Preventing Heart Disease Can Be Difficult As We Age

Preventing heart disease, as we all sooner or later pass the magic age of 55 years old, should be one of our major concerns. 

The reason for this is quite simple; 84% percent of us will die from some form of heart disease and among the leading killers is a heart attack.

As I was about 30 days from my 66th birthday, I learned this all too well first hand as I had a “window maker” massive heart attack. I was extremely fortunate as only about 3-5 percent of people that suffer this wicked attack actually survive it.

However, even though I died twice during the process and had to be brought back both times, I was extremely fortunate to have actually had the attack in a hospital emergency room.

Understanding The Symptoms

The first step in preventing heart disease is to understand the complete list of symptoms.

I cannot emphasis this enough as in my case I kept making excuses or putting the blame on something else like possible pneumonia or a chest cold.

In my case, the early warning symptoms of preventing heart disease where there, however, I did not react the way I should have.

Here is the first list of the symptoms.

  • Feeling faint and or light headed
  • Overall weakness in several areas of your body
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty catching your breath
  • Sudden nausea associated with vomiting
  • Indigestion or feeling full most of the time.

There is no one in this world that understands our bodies better than we do.

Please do not be like me, where 3-4 weeks before my heart attack I was getting extremely short breathed when going into a store like Costco, and walking the entire store.

If that does happen to you, see your doctor as soon as possible, so he can treat you or send you to a heart doctor to see what is happening to you before it is too late.

The next set of symptoms in preventing heart disease include the following

  • Pain in your chest as well as “chest pressure” out of no where
  • Mild or moderate pains in your neck, back, or shoulder  areas
  • Sweating and felling hot and uncomfortable
  • An irregular heartbeat that you can actually “feel”

I am certainly no doctor and do not claim to be, and can only relate my personal experience.

I had the shortness of breath and “uncomfortable” chest feelings about 30 days prior to my heart attack, and again did not react the way I should have.

Five Friends Enjoying Time TogetherFive Friends Enjoying Time Together

Reducing the Risks

The next step in preventing heart disease is to reduce the risks that can be associated with the various forms.

The most common risk associated with our heart is high blood pressure.

If you have high blood pressure and do not control it, you will quickly fall into the 84% of us that will die before age 65.

In my case, I was in total control of my blood pressure and monitored it every day.

High cholesterol levels are the next risk factor that you can control, as it is a very close second to high blood pressure as the leading risk.

Controlling diabetes if you have it is also extremely important, as is taking medications for angina (chest pain), if they have been prescribed.

However, perhaps the most important thing we should do in preventing heart disease is to take an aspirin daily and always, without fail, carry two 325 mg aspirins in your pocket for an emergency.

The Reason Is Simple But Extremely Important

Aspirin is proven in helping prevent heart attacks is all people with any type of coronary disease.

However, it is also been proven to help those of us that are at higher degree of risk, and because of this, it should be part of our lives in preventing heart disease.

Most all medical experts will tell you that we only need a low dose aspirin on a daily basis, which is generally 81 mg.

However, once we pass the age of 55, we should all carry at least two 325 mg aspirin that are not “enteric coated” in our pockets on a daily basis. This way we will always have a backup just to be sure.

 The “non-enteric coated” aspirin is critical for one simple reason; it will react much, much faster in your body, even if chewed, that a coated aspirin and could be the difference in surviving or not surviving a heart attack.

Steps In Preventing Heart Disease

There are 7 critical steps in preventing heart disease as we pass the magic 55 years of age marker, but there is one that is “ten-fold” more important than the other 6.

DO NOT SMOKE!!!

If you are a smoker, I know how this may sound to you, however, I come with a ton of experience.

I smoked for 43 years when I had my heart attack and had a stent put in. The doctor that saved me said my veins looked like they had “plaster” built up in them, they were that bad.

It had one single cause; a lifetime of smoking.

Here is the full list of steps in preventing heart disease

  • Quit smoking—enough said
  • Exercise daily
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet
  • Monitor your blood pressure at least 2-3 times a weeks
  • Control alcohol
  • Control and minimize stress
  • Control your weight

Again, by far and away the most important of these steps for preventing heart disease is to quit smoking.

I know it can be extremely difficult but it can be done. Every week that you are smoke free, the more your blood veins as well as your lungs begin to clear up.

Exercise is also extremely important, even if it is just walking for 20-30 minutes each day.

If you are confined or have limited capacity, simply walk around you house for 5 minutes increments, 5 to six times each day.

At our age, controlling our diet is extremely important in preventing heart disease, especially in controlling the cholesterol intake.

Monitoring you blood pressure numbers and other vital numbers is also important, as is controlling stress.  

If you drink to excess on a daily basis, it can be almost as bad as smoking and the same can be said for being overweight.

Once we pass that magic 55 year of age number, we are all at a higher degree of risk.

While we are all going to die someday, we can at least do what we can in preventing heart disease in this process we call life.

References

Aspirin for Heart Attack Prevention

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/aspirin-for-heart-attack-chew-or-swallow

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