Heart Disease: Treatment and Prevention

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. Over 600,000 Americans die from heart disease each year – and about 34 percent of heart attacks will prove fatal.  With improved medical technology and heart health awareness, it’s possible to decrease one’s risk of heart disease – and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

The term “heart disease” refers to the long-term buildup of plaque – a thick substance consisting mostly of cholesterol that collects in the arteries, causing them to narrow and restricting blood flow to the heart.  Without proper blood flow, and oxygenation, the heart is unable to continue pumping blood around the body.  This rapid onset of abnormal functioning – referred to as a myocardial infarction or heart attack – presents with symptoms like chest pain, shooting pains in the left arm, shortness of breath, and fainting.

While heart attacks are often treatable and a full recovery is possible, preventative measures are the most effective way to treat heart disease.  A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide abundant nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B, niacin, and flavinoids to improve cardiac function.  The soluble fiber found in these foods also helps reduce cholesterol levels by acting as a “sponge” for excess cholesterol in the digestive tract – as the liver releases a cholesterol-rich digestive enzyme called bile, soluble fiber from fruits and whole grain oats absorbs the excess and is flushed out as waste.  It’s even more important to decrease one’s intake of fatty and cholesterol-rich foods like red meat, full-fat dairy products, and deep-fried foods.

Exercise, as well, is a proven method of preventing heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of continuous, strenuous physical activity per day to improve heart health and reduce one’s long-term risk of a heart attack.

In cases where it is simply too late to treat heart disease with preventative measures, Florida residents have a multitude of medical treatment options at their disposal.  When in search of a cardiologist Miami heart care center Mount Sinai Heart Institute provides a range of innovative surgical treatment options – many with minimal pain and minimal recovery time.  With minimally invasive cardiac surgery, patients can avoid the discomfort and fear surrounding open heart surgery and enjoy a faster recover and shorter hospital stay.  Patients with non-heart-disease-related cardiac conditions, like mitral valve defects or heart murmurs, can also benefit from top treatments – such as pacemaker insertion or heart valve replacement surgery.  The benefits of good heart care are invaluable – but surgical options make heart disease more treatable than ever.