Know Your Risks
Risk factors are conditions, habits, family history, and other facts about yourself that make you more likely to develop certain diseases. The more risk factors you have, the higher your risk of getting certain diseases. Some risk factors such as age or family history can't be controlled. But many can be controlled by making changes in the way you live. Here are tips for living a heart healthy lifestyle.
Common Heart Problems
Even if you are at risk of a heart problem, it is important to understand the risks and symptoms so you can recognize warning signs early and manage the risks. Common heart problems you should know about:
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn't restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die. Learn more.
Heart failure is when the heart can't keep up with its workload. If the heart muscle cannot pump enough blood, it cannot meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Learn more about how this from the American Heart Association.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
PAD is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries, most commonly in the arteries of the pelvis and legs. It is caused by narrowed and blocked arteries in various critical regions of the body, which is dangerous because it reduces blood flow to the kidneys and limbs. Learn more about how this from the American Heart Association.
Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 4 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die. Learn the warning signs from the American Stroke Association.
Screenings are the best way to prevent or detect problems early. Take a look at the screenings offered by UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's.