Heart Disease Prevention Plan - How To Avoid The Silent Killer

High blood pressure, just one form of cardiovascular disease, is dubbed "The Silent Killer" because there are no apparent symptoms until the disease is well advanced. However, it isn't just hypertension that can silently sneak up on you. Cardiovascular disease encompasses all disorders of the circulatory system including the heart. Problems can range from dangerous blood clots to hardening of the arteries that cause heart attacks and strokes. Too many of these go completely undetected until it is too late.

So, why are hypertension and other forms of circulatory problems referred to as silent? The consequences of cardiovascular disease are often dire and many of these occur without any noticeable warning.

Let's look at blood pressure first. The causes of high blood pressure are complex and not completely understood. Some people are salt-sensitive and excess sodium in foods can quickly raise pressure, yet this is apparently not the case in other people. Prolonged stress can lead to problems, and temporary bouts of stress definitely the pressure rise. Kidney problems alter the body's ability to regulate fluid levels and can lead to high blood pressure. On the other hand, high blood pressure can damage kidneys creating a vicious cycle. Hypertension damages arteries, eventually causing hardening of the arteries and all the problems that accompany it.

The problem is that all these conditions can go completely unnoticed for decades. Loss of kidney function isn't symptomatic until it is as low as 10 percent of normal functioning. People don't feel their arteries slowly clogging and they don't notice any symptoms of high blood pressure until it is exceedingly high. When this happens, they may symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and shortness of breath. It is important to have your blood pressure checked routinely.

Some people suffer from "White Coat Hypertension," the stress of going to the doctor's office causes a temporary the blood pressure spike. It's best to try checking your blood pressure at one of the convenient machines at the grocery store or pharmacy. If problems are noted, then go see the doctor.

Uncontrolled pressure can lead to stroke, congestive heart failure, and heart attack. Again, symptoms sometimes don't show up until the situation is critical. At least 25 percent of people who suffer a heart attack, they had no idea they had any form of cardiovascular disease.

What can be done to prevent these silent killers from sneaking up and threatening your life? Due to heart disease being a leading cause of death for both women and men, there is an abundance of information available to help people prevent or slow the progress of cardiovascular disease. Two of the most important things you can do is to eat a healthy diet and get routine exercise. Eating heart-healthy foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cold water oily fish, and lean meats while avoiding saturated and trans fats are basic guidelines is crucial. Many delicious heart-healthy diets have been developed to prevent and treat heart disease.

Although health professionals have different ideas about the amount of exercise needed to show optimal benefits, all agree that routine exercise is a must do. Walking is one of the best forms of heart-healthy exercise. So grab your walking shoes and get that heart pumping!

You don't have to develop cardiovascular disease. Follow the strategies listed above for a healthy heart!