For a twenty-something yuppie, heart disease might be the last thing on their mind. While it feels like young people are exempt from these diseases, the truth is that this isn’t just an affliction affecting the older population.
Past research has shown that about 30% of patients who were hospitalized between 1995 to 2014 were people ranging from their mid-thirties to their early fifties. This is a relatively young population susceptible to heart diseases thought to be mostly reserved for people in their senior years!
Given that heart problems can strike at any age, speaking to your family doctor about heart health is something that you should prioritize as early as now.
Measuring Heart Health
These physicians will perform the necessary routine checks to ensure your heart is in good health, typically at your annual physical examination. These will include taking your blood pressure, monitoring your heart rate, and listening to your heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Bloodwork is also done to measure the body’s cholesterol, sodium, and blood sugar levels.
Being aware of symptoms that could be related to heart disease will allow you to rule those out during your physical examination. If it isn’t discussed during your check-up, then bring it to your physician’s attention. Chest pain, sensations of squeezing or pressure near the chest or heart, and shortness of breath are all points of concern and must be examined further as soon as possible!
Heart Disease in Women and Teenagers
Women experience some different symptoms when it comes to heart attacks, which makes identifying them all the more important. More often than not, these are mistaken for something less serious and requiring no immediate action! In addition to chest pain and shortness of breath, women may also experience dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, as well as pressure in the upper back and abdomen regions.
Although heart attacks in teenagers and children are rare, they’re even more difficult to detect. Family care doctors will identify more subtle cues in teenagers and children, such as dizziness and shortness of breath from physical activity, inability to keep up with their peers, fainting spells, and heart palpitations.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Sometimes you may not know what specific questions you should ask your doctor to bring up the subject of your heart’s health. If your doctor does not ask specifically about your heart, you can ask about the following:
- Whether or not your heart is normal
- If your heart rate and blood pressure are normal for your age group
- If you have any risk factors for heart disease
- Request for blood work to make sure
Tips for Heart Health
The best time to improve your heart condition is now—no matter what stage of life you’re in. While it may seem complicated, there are several things that you can do to improve your overall health and, in turn, your heart’s health.
The first and perhaps most important thing to start—if you aren’t already doing it—is through eating a heart-healthy diet. This includes plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. Reducing the consumption of food containing saturated fat, salt, and sugar is also essential to maintain a healthy heart.
Staying physically active is another crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy heart. Bear in mind that physical activity does not have to mean exercise at an athletic level. A simple 30-minute walk daily is enough to keep the heart healthy!
Avoiding harmful substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs will increase your chances of having a healthier heart. While alcohol can be consumed in moderation, the effects of smoking and drug use can be more harmful, especially for your arteries and veins.
Heart disease is dangerous and can affect people of all ages. While it is prevalent in people who are older and have developed some form of risk factors that comes with aging, younger folks should also be paying attention to their health habits and symptoms of heart disease. Women, teenagers, and children should pay attention to lesser-known symptoms as well to seek medical help from general doctors if needed! By knowing what signs to spot, going in for annual physical examinations, and living a healthier lifestyle, you may be able to cure and prevent it altogether.
Are you looking for a physician in New Jersey to advise you about the health of your heart? Here at Garden State Medical Group, we focus on treating the whole person, with treatments that are focused on prevention, education, and management. To consult with a trusted primary care doctor near North Bergen and Secaucus, start a telemedicine call with us today!