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Heart Health

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Heart failure, is one of the leading causes of hospital admissions in elderly people. Problems develop when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s need for oxygen and nutrients. Known as “congestive heart failure,” There are a number of different heart conditions but the two main types of heart failure are Diastolic and Systolic.

Causes & Symptoms

Heart failure can be caused by more than one condition.

In diastolic heart failure the walls of the heart thicken making it difficult for the heart to relax and fill with blood. The most common cause is very high blood pressure.

In systolic heart failure, the heart is usually enlarged and has thinner walls. This results in weaker heartbeats, which reduce the amount of blood the heart pumps out to the rest of your body.

Other common heart problems include:

• Abnormal or irregular heartbeats known as arrhythmia is when your heart beats too fast or too slow.
• Heart valve problems. The valves in your heart keep the blood flowing in the correct direction. Problem heart valves may promote fluid build up that make it more difficult for your heart to pump efficiently.
• Sleep apnoea occurs when tissues in your throat block your airway causing intermittent breathing. This is a risk factor for heart failure and other circulatory conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke.
• The inflammation of the heart muscle or myocarditis can cause heart failure.

Common symptoms of heart failure can vary but may include:

• Strong chest pains that often feel like pressure or squeezing on the chest.
• Coughing up of a foamy fluid
• Severe and sudden shortness of breath
• Confusion or anxiety
• Swelling of your feet, ankles and legs
• Sudden extreme fatigue

Should you experience any of these symptoms obtain immediate medical help.

Some other symptoms that you may also experience.

• Decrease in alertness
• Memory loss
• Low energy levels
• Weight gain
• Difficulty concentrating
• Sleeping issues and difficulty
• Irregular or rapid heartbeat the feeling of your heart skipping beats or pounding.

If you are interested in maintaining a healthy heart or if you have heart problems you can make changes to your lifestyle to help support your heart health. Some of those changes are:

• Reduce salt (sodium) in your diet
• Eat less snack foods, salted nuts and chips.
• Reduce the intake of fast foods and bakery items
• Read food labels to see if they are high in salt
• Reduce your intake of ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise etc buy low sodium
• Cook your own meals so you can control salt levels
• Use pepper, other spices like lemon or orange zest.
• When eating out order salads, steamed vegetables, gilled food, fish or poultry and avoid dressings.
• Use unsalted soft margarine or olive oil butters.

From a physical prospective

• Reduce your weight if you are over weight
• Stop smoking
• Take regular exercise that includes cardio activity, walking, swimming etc.
• Reduce fatty food intake
• Eat lots of green leafy vegetables and fruit.
• Eat fresh fish, fish oil and krill oils are recommended.

High quality supplements and supports can assist with a healthy heart.

Always consult your healthcare professional if you feel you have any heart problems.

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