From unhealthy diet to cigarettes, from inactivity to excessive stress, from disturbed sleep to excess weight… In our daily life, these and some similar wrong habits increase the risk of heart attack, which is among the leading causes of death. However, it is possible to prevent a heart attack to a great extent! Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör stated that the heart attack, which is caused by the occlusion of the vessels that feed the heart, known as the coronary arteries, can still knock on the door at a young age and said, “Heart attack is still the biggest cause of death in the world and in Turkey. Every year, approximately 200 thousand people lose their lives due to heart attacks in Turkey and this number is increasing every year, unfortunately. Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör stated that it is largely in our hands to protect the heart and prevent heart attack with some simple but effective lifestyle changes, listed 10 measures that can be taken, and made important warnings and recommendations.
Be at your ideal weight
Excess weight is one of the factors that predispose to cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks. In our society, unfortunately, the number of people who have excess weight problems is increasing day by day due to situations such as unbalanced nutrition, sedentary and stressful life. A body mass index over 30 is defined as obesity, and a body mass index over 40 is defined as morbid (fatal) obesity. The basis of the fight against obesity is regular exercise and a balanced diet. We should make it a habit to walk regularly and eat less. A dietitian recommendation can be taken initially for eating habits. Despite this, there are also medical treatments that are newly used in patients who cannot lose weight, but are very successful in the short term. Therefore, doctor's recommendations can also be taken. In patients who still cannot lose weight despite exercise, diet and medical treatment, obesity surgery should be considered if the physician deems it necessary. But surgical treatment should never be seen as a solution; It should not be forgotten that patients who cannot change their eating habits gain weight again after surgery.
Check your waist circumference
In order to prevent a heart attack, belly circumference is as important as the body mass index, which shows the ideal weight of our body. Belly circumference is parallel with visceral lubrication. The type of lubrication varies according to gender. Men usually gain weight around the belly, known as the apple type, and women gain weight around the hips, known as the pear type. Ideal waist circumference; less than 102 cm for men and 90 cm for women; Above this limit increases the risk. Try to get below these levels by measuring your belly circumference regularly.
Eat the Mediterranean way
Mediterranean diet is one of the main keys to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Instead of a diet with meat-based, fatty, fried foods; Switch to a Mediterranean-style diet that includes vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes and greens prepared with olive oil. Olive oil reduces atherosclerosis with its antioxidant effect, has a cholesterol-lowering effect as it is an unsaturated fat, but excessive consumption should be avoided. In nutrition; High nutritional value, fiber structure, omega 3 content, low carbohydrate foods should be preferred.
Keep your blood pressure under control
The pressure inside the vein is defined as blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the trauma to the inner surface of the vessel. Therefore, blood pressure, that is, blood pressure, must be kept within normal limits. The definition of hypertension refers to values above 130/80 mmHg. The point that should not be forgotten here is that both diastolic and diastolic blood pressure must be within normal limits. Even a high value is sufficient for the definition of hypertension. Although it varies from person to person, medical treatment is usually required at values above 135/85 mmHg. Lifestyle change is also very effective in blood pressure control. Salt-free diet, regular exercise, weight control can be as effective as medical treatment in blood pressure control, especially in young patients. Since hypertension usually does not cause clinical complaints, blood pressure should be measured once a month, even if there is no complaint, and a doctor should be examined in cases above 1/130 mmHg.
Get support if needed to quit smoking
Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör said, “Numerous scientific studies show that smoking is one of the biggest enemies of the heart. Smoking damages the inner surface of the vessel (endothelium), and also reduces the fluidity of the blood, that is, increases blood clotting. In an impaired endothelium, the risk of occlusion of the vessel is much greater with increased coagulation. Smoking also contributes to endothelial damage by both raising blood pressure and causing constriction of the vessels. Atherosclerosis is much more common in smokers, and leg atherosclerosis is almost exclusively seen in smokers. In addition, we should not forget the place of smoking in the pathophysiology of cancer. Unfortunately, smoking is among the causes of all cancers in the body.
Find out if you have diabetes
Diabetes is one of the most common causes of cardiovascular disease. Excess sugar in the blood accumulates on the inner surface of the arteries and causes atherosclerosis. Due to adverse conditions such as unbalanced diet, obesity, sedentary and stressful life, the incidence of diabetes is increasing day by day and unfortunately it is seen at earlier ages. Unfortunately, many people in our country live their lives under a great risk without even realizing that they have diabetes. Because diabetes, like hypertension, has an insidious course, and there may be no complaints in the early stages of the disease. This causes delays in diagnosis. Therefore, a doctor's control should be done at certain periods, and the diagnosis and treatment of the disease should be provided without causing end-organ damage. The most effective way to prevent diabetes is to acquire a balanced diet and exercise habits.
Get your cholesterol checked regularly
Cholesterol is a substance that can be produced in the body or taken from the outside with food and is necessary for the body. E.g; Cholesterol is used in the synthesis of many hormones. However, excess cholesterol is the main reason that starts the formation of atherosclerosis by accumulating on the vessel wall. Therefore, the expression “less decision, more harm” is an appropriate definition for cholesterol. As is known, there are 2 types of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, known as bad, and HDL cholesterol, known as good. It is LDL cholesterol that causes atherosclerosis. Its normal value is below 130 mg/dl. The need for drug treatment of cholesterol varies according to the patient's cardiovascular disease risk factors and blood cholesterol level. So cholesterol drug treatments are individual treatments. Depending on the patient's vascular structure or risk factors, aggressive drug therapy can be given or drug-free follow-up can be performed.
Avoid fast food and alcohol
Avoiding fast food products and packaged ready-to-eat foods provides important support in preventing heart attacks. Excessive consumption of these products with high animal fat and calorie content, with additives and high salt content to extend the shelf life, makes it inevitable to increase diseases such as obesity, hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes. Fastfood style diet; It causes many diseases such as gastrointestinal system diseases and cancer as well as cardiovascular health. Alcohol use as well; Due to the sugar it contains, it causes obesity and diabetes. Alcohol can also increase the body's fluid load, causing worsening of heart failure and palpitations.
Make it a habit to exercise for 45-60 minutes daily. To exercise; It helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases by contributing to blood pressure control, reducing diabetes and cholesterol levels, reaching ideal weight. Aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, slow jogging, cycling or swimming should be preferred every day. During the exercises, the heart rate should rise, light sweating should be ensured, and it should not be in the form of a shopping trip. The fact that we can talk comfortably with the person we are walking with during the walk means that our pace is insufficient. In terms of preventive medicine, walking for an hour a day can be much more beneficial than the prescription your doctor will give you.
Do not avoid going to the doctor
Cardiology Specialist Assoc. Dr. Mutlu Güngör said, “The majority of patients who have had a heart attack do not define a major complaint before the crisis. In addition, chronic diseases may not show clinical signs before end-organ damage develops. Therefore, annual controls are absolutely necessary, especially for people in the risk group. These controls are much more important in menopause, men over 40, smokers and diabetics. says.