You can do a lot to take care of your heart and reduce the chances of developing cardiovascular problems in the future. Even if you just start by making a few simple changes, you should soon start to feel healthier and more in control of your health. You might find it easier to make more or bigger changes once you’ve succeeded with some small ones first.
Cut Out Your Bad Habits
Smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do to your heart. Giving up smoking can make a significant difference to your chances of developing cardiovascular disease. Other bad habits that can be harmful for your heart include drinking too much alcohol and overindulging in unhealthy foods. Cutting back is a great way to take care of your heart.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can take a heavy toll on your physical health. It can make you more likely to indulge in your bad habits, temporarily raises your blood pressure, and can trigger certain heart conditions such as arrhythmias if you are at risk. You should try to eliminate sources of stress in your life, when possible, or find ways of managing them. Talking about your worries, practising mindfulness, or setting some time aside to relax or do something you enjoy can help.
Lose Any Excess Weight
Being overweight can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular problems but you can reduce the risk by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. It can be a good idea to focus on eating well so that you can achieve this goal steadily rather than trying to rush it with a strict diet. Try to make changes that you’ll be able to stick to in the long term in order to keep your heart and body healthy.
Exercise is great for your heart. As well as helping you to lose any extra weight, regular physical activity can strengthen your heart, improve blood flow, and help reduce blood pressure. Most people should aim to exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, but you should ask your doctor for advice if you have any health problems or you’re new to exercising. Good activities for your heart including walking, swimming, jogging, and cycling, but there are plenty of other types of exercise that can help to get your heart pumping. You should gradually increase the amount and intensity of exercise as you get fitter.
Understand Your Cardiac Risks
Following these general tips on cardiac care will help everyone, but you can also get more personalised advice through heart screening. Cardiac Screen can check for any underlying issues such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure that could increase the chances of developing certain conditions. We’ll provide personalised advice on what you can do to address the specific risk factors identified during screening. Cardiac screening tests can also detect any hidden heart problems that might need treatment to prevent them from becoming worse. We’ll provide all the cardiac care you need to look after your heart.
Many of us have been inspired to take better care of ourselves by the events of the last year, but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic has also deterred many people from seeking cardiac care when they need it. Improving your diet and lifestyle can prevent heart disease but it is also vital to be aware of the signs that you need expert help. You can find world-class cardiac care in London even while we are managing a global pandemic.
Cardiac Care in an Emergency
During the first UK lockdown in 2019 there was a significant drop in the number of people attending hospitals with heart problems. The number of patients admitted with heart attacks or heart failure dropped by more than 50%. Many people were worried about going to A&E during the pandemic in case they became infected. Others were concerned about overwhelming the health services and tried to cope with their symptoms at home. Similar effects were seen again during the autumn and winter as COVID-19 rates rose again and it is feared that this could lead to further rises in avoidable deaths from heart disease.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack should call an ambulance right away. Signs of a possible heart attack include sudden chest pain or tightness, pain that spreads along the arm or jaw, and suddenly becoming sweaty, lightheaded, or breathless. A heart attack is a medical emergency so it is vital to get help as quickly as possible, even during lockdown.
Seeing a Heart Specialist
Although other cardiac symptoms may not require emergency medical care, they still need to be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible. You shouldn’t ignore symptoms such as heart palpitations or dizziness because of COVID-19 anxieties. It’s also important to be aware that symptoms such as breathlessness, a persistent cough, and fatigue can be caused by heart problems if you have tested negative for COVID-19. You could have a serious heart condition that requires prompt treatment, so you should make an appointment with your GP or see a heart specialist directly.
Cardiac Screen is taking all the necessary measures to keep you safe when you seek cardiac care in London. If you’re experiencing any cardiac symptoms then we can run tests to find out the cause. We may recommend some of the following tests:
- echocardiogram – an ultrasound scan to check your heart’s structure and movements
- ECG – measures the electrical activity in your heart that controls its beating
- exercise tests – monitoring your heart while you are on a treadmill
- blood pressure – to check how well your heart is functioning
- lung function tests – measuring your lung capacity and function
- blood and urine tests – to check for metabolic problems, infections, and other issues
If we do detect a problem then we’ll talk you through the treatment options, which could include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery. We provide complete cardiac care in London so we’ll be here to provide all the support you need.