There are times it is normally for the heart to beat harder, such as if you are out hiking and encounter a bear. Your blood pressure will jump so larger levels of oxygenated, nutrient rich blood is sent through your system and you are able to react. All part of the flight or fight response.
When you are diagnosed for high blood pressure your blood pressure is not just high for limited periods of time. It is consistently elevated. This means the heart is constantly working harder than it should.
Here are 7 reasons your heart may be dealing with this increased workload:
- Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries) – This may be caused by cholesterol deposits along arterial walls resulting in plaque buildup. Fibrosis or endothelial dysfunction may also result in narrower arteries. When arteries narrow the heart has to pump harder (exert more force) to move blood throughout the system.
Continue reading ‘What May Cause High Blood Pressure?’ »
Shouldn’t you be the “picture of health” as a young adult? Guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that looks are deceiving.
Canadian researchers presented study results recently at the 2011 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress regarding their study of 168 adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years-old.
Study participants had no family history of heart disease, nor any other known risk factors, such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoking.
Guess what? Researchers found a “staggering” number of participants to have atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque along artery walls. Almost half of participants had signs of atherosclerosis – 48%.
Height, weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference were recorded for all participants. MRI scans measured both subcutaneous (fat under the skin) and visceral fat (fat around vital organs).
These measurements found many participants to have greater waist circumferences and higher levels of visceral fat within the chest and abdomen. These high levels of visceral fat increase risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke at some point in their lives. It’s this high level of visceral fat that is likely contributing to the early signs of atherosclerosis.
These Canadian findings corroborate previous research that has found up to 80% of young American’s killed in war or car accidents to have premature and hidden atherosclerosis.
What Can You Do?
Continue reading ‘Clogged Arteries: Young Doesn’t Equal Healthy’ »
A new Norwegian study – Diet and Omega 3 Fatty Acid Intervention – found individuals who increased their intake of fruits and berries decreased carotid artery thickening (atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries), which leads to increased risk of heart disease.
The study followed over 560 men with an average age of 70 years-old for three years. Throughout the three years carotid artery thickness was measured and food intake was assessed via food-frequency questionnaires. Participants who increased vitamin C rich foods, such as fruit and berries, along with a Mediterranean diet plan had reduced arterial thickening. The more vitamin C the less the thickening.
The study concluded that even the elderly can make diet changes and see positive health benefits. We’ve known that fruits are an essential part of a heart healthy diet plan and this diet re-emphasizes that point.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight