What you need to know
*Heart Attacks-Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Most heart attacks are caused by
a blood clot that blocks one of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries bring blood and oxygen to the heart. If the blood flow is blocked, the heart is
starved of oxygen and heart cells die.
A hard substance called plaque can build up in the walls of your coronary arteries. This plaque is made up of cholesterol and other cells. A heart attack can occur as a result of plaque buildup.
- The plaque can develop cracks
or tears. Blood platelets
stick to these tears and form a blood clot. A heart attack can occur if this blood clot completely blocks oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the heart. This is the most common cause of heart attacks.
- The slow buildup of plaque may almost block one of your coronary arteries. A heart attack may occur if not enough oxygen-rich blood can flow through this blockage. This is more likely to happen when your body is stressed (for example, by a serious illness).
The cause of heart attacks is not always known. Heart attacks may occur:
- When you are resting or asleep
- After a sudden increase in physical activity
- When you are active outside in cold weather
- After sudden, severe emotional
or physical stress,
including an illness
- Proper diet and exercise can
help you keep you heart
healhty this is a fact.
- Keep your weight under control.
Stay Fit 4 Life
can help you, you are not alone.
*Stroke- Causes, incidence, and risk factors
If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage.
There are two major types of
ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke occurs when a
blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This may
happen in two ways:
- A clot may form in an artery
that is already very
narrow. This is called mnjh/,na thrombotic stroke.
- A clot may break off from
another place in the blood
vessels of the brain, or from some other part of the body, and travel up to the brain. This is called cerebral embolism, or an embolic stroke.
Ischemic strokes may be caused by clogged arteries. Fat, cholesterol, and other substances collect on the artery walls, forming a sticky substance called plaque.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain. Some people have defects in the blood vessels of the brain that make this more likely.
STROKE RISK FACTORS
High blood pressure is the
one risk factor for strokes. The other major risk factors are:
- Atrial fibrillation
- Family history of stroke
- High cholesterol
- Increasing age, especially after age 55
- Race (black people are more likely to die of a stroke)
People who have heart disease or poor blood flow in their legs caused by narrowed arteries are also more likely to have a stroke.
The chance of stroke is higher in people who live an unhealthy lifestyle by:
- Being overweight or obese
- Drinking heavily
- Eating too much fat or salt
- Taking cocaine and other illegal drugs
Birth control pills can increase the chances of having blood clots. The risk is highest in woman who smoke and are older than 35.
The symptoms of stroke depend on
what part of the brain is damaged. In some cases, a person may not know that he
or she has had a stroke.
Symptoms usually develop
suddenly and without warning. Or, symptoms may occur on and off for the first day or
two. Symptoms are usually most severe when the stroke first happens, but they may slowly get worse.
A headache may occur, especially if the stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain. The headache:
- Starts suddenly and may be severe
- Occurs when you are lying flat
- Wakes you up from sleep
- Gets worse when you change positions or when you bend, strain, or cough
- Other symptoms depend on how severe
the stroke is and what part of the brain is affected. Symptoms may include:
- Change in alertness (including sleepiness, unconsciousness, and coma)
- Changes in hearing
- Changes in taste
- Changes that affect touch and
the ability to feel pain,
pressure, or different temperatures
- Confusion or loss of memory
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty writing or reading
- Dizziness or abnormal feeling of movement (vertigo)
- Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
- Loss of balance
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness in the face,
arm, or leg (usually just
on one side)
- Numbness or tingling
on one side of the body
- Personality, mood, or emotional changes
- Problems with eyesight,
including decreased vision,
double vision, or total loss of vision
- Trouble speaking or
understanding others who are
- Trouble walking
- Fight strokes by eating properly more fruits and veggies it's hard to do but you have to try. Start an exercise program, it's not as painful as you think, Stay Fit 4 life can help you.
*What is High blood pressure(HBP)
is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease), heart failure, stroke,
kidney failure, and other health problems.
"Blood pressure" is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
Over view- About 1 in 3 adults in the United States has HBP. The condition itself usually has no symptoms. You can have it for years without knowing it. During this time, though, HBP can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body.
Knowing your blood
pressure numbers is important, even when you're feeling fine. If
your blood pressure is normal, you can work with your health care team to keep it that way. If your blood pressure is too high, treatment may help prevent
damage to your body's organs.
Numbers Blood pressure is measured as
systolic (sis-TOL-ik) and diastolic (di-a-STOL-ik) pressures.
"Systolic" refers to blood pressure when the heart beats while
pumping blood. "Diastolic" refers to blood pressure when the heart is at rest between beats.
