The heart pushes millions of gallons of blood to different parts of your body throughout your lifetime. The blood carries hormones, oxygen, and other compounds to essential cells with a steady flow. So when your heart stops, the vital functions of your body fail.
Given the heart's workload, you must take good care of your heart to maintain a healthy life. Nonetheless, some mistakes affect how your heart works.
What Is a Heart-Healthy Life?
A heart-healthy life means you understand your heart risks, make healthy choices, and take steps to avoid mistakes that cause heart disease.
Preventive care reduces your risk of cardiovascular illnesses that could cause a heart attack. Also, a healthy lifestyle enhances a more manageable management plan even if you are at a higher risk due to genetics or chronic kidney disease.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) cause 1 in every 3 deaths worldwide. To reduce this, cardiologists from prestigious heart hospitals strongly advocate changing your lifestyle toward a healthier heart.
You can only maintain a healthy heart if you take deliberate action to inform yourself and take the necessary precautions to avoid an unhealthy lifestyle.
When the heart does not get proper care, you can develop serious problems in different parts of it. Thus, you are better off if you start and maintain a healthy life before age catches up with you.
8 Heart Health Mistakes Made by Men Age 45 and Up
Middle age is associated with many of life's ups and downs that could see you easily neglect good health. Also, your heart requires constant care to maintain proper function as you age. Mistakes could cost you a lot of heart-related health issues, which is why you should avoid the errors below.
1. Lack of Preventive Maintenance
High cholesterol and high blood pressure start to appear in middle age. Nonetheless, studies have shown that men are less likely to go for annual checkups and tend to ignore pain.
Also, middle-aged men do not easily report symptoms like fatigue, chest pain, and breathlessness.
If the symptoms indicate a heart attack, you will miss the opportunity of early management. The only ideal solution is to consult your doctor for early diagnosis and treatment. Also, if you ignore regular tests, you miss the early signs that could help you prevent or manage heart disease.
2. Failure To Address Erectile Dysfunction
If you constantly find it difficult to get or maintain an erection, the problem probably lies more in your heart functioning than your mental state. Erectile dysfunction happens when you can't get enough blood flow to your penis.
Sometimes the problem lies in the blood vessels, which could indicate that the blood vessels to your heart are also damaged.
Erectile dysfunction could also happen when plaque builds up in your artery walls, thus restricting blood flow to the penis, heart, and brain. In such a case, erectile dysfunction begins several years before any other signs of a heart attack.
3. Poor Mental Health
Poor psychological health puts a strain on your heart and causes cardiovascular illnesses. For instance, if you don't manage stress, you risk problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Whereas you cannot avoid the duress that life brings, you can take measures to reduce the impact. Unfortunately, most men ignore mental needs and eventually develop heart strain.
Proper mental health does not have to be an exhausting task. You can start with good relationships with people close to you, such as family and friends.
Don't be engrossed in work and miss the crucial moments that minimize stress. Create a regular exercise schedule or use relaxation techniques like meditation.
4. Unhealthy Diet
The nitrates, preservatives, and salt that preserve processed foods can damage your heart. In addition, highly processed, high-fat, and high-sugar foods put unnecessary pressure on your body. Your body strains to filter substances when you consume unhealthy foods.
As a result, high cholesterol clogs your arteries and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
High sugar increases your risk of high blood pressure and obesity and, in turn, raises the chances of stroke and heart disease.
You find excessive sugar in drinks such as sweetened fruit drinks, sports drinks, and soda. For example, a soda contains sugar equal to 10 teaspoons, which increases your chance of obesity and overwhelms your heart.
5. Lack of and Improper Exercise Techniques
Cardiovascular and weight training keep your heart in good shape. Weight training exercises your heart and other muscles, improves blood flow to your brain, and lowers blood pressure. A 30-minute exercise session daily can improve your heart health.
While you work out, do the exercises right—first warm-up before starting the session to prepare your body and heart for HIIT.
Also, do not rush things when you start a new exercise program. Instead, start the new program slowly and let your body adjust and recover between sessions.
