“Treat your heart as you would treat a newborn baby, fragile and delicate.” -Unknown
It is hard to reverse something that has already happened; even the best medicine or procedure cannot reverse heart damage. But prevention can continue to keep things new and gives us that best chance to live a longer life or a better quality of life. So how is prevention possible? We often make prevention more difficult than it is. The first thing is knowledge of the risks or how to identify the risks, the warning signs or symptoms that can lead to an adverse event such as heart attack or stroke. And the second thing is to do something about it, to decrease the odds of it happening.
For example, if you have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, prior tobacco use, obesity, renal disease, inflammatory disease and/or are older in age. These are risks that can lead to vascular (vessel) disease whether it is stroke, or a heart attack. You can prevent yourself from the potential fatal heart attack or stroke by controlling the risk with medications. A heart attack or stroke does not just occur; they often come with “warning signs or symptoms” such as feeling tired, short of breath, dizziness, nausea, or having chest pain or transient weakness or sensory loss. By knowing “the warning signs or symptoms,” you may seek medical help early, and intervene before the actual adverse event happens. Unfortunately many people die because they fail to recognize the symptoms or to do something about the, thus, succumbing to silent heart attacks or silent strokes.
Much, if not all prevention is done through diet, exercise, lifestyle changes and/or the proper medicine and not through procedures, as many people fear.
I urge people to go to their professionals, whether it is their health counselor, primary care physician, or cardiologist if there is concern or question regarding their heath. And if it turns out that you are healthy and well, than at least your stress is alleviated because your question and concern has been answered. “Stress,” as it relates to heart health, is a big topic in of itself, which I will save to discuss the next time around. You have to wonder why happy people live longer, and those who drink wine live longer. Please email me at [email protected] and let me know if you enjoyed this frank discussion. I have enjoyed this opportunity and thank you for your time.
Your local heart doc,
-Long B Cao MD, FACC
About Dr. Cao:
As a physician, you want the support of the people. It helps to feel that what you do matters. This has become more obvious to me as I continue to practice medicine as a Cardiologist. This support must start from trust and trust comes with knowing the physician. If you do not know me, how can you begin to trust me?
I “lived the American Dream,” as many have. I left a war torn 3rd world country at the age of 4, worked really hard to beat the odds, and became a serving member of society as my parents had prayed for me. My passion has always been preventative medicine.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article, including text and images, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a medical service. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.