Tips for a healthy heart
We should spread the message of heart care to those around us from family, neighbours, friends and relatives to co-workers.
CHENNAI: Heart disease remains the No.1 silent killer, causing 18.6 million deaths annually in the world. The hidden truth is that more than 80% of these can be prevented. That is why, every year, September 29 is observed as World Heart Day.
The purpose of observing World Heart Day is to educate people about the importance of heart care, heart disease and its prevention. This year, the theme decided by the World Heart Federation is ‘Use Heart, Know Heart’. This is a call to know one’s own heart. One can love and take care only of what they are aware of.
We should spread the message of heart care to those around us from family, neighbours, friends and relatives to co-workers. By quitting smoking and living a healthy lifestyle, anyone can prevent heart disease to a great extent. A healthy lifestyle means a healthy diet, regular exercise, and recreation to reduce stress.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits
- Reduce salt and sugar intake
- Reduce consumption of saturated fat, and avoid artificial fat and junk food.
Live an active life. Regularly run, walk or play to make the body fit. Make time for self-love. Always find time to do something which makes you happy. It helps to reduce stress. IT employees should take care not to sacrifice their health at the altar of career enhancement and material benefit. It is said that sitting is equivalent to smoking. Facilities for gym, zumba dance and exercise are provided in many workplaces.
Lifestyle diseases are affecting the young. Control the risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol with proper diet, exercise, and medications as prescribed by a doctor.
If you experience chest pain, undergo tests as per the instructions of a doctor such as ECG and Troponin test in the first stage and if necessary, treadmill test, echocardiography/angiogram to diagnose the disease.
All the treatment systems are generally easily available for patients. In addition to medication, some may require angioplasty or bypass surgery. Apart from this, with the help of advanced technology, some newer treatment methods, such as non-surgical valve replacement (TAVI) and leadless pacemakers are now available.
(The author is a senior consultant cardiologist at SUT Hospital, Trivandrum)