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How do I Reduce my Coronary Risk?

Article Details
  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Coronary artery disease is a life-threatening condition in which the arteries near the heart become clogged over time and restrict blood flow. The condition can result in severe chest pains, heart attacks, or complete heart failure. Congestion in the coronary arteries is usually caused by high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or a combination of the three. Luckily, individuals can significantly reduce their coronary risk by making healthy lifestyle changes and scheduling regular checkups with their doctors. Coronary risk can be lowered immensely by eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and relieving stress.

Making smart decisions when it comes to food is key to reducing coronary risk and preventing potentially fatal outcomes. Consuming a lot of sweets, processed food, and meat greatly increases the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, and eventual coronary problems. By eating foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats, the arteries remain clear of plaque buildup. Fruits, nuts, vegetables, and seeds are good sources of nutrients that do not contain high levels of fat or cholesterol. Doctors and dietary specialists can help people make better choices without having to completely sacrifice their favorite foods.

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Regular exercise is also important to reduce the risk of diabetes and keep the coronary arteries functioning properly. Doctors usually recommend that people engage in some type of activity on a daily basis. It is important to remember that exercise routines do not have to be strenuous to be effective. Simply taking a brisk walk around the block every evening can help to burn calories, keep blood pumping properly, and reduce coronary risk.

Lifestyle choices such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption contribute to a number of health problems, not the least of which coronary artery disease. Smoking is known to raise blood pressure and reduce oxygen levels in the blood, making the heart and coronary arteries work much harder to pump blood throughout the body. Years of smoking and drinking can severely restrict heart functioning and actually damage the lining of the coronary arterial walls.

People can further reduce their coronary risk by learning how to reduce their stress levels. Constant stress can lead to long-term blood pressure problems and eventually result in a heart attack. Breathing and relaxation exercises can help people control their anger and anxiety, and relieve tension in their hearts. Individuals can read self-help publications or speak with doctors and counselors to learn expert tips on stress reduction.

A person who believes he or she is at risk of developing coronary problems should speak with a doctor. Medical experts can conduct diagnostic tests to check for diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. An individual who exhibits symptoms of heart problems is usually instructed to make immediate lifestyle changes and take prescription drugs to help lower their coronary risk.

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