6. Excessive Cigarette and Alcohol Consumption
Smoking harms your lungs, bladder, and body's filtration system. Toxins from cigarette smoke get into your blood system and get to your heart as the blood circulates throughout the body.
Also, smoking damages blood vessels reduces blood oxygen levels, and causes faster heartbeats. All these factors make your heart condition worse.
Moderate amounts of alcohol could help slightly increase the levels of good HDL cholesterol. On the other hand, excessive alcohol intake predisposes you to stroke, hypertension, and heart failure.
Experts recommend that men have two to three alcoholic drinks maximum daily. Finally, too much alcohol is a source of excess calories and causes weight gain, harming your heart.
Diabetes has a significant impact on your blood sugar and arteries. If you fail to check your diabetic status, sugars will build up in your blood.
A general principle is that the longer you live with untreated diabetes, the more blood sugar adds up. As a result, you risk problems like vision loss, stroke, and heart disease. Also, excess sugar damages arteries in all parts of your body.
Diabetic management is only possible if you check with your doctor to get diagnosed. Nonetheless, many middle-aged men do not know their diabetic status and do not manage their heart condition early.
If you are part of the many people who have postponed getting a diagnosis for your symptoms, visit your doctor to have your status checked.
8. Poor Quality Sleep
Your body repairs itself when you get adequate sleep of seven hours. Studies show that sleep issues such as fragmented sleep and sleep deprivation hurt your heart health. If you strain to fall or stay asleep, you are at a higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
The stage of your sleep that benefits the heart most is NERM, which is why interrupted sleep affects your heart health. Also, your blood pressure falls during normal sleep. However, the pressure doesn't dip in poor sleep, hence a higher risk of hypertension.
Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) algorithms assess, manage, and treat your symptoms of a cardiovascular emergency. ACLS algorithms aim to stabilize your condition and restore normal vital signs. Based on the severity of your state, you will require a few or many algorithm procedures. Below are some ACLS algorithms used for heart emergencies.
Cardiac Arrest Algorithm
The cardiac arrest algorithm is the most crucial and openly used ACLS algorithm. The procedure applies if you suffer respiratory arrest, even if you are unconscious or unresponsive. In such a case, respiration is absent or inadequate to maintain oxygenation.
Acute Coronary Syndrome Algorithm (ACS algorithm)
ACS algorithm assesses and manages complications associated with a sudden reduction in blood flow to your heart. A typical case is a myocardial infarction when your doctor assesses the severity of your condition.
After observation, the doctor decides whether the ideal therapy for you is a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or fibrinolytic therapy.
Tachycardia occurs when your heart beats more than 100 times per minute. Metabolic dysfunction, stress shock, fever, and medications cause an exaggerated heart rate.
The tachycardia ACLS algorithm requires that your doctor performs cardioversion if your condition is unstable.
In contrast to the tachycardia algorithm, bradycardia refers to a low heart rate of fewer than 60 beats per minute.
The bradycardia algorithm treats situations that call for immediate medical intervention. You will require emergency services if you suffer second or third heart block type bradycardia.
Pulseless Arrest Algorithm
As the name suggests, the ACLS algorithm is applied to you if you do not have any pulse. Often, your pulse will fail if you have ventricular fibrillation, a condition that becomes fatal if not treated in a short time. Your doctor uses rapid defibrillation to get you back to normal.
You get a stroke when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted, and you suffer an acute neurological impairment. You could either get a hemorrhagic stroke or ischemic stroke, the more common type.
The ACLS algorithm does not treat hemorrhagic stroke and only works for ischemic stroke.
Suspected Opioid Overdose Algorithm
The ACLS algorithm deals with excess opioids in your system. Opioids depress your central nervous system, which means an overdose slows down and eventually shuts down your central nervous system.
If you consume an excess amount of opiates, your doctor uses the suspected opioid overdose algorithm to restore your body systems.
Heart disease is preventable and manageable if you take the proper precautions and avoid costly mistakes. Because most heart illnesses start during middle age, you should take active steps to stay healthy.
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