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What You Need to Know About Heart Disease

By Sara Butler

Heart disease is the leading killer of people in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that heart disease, a variety of conditions that impact the health of your heart, is preventable in most cases if you know how to keep your heart healthy. Here's what you can do to ensure your ticker keeps on ticking.

Is Cholesterol That Bad?

Cholesterol has been talked about for decades in relation to maintaining the health of your heart and while it's not healthy to have high cholesterol, your body does need it to function properly. Most cholesterol is produced by your liver, the rest you get from eating animal products such as egg yolks, dairy products, and meat. Your body needs cholesterol in order to produce estrogen and testosterone. It also helps aid in the production of Vitamin D, but too much can block your arteries and lead to trouble.

Make sure to visit your doctor to have your cholesterol checked regularly, at least every four to six years. If you're over 35, then you may need to have it checked more often. If your results come back as less than ideal, then you can work with your healthcare provider on a plan to lower the bad LDL cholesterol as you raise your good HDL cholesterol.

Signs of Heart Disease

Heart Disease doesn't simply show up one day. There are normally quite a few signs It's a work in progress before you get a diagnosis. These warning signs can help you understand if you're at risk for developing heart disease, or may be developing it:

  • Becoming easily winded
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness

If you have any of these symptoms, then you need to see a healthcare provider as fast as possible to ensure your heart is healthy and that you're not experiencing some type of cardiac event.

Is It Hereditary?

You share a lot with the members of your family. Your behaviors, lifestyle, and genes can all impact your health and influence your risk of developing health issues such as heart disease. Your age, ethnicity, and race can also influence your chances. Plus, you're at a higher risk if you have a parent who suffered from heart disease or stroke.

Though it's impossible to change your family history, you can change your behavior. Check your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly to keep tabs on your risk factors. Eat better and make sure to get regular exercise, too.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Riverside, Calif.

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