Heart disease isn’t something you have to be afraid of. Not only is it preventable, but EPIC can help you manage your risk, monitor your heart health, and provide you with multiple treatment options. To learn more, read on. To find out where your heart health stands, schedule a visit with EPIC.
Almost half of Americans are at risk for heart disease, but very few know what it is. Heart disease covers multiple health conditions that all relate to how your heart functions. While heart disease is the number one cause of death in America, it is also preventable and treatable!
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is a term that covers multiple conditions. It can mean your heart beat is abnormal, your heart muscles are weak, your arteries are blocked, or your heart isn’t circulating blood properly.
What Causes Heart Disease?
Heart disease can have many causes. Some can be caused by infections or bacteria. Others can be caused by plaque in your arteries. One of the main things that can lead to heart disease is lifestyle choices and other health conditions.
Smoking and drinking regularly can impact how well your heart functions. Being inactive and not exercising regularly can also be a factor. Conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also lead to heart disease.
What are the Symptoms of Heart Disease?
It is important to know that heart disease has few symptoms, and they usually don’t appear until damage has already been done to your heart. That is why it is so crucial to see your provider regularly.
Some symptoms of heart disease include:
- Chest pain
- Numbness or tingling in hands and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Back or neck pain
Am I at Risk for Heart Disease?
The risk factors for heart disease fall into two categories: controllable and uncontrollable. Uncontrollable risks are ones that are not within your power to change. However, these risks can be monitored by your primary care provider. Monitoring your uncontrollable risks, and managing your controllable ones, will bring down your overall risk of heart disease. Some of your uncontrollable risks may include family history, age, race, and gender.
Controllable risks are ones that you have the power to manage. These risks often have to do with your lifestyle choices, health habits, and existing medical conditions.
Smoking and drinking are two controllable risks that can have a large impact on your risk for heart disease. Smoking can negatively affect all aspects of your health, especially your heart. Excessive drinking can also damage your health, and the function of many key systems, including your heart.
Health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can also put you at a higher risk for developing heart disease. However, similarly to heart disease, these health conditions are also preventable. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, your EPIC provider can work with you to make sure they are well managed, and to monitor your heart as well.
The number one controllable risk that can keep you heart healthy is lifestyle. Being active and eating healthy is the most effective way to lower your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. 30 minutes of activity a day and eating a diet rich in lean meats, fruits, and vegetables will not only keep your heart pumping, it will have a positive impact on every aspect of your health!
Uncontrollable risks are ones that are not within your power to change. However, these risks can be monitored by your primary care provider. Monitoring your uncontrollable risks, and managing your controllable ones, will bring down your overall risk of heart disease. Some of your uncontrollable risks may include family history, age, race, and gender.
How Do I Know My Risk?
The only way to determine your risk for heart disease, and to know how healthy your heart is, is to have regular visits with your provider. There are several regular tests your provider can perform to test your heart health, monitor your risks, and detect early signs of heart disease.
At EPIC Health we are uniquely equipped to perform any heart testing you may need, and even have a cardiologist on staff. Whether you’re looking for someone to monitor your good health, or a team of dedicated professionals to support your health journey, your heart is in good hands!