Heart problems and solutions
If a kettle is not de-scaled regularly, it will fur up with lime scale, affecting its ability to boil water and contaminating hot drinks with white-grey flaky deposits. Similarly, a lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol and smoking will fur up the heart, arteries and veins with sludgy deposits of cholesterol and blood clots. This furring-up makes it increasingly difficult for the heart to function properly, causing it to beat irregularly, slow down or in extreme cases stop completely. The results can be life-threatening and include conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and angina.
If you're in your 20s, 30s or 40s, it’s unlikely you’ll give these illnesses a second glance… they happen to people you don’t really know. You may hear about them on the news, or perhaps see them mentioned in health leaflets when you visit your GP, but you’ll probably feel that don’t apply to you (not yet anyway). In many ways, heart disease is about death by stealth. It’s not until you get older that you find out that what you did – or rather didn’t do – when you were younger, has contributed to your first – and perhaps last – heart attack. While you’re partying away in your youth, you can also be laying down the foundations for a dead-cert heart condition later on.
By taking the following steps and integrating them into your life, you can significantly reduce the chances of developing circulatory problems, a heart condition or heart disease.
- Give up smoking. Twenty cigarettes a day triple the risk of heart trouble.
- Check your cholesterol level through your GP, particularly if your family has a history of heart problems.
- Take regular exercise.
- Lose weight (if you have excess weight to lose).
- Get your blood pressure checked by your GP.
- Drink sensibly. Current research suggests that a glass of wine per day can protect against heart disease, but excessive alcohol use leads to its own problems.