Your Heart - Your Health

6 Heart Healthy Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We all have a set of blinders on when it comes to aspects of our health. Sometimes we think we aren’t susceptible to a condition because it doesn’t run our families. Or that we just aren’t old enough to have to worry about it. One of the most common health areas in which people put up these internal barriers is around heart health.

Regardless of age, gender, or any other characteristic, keeping your heart healthy should be a priority. Many of us have heard about the common symptoms of a heart problem like discomfort or pain in the chest, a faster heartbeat, or shortness of breath, but there are also a few others to watch out for. While the risks and behavior vary slightly from men to women, it’s still possible to ward off damage further down the road by paying attention to these symptoms.

Heart Health for Men


Erectile Dysfunction
ED isn’t just a side effect of getting older. Hopkins Medicine reports that it’s nearly always a sign of a physical problem. As a vascular organ, the penis displays arterial damage long before the heart will. Talk to a doctor about an ED workup to address heart disease factors (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc) to remedy the problem and, hopefully, ward off a heart attack or stroke.

Even without sleep apnea, snoring can cause thickening and abnormalities in the carotid artery, which could lead to atherosclerosis (AKA the fatty deposits that clog arteries). Research indicates that the vibrations caused by snoring could cause trauma and inflammation. Bring it up to your doctor at your next visit if snoring is affecting you.

Chronic Stress
One of the biggest indicators of potential heart disease, alongside smoking and obesity. Stress can affect the body in a million negative ways, and that includes damaging arteries—particularly men with hostile or angry personalities. Emotional and psychological factors can affect heart health in big ways.

Heart Health for Women


Neck or Jaw Pain
When pain radiates out of the heart, more sensitive areas of the body can pick it up and make us believe that the pain is actually isolated to that area. This is particularly true of the neck and jaw. For some reason, women are more prone to feel the reverberations of heart disease in these areas, as well as the low back.

Nausea and Fatigue
Alongside dizziness and shortness of breath, women often mistake one of the early warning signs of heart disease as the flu. Don’t ignore unusual fatigue; talk to a doctor to check out all the possibilities (it doesn’t always pay to jump to conclusions, but it’s worth checking out if it is just a bug or something bigger).

Swollen Feet
There are a ton of reasons that your feet might swell up. One of them is possibly heart failure as your heart loses its ability to pump blood efficiently. There are many others, so visit a doctor to determine the cause and treatment.

Most importantly, though, for either gender? Don’t skip your regularly-scheduled exams, maintain a healthy weight, enjoy nutritious whole foods, be active, and definitely don’t forget to mention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. While the causes vary from person to person, anyone can reduce their risk. Here are some of the key ways in which those most at risk can work towards a healthy heart.

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