Atherosclerosis (the hardening of blood vessels) is a common disease that affects the adults and can manifest as anginal chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, stroke (brain), hypertension and kidney infection, pain in calves and ulcers or gangrene in the foot and soon, depending on the area in which the blood vessels are most affected.
Atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply to the heart muscle (CAD= Coronary artery disease) is the most troublesome and can be fatal if not treated in time. It is more common in men and postmenopausal women and the aged. Certain factors like smoking, Diabetes, hypertension,excess ingestion of high cholesterol diet, physical inactivity, obesity and some genetic factors enhance the likelihood of developing CAD.
While some of these factors cannot be modified, the following tips can prevent, delay the onset or help in better control of CAD.
The FIVE tips:
- Regular exercise and sleep pattern: At least 30 minutes aerobic exercises, brisk walking, cycling or swimming in a day is good for healthy heart. Maintain optimal body-weight and abdominal girth. Minimum 6 hours of peaceful night time sleep has to be encouraged.
- Stop Smoking: Do not smoke any form of tobacco. Do not consume it even in chewable form. If people around you smoke heavily you can be affected by the passive smoking effect (Second hand smoke).
- Control sugar, oil and salt intake: Minimize ingestion of refined foods, fast foods and excess sugary substance even if you don’t have Diabetes. Salt can increase hypertension. Use as less as possible; avoid salted snacks like chips. mixture as far as possible
- Be calorie and Cholesterol conscious whenever you take food. Enjoy fruits and salads liberally.
- Be regular in your medications for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol even if you have no symptoms and cooperate with your doctor to reach the desired goals.