To best explain heart disease, allow me to tell you a bit about how your heart works. As you probably know, your heart is a pump. Its one and only job is to pump blood to the rest of your body. But what you may not know is that to do this, your heart has its own circulatory system. This is a set of three major blood vessels, the coronary arteries, and they must receive a strong, steady supply of blood in order for your heart to pump blood efficiently.
But when you have heart disease, fatty deposits known as plaque can build up in your coronary arteries. This disease process, called atherosclerosis, causes them to become narrowed. If a major blockage occurs, the result is a heart attack.
What Are the Risk Factors for Heart Disease?
These are the main risk factors for heart disease:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
- Lack of physical activity
- Tobacco use
Too often, when it comes to health, people tend to see themselves as “victims.” They become sick, and then they rely on doctors to save them. When it comes to your heart, getting regular medical care is important, of course. But it’s what you do outside of the doctor’s office that really counts. Will you chose to spend your life eating junk foods, not exercising, and living with stress, or will you choose to eat fruits and vegetables, be physically active, and live your life with contentment? These factors are the ones that will make all the difference!