Ischemic heart disease occurs when there is a partial blockage of blood flow to the heart. When the heart does not get enough blood it has to work harder and it becomes starved for oxygen. If the blood flow is completely blocked then a myocardial infarction (heart attack) occurs.
As we age we naturally have plaques build up in our arteries. This is called arteriosclerosis which is a hardening of the arteries. This can lead to blood clots that can cause a heart attack or stroke. Hardening of the arteries and blockage of major arteries is one of the leading causes of death by disease in the United States. In fact heart disease itself kills more people every year then the next 6 diseases combined.
The degree to which ischemic heart disease affects each individual depends on a variety of factors including age, genetics, diet and exercise habits, and smoking. For many people who are at high risk it is important to make certain lifestyle changes that will reduce this risk.
Since medical science and doctors know the causes of ischemic heart disease they also know the steps to take to prevent or reverse its effects. And the steps one can take to avoid its effects are actually quite simple. Eat a healthy diet and avoid foods high in saturated fat, get more regular exercise to strengthen the cardiovascular system, drink alcohol in moderation, and stop smoking. By making these types of simple lifestyle changes you can avoid and prevent the onset of this disease.
Saturated fats are one of the leading causes of plaque build up in the arteries. By avoiding fatty foods that contain these types of fats you can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. In fact if you eat more fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids you can significantly reduce the build up of plaques. Omega 3 help build up the good cholesterol call HDL which helps remove the bad cholesterol (LDL).
Exercise will significantly reduce the risk of ischemic heart disease by helping the body effectively remove excess body fat and reduce the risk posed by obesity. Any form of exercise, whether its daily walks, working around the yard, or a full on exercise program will work wonders when it comes to preventing this condition.
Just a few changes can make all the difference in the world when it comes to fighting and preventing ischemic heart disease.