Your arteries are responsible for carrying blood to all major parts of the body, but some of the most important are the arteries that service your heart, and your brain. Keeping those arteries vital is essential for both your energy levels and your longevity.
At Prime Heart and Vascular, Saleem Saiyad, MD, FACC is a board-certified interventional cardiologist whose experience includes helping patients to stay healthy, and out of the doctor’s office. Caring for your arteries doesn’t have to be hard, but understanding what can go wrong can make keeping them healthy even easier.
How can I hurt my arteries?
As strong and capable as they are, our arteries, like the rest of our bodies, can develop serious problems that interfere with our overall health. A diet high in sodium, cholesterol, and sugar, paired with a sedentary lifestyle, is one of the main threats to artery health globally, and particularly in the United States.
Without properly caring for your arteries, you put your arteries, and heart, at risk for a number of conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Peripheral artery disease
How do I keep them healthy?
Keeping your arteries healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can save you money on medicine, and time spent recovering from serious illnesses. In fact, you may find that care tips for your arteries closely mimic what’s necessary to care for your overall health:
Dr. Saiyad is always ready to provide the guidance that you need to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. When you meet with Dr. Saiyad, he goes over your medical history, including any medications or supplements you’re taking. He works with you to establish a plan to treat your arteries, if you need treatment, and to keep your arteries at their best.
A balanced, fiber-filled diet
Certain foods are better for your arteries than other foods. Greasy meats, for example, contain cholesterol, which can stick to the sides of your arteries. That buildup on the side of your arteries puts you at elevated risk of a heart attack, which could be debilitating, or fatal.
Choosing foods like fruit, whole grains, raw or steamed vegetables, and lean proteins are not only good for your digestion, but they push the gunk out of your arteries. Having your recommended doses of vitamins and minerals helps keep the cells of your arteries strong, and keeps your blood healthy, too.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. Over 400,000 people die each year from smoking-related illnesses, and thousands more are hospitalized with illnesses related to second-hand smoke. Smoking can cause several types of cancers, actively contributes to oral health issues, and causes your veins to contract, making blood flow difficult throughout the body.
Managing any chronic conditions
With the huge number of smoking-related deaths each year, almost a quarter of these deaths are linked to heart disease. Chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension cause undue stress on your arteries as they struggle to function with unstable blood sugars and high blood pressure.
Practicing stress-reducing habits
Getting enough exercise will take you a long way in keeping your arteries healthy, but stress can rear its ugly head on anyone, at any time. Stress affects nearly every bodily system, weakens immunity, and can raise your risk for a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depression.
To protect your arteries from the harmful effects of stress, there are some simple things you can do, like getting enough sleep, meditating, or keeping a journal. Make a list of things that make you happy, or consider a hobby about which you’ve been curious. Finding little ways to manage your stress levels can add up to healthier arteries.
Are my arteries healthy?
Arteries tend to suffer quietly - testing is the best way to know how healthy or unhealthy your arteries are. If you’re concerned about the health of your arteries, we can help you get on track, and stay on track. Call us at 813-302-7620, or use our online appointment system to book your consultation with Dr. Saiyad today.