Are You too Healthy and Fit to Worry About Heart Disease
Are You too Healthy and Fit to Worry About Heart Disease?
When a very fit personal trainer or athlete suffers a heart attack, it is a wake-up call for everyone.
What is your reaction when hearing the news of famous faces who took their fitness seriously and succumbed to a heart attack in their forties? The passing of famous people in their forties makes us wonder if exercise is the answer to living longer and staying healthy.
Doctors frequently tell us that regular physical activity is excellent for our health, particularly for preventing major diseases such as cardiovascular disease. But does that mean that if you are fit and active, you do not need to worry about getting heart disease?
In short: although exercise is helpful, no one is entirely out of the equation.
The simple answer is that heart disease is no longer a disease of unfit and overweight middle-aged individuals; it is now also a disease of the young, fit, and healthy, so we need to keep a very open mind.
Doctors warn individuals (who are unaware of underlying conditions) that moderate to intense physical activity is not always good. Every drug is poison if you take it at the wrong time and dosage; the same goes for exercise.
Specific exercises in an average individual may also increase the risk of particular abnormalities. It can become fatal at times. Therefore, your healthcare provider must evaluate you before beginning heavy exercise.
There are some individuals for whom exercise may precipitate heart attacks; aortic valve narrowing if there are abnormalities in the circulation of the heart, which means that the heart’s arteries arise from the incorrect sinuses. In addition, electrical heart irregularities may predispose an individual to collapse after exercise.
It is best if your doctor evaluates your health before heavy exercise. Undetected heart disease problems are severe.
THE EXTERIOR DOES NOT ALWAYS MATCH THE INSIDE
Weight frequently comes up in discussions of disease risk and heart health. This relation is because it may be a helpful indicator, and people generally associate obesity with increased disease risk.
Nevertheless, when it comes to cardiovascular disease, the exterior only sometimes matches the inside: A healthy diet is essential, but not everyone overweight has heart disease, high cholesterol, and health problems. On the other hand, not everyone who looks thin and fit on the surface has healthy hearts and circulation.
SOMETIMES THERE ARE NO OBVIOUS OR NOTICEABLE WARNING INDICATORS
It is not uncommon to see patients in their thirties and forties who are fit and physically active with healthy lifestyles, and their only problem is their family history.
Those patients who appear healthy may suffer from silent heart disease, which means there were no apparent symptoms or signs, or those symptoms were very mild and easily missed, or they suffer a heart attack that strikes seemingly with little warning.
Furthermore, some individuals only discover that they have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, for example, during a routine test. Yet, these factors are significant in developing future problems such as strokes and heart attacks.
You can live an incredibly fit and healthy lifestyle and still suffer from a heart attack. You cannot say to someone: you do not look like you have a heart disease; that does not mean anything because you cannot judge a book by its cover.
Choosing not to smoke, eating healthy, and being physically fit, reduces the risk of heart disease, but you cannot ignore significant risk factors such as your genes, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Therefore, your family history may predispose you even if you show no signs of heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease remains one of the primary causes of death, averaging one every three minutes. This disease includes matters like heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure.
Many factors are involved, and genetics and lifestyle are essential; it is vital to know your family history. The above means you must have things checked as routine or “just in case” rather than waiting for problems to arise.
Early detection of issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol means that you may take steps to treat and control them. In addition, early detection and treatment of problems within the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular system) early may prevent issues from worsening.
INTENSE OR EXCESSIVE EXERCISING AND HEART HEALTH: SIGNS TO WATCH FOR
Some signals that one should not ignore may include the following:
- You should be evaluated first if you feel dizzy or lightheaded while exercising.
- If you are hypertensive (extreme hypertension), controlling your blood pressure first and then exercising is essential.
- If you have a family background of a young person who suddenly collapsed without warning, you may have a gene predisposing you to inevitable collapse, so you must get an electrocardiogram (ECG).
- Get evaluated if you have chest discomfort or undue shortness of breath,
- Remember that performance-enhancing drugs may cause heart irregularities, collapse, and even a heart attack.
HEART DISEASE IS NO LONGER AN AGING DISEASE
Previously, we knew heart attacks as an aging disease; generally, people over sixty were prone to it. But that scenario has changed, and now more and more young individuals fall victim to it.
It is also true that even if you look healthy and fit on the outside, your body may carry a disease you are unaware of.
There are young patients every month with heart problems. Multiple factors lead to heart attacks or cardiac arrests in young individuals: The main one is stress, which triggers high blood pressure, insomnia, poor eating habits, and cholesterol, among others.
However, many young individuals think they are fit and healthy but have a family medical history of heart disease. Therefore, these healthy, vigorous young individuals should get regular checkups.
Exercising and maintaining a healthy diet to the limit is great, but beyond that, you should be careful when planning rigorous exercise, do it only after a thorough cardiac examination.
Doctors advise getting regular health checkups to know what is going on inside your body. Then, let the experts give you suggestions rather than you being your instructor.
REGULAR SCREENING IS CRUCIAL
Incidentally, when symptoms of heart problems begin to appear, the disease is sometimes already at an advanced stage. For example, chest discomfort on exertion or dyspnea indicates the possibility of a heart issue, and then you need further testing to establish the cause.
You may need regular screening tests to detect problems early to get the appropriate treatment before significant damage to the heart occurs.
Frequent and standard screening tests are ECG (electrocardiogram), 2D echocardiogram, stress test, and CT scan for coronary calcium.
Doctors recommend cardiac screening tests a year or once every two years after age forty in the general population or after age thirty in the high-risk population.
WOMEN WHO EXERCISE AND THINK THEY ARE FIT AND HEALTHY CAN STILL HAVE HEART DISEASE
Heart disease is still the primary cause of death for American women. Yet, whenever we ask people about that, they almost always say breast cancer is number one. But women are ten times more likely to die from heart disease than breast cancer.
The risk of heart disease extends even to healthy, fit women. Some women who don’t have a medicine prescription, with no family history of heart disease, who never had covid-19, who did all their doctors told them to do, and who should have been safe have suffered a heart attack.
There is no question that, in general, physical activity is highly beneficial for people and their hearts. People who exercise and who are physically fit are those who are most likely to stay alive.
However, on an individual level, healthy, fir people can and do develop heart disease, frequently silent. They can and do die, often suddenly. Lightning may strike any one of us.
PAY ATTENTION TO ANY SIGN OR SYMPTOM THAT IS NEW TO YOU
Next, we will discuss cardiac symptoms and response, especially if you are female, fit, and consider yourself nearly vulnerable.
Try noticing symptoms above the waist, such as new signs above the belly button.
Sudden and unusual shortness of breath and profound fatigue is common among women experiencing a heart attack, as are discomfort or chest pain, upset stomach, and new pain in the back, jaw, or neck.
The classic version of clutching your chest and collapsing when suffering from a heart attack is rare, especially for women. More frequently, symptoms persist and intensify for hours.
During the time of almost unnoticeable symptoms, many women did not believe their hearts could fail. However, if their husbands had had the same symptoms, they would have taken them to the emergency room. For the same reason, if you would take someone else to the hospital with those symptoms, be sure to go there as well.
At Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we are here to answer vital questions about how some conditions could affect your heart. Our team of expert cardiologists is here to help you manage, prevent, and treat all aspects of cardiovascular disease.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.
CARDIOVASCULAR CENTERS IN HOUSTON, TEXAS
Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.
Every heart has a story… What’s yours?
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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.