and that your heart may be struggling under the pressure.
Palpitations, that is a heavily or unevenly beating heart, can be a sign of anxi
ety or can come on after extreme exercise, but if neither of these situations ap
ply then heart problems could well be the culprit.
A tingling feeling in bodily extremities such as fingers, toes or lips is often
a sign that your cirulation system isn't delivering enough oxygen, again a sign
of possible heart problems. Should your extremeities go on to develop a blueish
colour then this is certainly not a good sign, and medical attention should be s
ought at once.
The final and most obvious sign of cardiac problems is a feeling of tightness or
pain in the chest, a condition known as angina. If you feel chest pain with any
regularity, even if not particularly severely, a medical check up is advisable
to make sure you catch any problems as early as possible. Angina can be controll
ed very well by medication in many cases, and doesn't necessarily have to develo
p into full-blown heart disease.
In summary, living a healthy lifestyle while keeping an eye out for the symptoms
will greatly reduce the risk of your life being devastated by heart disease.