You most often will see blood pressure numbers written with the systolic number above or before the diastolic number, such as 120/80 mmHg. (The mmHg is millimeters of mercury—the units used to measure blood pressure.) The table below shows normal blood pressure numbers for adults. It also shows which numbers put you at greater risk for health problems.
Categories for Blood Pressure Levels in Adults
High blood pressure
160 or higher
100 or higher
The ranges in the table apply to most adults (aged 18 and older) who don't have short-term serious illnesses.
Blood pressure doesn't stay the same all the time. It lowers as you sleep and rises when you wake up. Blood pressure also rises when you're excited, nervous, or active. If your numbers stay above normal most of the time, you're at risk for health problems.
All levels above 120/80
your risk, and the risk grows as blood pressure numbers rise. "Prehypertension" means you're likely to end up with HBP, unless you take steps to prevent it. If you're being treated for HBP and have repeat readings in the normal range, your blood pressure is under control. However, you still have the ondition. You should see your doctor and follow your treatment plan to keep your blood pressure under control.
Your systolic and diastolic numbers may not be in the same blood pressure category. In this case, the more severe category is the one you're in. For example, if your systolic number is 160 and your diastolic number is 80, you have stage 2 HBP.
If your systolic number is 120 and your diastolic number is 95, you have stage 1 High Blood Pressure.
If you have diabetes or chronic
kidney disease, HBP is defined as 130/80 mmHg or higher. HBP numbers also
differ for children and teens.
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps
some people delay or prevent this risein blood pressure. People who have HBP can take steps
to control it and reduce their risk of related health problems. Key steps include following a healthy lifestyle, which means eating a healthy diet, excerise regularly and following your treatment plan if your doctor has given you one. You ar not alone Stay Fit 4 Life can help you cope.
*The Basics of Cholesterol
Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol? Is lowering your cholesterol a goal? The first step is to find out: What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and other cells and found in certain foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products, eggs, and meat.The body needs some cholesterol in order to function properly. Its cell walls, or membranes, need cholesterol in order to produce hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help to digest fat. But the body needs only a limited amount of cholesterol to meet its needs. When too much is present health problems such as heart disease may develop.
Cholesterol and Heart Disease (LDL)
When too much cholesterol is present, plaque(a thick, hard deposit) may form in the
body's arteries narrowing the space for blood to flow to the heart.
Over time, this buildup causes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to heart disease.
When not enough oxygen-carrying blood reaches the heart chest pain -- called angina -- can result. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by total blockage of a coronary artery, the result is a heart attack. This is usually due to a sudden closure from a blood clot forming on top of a previous narrowing.
Types of Cholesterol high density lipoproteins (HDL):HDL, also called "good" cholesterol, helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol in the blood. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. If your levels of HDL are low, your risk of heart disease increases.
- Very low density lipoproteins(VLDL):VLDL is similar to LDL cholesterol in that it contains mostly fat and not much protein.
- Triglycerides:Triglycerides are another type of fat
that is carried in the blood by very low density lipoproteins. Excess calories, alcohol, or sugar in the body are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells throughout the body.
What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels?
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet.Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol
levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your
addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your
LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as increase HDL cholesterol.
- Exercise.Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. You
should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days.
- Age and Gender. As we get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, women's LDL levels tend to rise.
- Diabetes.Poorly controlled diabetes increases cholesterol levels. With improvements in control,
cholesterol levels can fall.
- Heredity.Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
- Other causes.Certain medications and medical conditions can cause high cholesterol.
National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines recommend that all adults over age 20 have a cholesterol test at least once every 5 years. Take a look at the guidelines below to get a better idea of where your cholesterol levels should be.
Total cholesterol level
- Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable
- 200-239 mg/dL Borderline high
- 240 mg/dL High or higher
Total cholesterol is based on your LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol counts.
Generally, a lower cholesterol level is better.
- Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
- 100-129 mg/dL Near optimal/above optimal
- 130-159 mg/dL Borderline high
- 190 mg/dL Very high or higher
LDL is considered the “bad” cholesterol because if you have too much LDL in your bloodstream, it can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries over time, known as atherosclerosis. Generally a lower LDL cholesterol level is better.
- Less than 100 mg/dL is Optimal
- 100-129 mg/dL Near optimal/above optimal
- 130-159 mg/dL Borderline high
- 160-189 mg/dL High
- 190 mg/dL or higher is very high
HDL is considered the "good" cholesterol because it helps return cholesterol to the liver, where it can be eliminated from the body. Generally, a higher HDL cholesterol level is better.
- 60 mg/dL or higher is High
- Less than 40 mg/dL is Low
- Less than 150 mg/dL Normal
- 150-199 mg/dL Borderline high
- 500 mg/dL or higher is very high
Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are another substance that can be dangerous to your health. Like LDL, you want to keep your Triglycerides low.
Source: National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP)