25 Home remedies for high blood pressure

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Sunday, May 10, 2020


High Blood pressure can be dangerous and should be taken into account as soon as it is diagnosed. Otherwise it can be fatal.

High Blood pressure is caused by no identifiable cause. This may develop as you age with the years. This is called primary Hypertension or primary high blood pressure. In some people high blood pressure occurs due to an underlying condition. Various conditions or situations may lead to this type of hypertension. This is called secondary Hypertension. This may be a result of the following conditions:

Adrenal gland tumors

Kidney problems

Thyroid gland defects

Medications such as birth control pills, painkillers etcetera.

Cocaine and amphetamines

Too much consumption of alcohol

There are medications in acute cases of hypertension, but if you are recently diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will add some foods to your diet like raw vegetables and fruits and will ask you to spend stress free time. If you are not prescribed any medicines by your doctor for hypertension, then you can try the following home remedies for high blood pressure.

25. Coconut water

If you are a hypertension patient, your doctor may have asked you to drink lots of water. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated. Coconut water has properties which do not let the body to dehydrate. Coconut water is rich in Vitamin C, potassium and Magnesium which tends to lower the systolic pressure. You will have to consume coconut water on a daily bass if you want to get advantage from this remedy.

24. Almonds

Nuts like almonds provide essential fatty acids to the body along with many essential minerals. Almonds contain a large amount of Potassium which makes them Blood pressure friendly and reduce the blood pressure to normal levels.

Almonds also reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

23. Basil leaves

Basil is used in China to lower the mean blood pressure. It helps the body to prevent producing endothelins; which are proteins responsible for constricting blood vessels. The amount to be taken of the basil leaf extract for lowering the blood pressure is 30 mg per kilogram Basil leaf extract can be prepared easily at home.

Take galas of water.

Crush the basil leaves with a mortar and pestle.

Add the leaves to the glass of water.

Drink this water after mixing it well.

You can also boil basil leaves in a cup of water. This will make basil tea.

Strain the leaves after boiling them in water for about one minute.

Drink this tea regularly to get rid of the hypertension.

22. Bread

Bread is a rich source of foliate. Foliate helps in making the arteries flexible, thus the heart does not have to make an extra effort to pump blood through them. Bread can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure to a great extent.

21. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are another healthy food. They contain α – linolenic acid which is a form of fatty acids. They reduce the blood cholesterol levels and help the blood to be transported smoothly through the body. You can add flaxseeds to your salads make tea of them and drink them as well.

They are equally good for cardio vascular diseases and obesity etcetera.

20. Cayenne pepper

If your blood pressure levels are increased by some points means about ten to fifteen points, then cayenne pepper might be beneficial as it unclogs the blood vessels and does not let the platelets form clumps. It is a spice and a very strong one. It is also called red Chili pepper. Cayenne pepper can be used in salads, on toppings of curries and in soups.

19. Celery

If you are already taking high blood pressure drugs, try using celery juice with it and it will decrease the need of the Blood pressure drugs. Celery juice also helps to heal and detoxify the liver. Celery helps to relax the muscles which form the arteries and the veins.

Celery reduces the stress hormones that cause blood pressure and makes the arteries, veins and all the blood vessels and muscles to relax. Extract the celery juice from a juicer.

Add equal amounts of honey and mix the juice well.

Drink this mixture at least thrice a day for a week to notice considerable results.

18. Exercise regularly

Certain lifestyle changes make the blood pressure into control. Having regular walk or running exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes daily can reduce the blood pressure to considerable levels.

If you do not like running or walking, try going to an aerobic class, or go for swimming. Or you can chose going for cycling.

17. Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds are high in Potassium and fiber which ensures a normal blood pressure and ideal weight. Adding fenugreek seeds to your daily diet also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.

Boil a glass of water in a pan.

Add two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds to the boiling water.

Let the seeds boil for 5 minutes.

Strain the seeds and add them in a blender.

Make a paste of these seeds.

Consume this seeds’ paste on an empty stomach twice a day, once in the morning and then once in the evening.

Do not eat anything for thirty minutes after consuming the paste.

This will reduce your blood pressure to normal levels.

16. Garlic

Garlic juice has been used for years to reduce blood pressure in Tibet and China. They can be consumed in a raw state. Garlic also helps in reducing the heart problems if you have any. If you cannot eat raw garlic, crush the garlic cloves and mix it in a glass of milk. Drink that milk. It will no longer cause any burning sensations in the stomach.

15. Indian Gooseberry

Indian Gooseberry also known as amla is very effective in treating hyper tension. Amla has great amounts of Vitamin C, which helps in reducing the Blood Pressure levels. Amla when mixed with honey is also known to reduce hypertension.

Extract the Indian gooseberry juice with the help of a juicer or chop it and place it on a sieve.

Add one teaspoon of honey in about two tablespoons of amla juice.

Consume this concoction every morning to lower blood pressure.

14. Honey

Honey is another effective ingredient to lower blood pressure. It soothes and calms the blood vessels and decreases the pressure on the heart. The heart does not have to work that hard to pump blood as honey ensures smooth blood flow. Take raw honey and eat that every morning on an empty stomach.

You can also consume raw honey by adding it to warm water. Consumption should be done every morning before breakfast. Give half an hour’s break and then take breakfast.

13. Lemons

Lemons make the blood vessels flexible and soft. It helps in reducing the blood pressure. It smoothens the blood flow in the vessels by reducing the cholesterol content and lipids in the blood. Lemon juice also contains the antioxidants which neutralizes the effect of free radicals in the body.

Take half a lemon.

Extract the lemon juice and mix it in half a glass of water.

Add one teaspoon of honey in the water.

Drink this mixture on an empty stomach.

Give half an hour’s rest to the stomach after drinking this and take breakfast after half an hour.

12. Oatmeal

Wholegrain oats contain dietary soluble fibers. Consuming oats consistently for 6 to 8 weeks reduces the cholesterol in the blood. Whole grain oats will greatly reduce the high blood pressure risks.

11. Olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil is famous for its anti oxidants and healing properties. Olive oil loses most of its excellent properties when it is heated. So it is better to purchase a bottle of 100 % pure olive oil and using it in your foods and salad toppings etcetera. It will not make you fat neither will it increase your weight. It will just add to your healthy lifestyle.

10. Onion Juice

Onion juice is used to lower blood pressure and for many other purposes. Onion juice contains flavonol which helps in reducing blood pressure. Onion can be used in the diet in many different ways:

Extract onion juice.

Add one teaspoon honey to two tablespoons of onion juice.

Consume this mixture thrice a day.

You can also add onion in your diet.

Add raw onion in your salads and used cooked onions in your curries, soups, rice.

It will also add flavor to the foods and will also clear your body of hypertension.

9. Stress free

Spend a stress free life. Do not get worried on simple things and minimal issues. Leave some things to be decided by nature.

There is no need to be tense about the things that you cannot change.

Hypertension is common in sensitive people. Do not take things to heart and chill out!!

8. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is well known for its healing and powerful anti oxidant properties. Pomegranate reduces the systolic blood pressure to a great extent as soon as you consume the juice.

7. Potatoes

Potatoes contain a high amount of Potassium and Vitamins. Potassium is said to be a major factor in reducing hypertension.

6. Relax with music

Relaxing with music is a technique which is used to lower blood pressure. As music relaxes the mind and body, it helps in reducing the blood pressure as well.

5. Eat Salmon

Salmon contains fatty acids which are necessary for the body. It also helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol and blood pressure. It also contains good proteins which strengthens the muscles of the heart and blood vessels.

4. Eat tomatoes

Tomatoes contain anti oxidants which help in reduction of blood pressure. Tomatoes also contain potassium, calcium and magnesium which ensure smooth flow of the blood.

3. Eat Sprouts

Sprouts contain antioxidant glucoraphanin , which helps in reducing hypertension and many other ailments in the body. Sprouts are very good for the heart as well.

2. Quit smoking

Smoking causes many risks to the human life. It increases blood pressure, risk of heart diseases and risk of strokes etcetera. Smoking causes coagulation of the blood and many blood particles are clogged together. This leads to tension in the blood flow and thus the pressure on the walls of the blood pressure increases. As the blood pressure increases the risk of stroke or heart attack doubles. Nicotine present in the cigarette is very harmful to health. It is better to avoid any bad condition than to face it, so wise people should quit smoking right now!!

Water melon seeds

Water melon seeds contain Curcurbocitrin. This compound widens and relaxes the blood vessels, thus ensuring a smoother blood flow in the vessels. Water melon seeds help to improve the functioning of the kidneys and as a result reduce blood pressure and arthritis. It dilates the blood vessels and keep the tension and high blood pressure away.

Dry water melon seeds in sunlight.

Take equal amounts of dried water melon seeds and poppy seeds.

Put it in a grinder and grind them.

Take this mixture of powders twice a day on an empty stomach.

Taking this mixture of powders as a ritual on a daily basis will give you positive results in a month’s time.


Do take a medicine for hypertension if your doctor suggests. Do not rely only on home remedies.

If you chose to practice a remedy, do it with consistency and do not take breaks to see positive results.


Do not leave your medicine if you are prescribed one for hypertension. Use the home remedies along with the medicine and see how it works for you.

Do not take alter the quantities of the things mentioned and take them at the same quantities as written in the article.


“Home remedies have always been affective and they do no harm. These might not be helpful in very acute cases but they might be an effective remedy if you are a new patient of hypertension.”

“Hypertension is a very dangerous illness. It can be fatal sometimes if proper care is not given. Blood pressure must be controlled by either medication or a proper home remedy that works for you.”

Menopause and Cardiovascular Disease

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Friday, May 1, 2020

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death among women over the age of 50 in both under developed and developed countries. More women than men die each year due to heart disease. According to American Heart Association, 1 in 3 women have some form of cardiovascular disease. And until the age of 45, men have higher percentage of high blood pressure than women but from 45 to 64 years of age the percentage between men and women become similar and after the age of 64 women have higher percentage of high blood pressure than men.
Aging in Women
Not only the men and women’s psychology differs when it comes to aging but their bodies also physiologically respond differently to aging. Heart and blood vessels go through many changes as a part of aging. The stiffness in arteries increases with aging and due this our heart has to work much harder than normal in order to pump blood. With time the heart muscles also becomes weak leading to heart failure. All these changes are common in both men and women but along with all these effects of aging which are dangerous for our heart women have one more factor and that is estrogen depletion which makes all these changes in the heart more evident. As aging starts, different hormones act in a different way for men and women. For example as women reaches the age of fifty, menopause occurs and due to menopause estrogen depletion starts and these changes in the levels of estrogen for women are a major concern. But for men no such thing occurs at this very age.

Menopause is the point in women’s life when menstrual flow stops completely. It is between 45 to 55 years of age. The earlier the menopause, more are its associated risks.
 As menopause approaches the estrogen hormone starts to deplete. This estrogen depletion is thought to be the link between menopause and cardiovascular disease. Estrogen is mainly produced by the ovaries and also by adrenal glands and fat tissues. It has a protective role for the heart as it protects the inner layers of arteries and make them more flexible thus decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis or thickening of arterial walls.
Other factors
Along with estrogen depletion, many other changes also occur in a women’s body after menopause such as rising of blood pressure which in turn increases the load on the heart. Increased levels of low density lipid (LDL) or bad cholesterol while at the same time high density lipid (HDL) or good cholesterol levels remain the same or decreases. Triglycerides also increase. And building up of fatty deposits in arterial walls is major reason behind heart diseases. General aging and decreased ability of heart functioning is one thing but being a women and menopause which brings a complex hormonal changes with it is another danger for heart itself. There are still many other factors such as family history which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease in women, smoking cigarettes, obesity, stress, sedentary lifestyle etc
What we can do?
Actually, there is a lot we can do to prevent the cardiovascular incident in women who have gone through the normal process of menopause. If you follow a healthy lifestyle in younger age it will reward you in menopausal years. Even if you have reached that stage you can still make positive changes today that can prevent your condition from worsening.
HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy:
HRT or Hormone Replacement therapy is a type of therapy in which the hormones which are depleting in the body are replaced externally through medicines. They can be given in the form of patches, creams, gels, tablets, injections or surgically inserted. It is prescribed in post menopausal women to reduce the symptoms of menopause. Most successfully used in the prevention of osteoporosis. It has been widely used for prevention of cardiovascular disease in women too but its effect on this is still debatable and needs further investigation.  Also, it may increase the risk of endometrial cancer or others.
Lifestyle changes:
Prevention is the best medicine for cardiovascular disease. Exercising regularly can really make your heart healthy and fit. Eating right is another factor which we have control over. Avoiding fatty foods, low density cholesterol and increasing fresh fruits and vegetables in our dietary routine can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Smoking leads to heart disease and quitting smoking and never starting can prevent you from this deadly disease. Stress also puts extra load on your heart and by managing stress you can make your heart work less. Getting early diagnosis is also a form of prevention. So, never skip your routine medical checkups. Regularly monitoring blood pressure and taking medicines if needed to control it can prevent cardiovascular events very efficiently. Education is also very important. Knowing about your heart and the alarming signs can help you get the best treatment at best time.

Impact of yoga on heart

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Yoga is a mind-body practice. It is a series of movements and postures that help improve flexibility, strength and coordination of the body and improves brain function by allowing relaxation, focus and positivity. It has a calming effect. It calms body, mind and soul. It also includes relaxation techniques and breathing exercises. Yoga is an ancient Indian practice. Its history goes back to hundreds of years.
How yoga impacts the heart?
Various studies have shown remarkable benefits of yoga. Its impact on the heart is so clear. Yoga has proved to lower cardiovascular events. Stimulation of pancreas through yoga exercises can lower the glucose levels in the blood. By doing yoga every day, stress is very much reduced. A drop in blood pressure is seen in different researches done on the impacts of yoga, and we all know that high blood pressure leads directly to cardiovascular disease. Yoga, because it is a physical exercise too, so it has a major impact on our weight. Weight reduction or maintaining healthy BMI is easily possible through yoga because it teaches patience and self-control. A positive and clear mind also helps you in making choices that are beneficial for your health. Stress causes the release of cortisol and epinephrine, which forces our body to remain in fight or flight situation for a very long time. The increasing levels of cortisol and epinephrine due to chronic stress can cause an increase in lipid profile and increased blood pressure, which is directly linked to heart disease.

Stress is a significant risk factor for heart diseases. It is also seen that in some people, a sudden, shocking or painful event such as the death of a loved one or emotional trauma leading to cardiac arrest. It is a severe acute form of stress, also known as ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’, even occur to people with no history of heart disease ever in their life before, which shows whether acute or chronic stress is a dangerous thing for your heart. It also leads to bad habits that are linked to heart diseases. For example, stress leads to unhealthy habits like overeating which usually includes high fat, high cholesterol diet ( pizza, fast foods, cold drinks, sweets). Stress can lead you to smoke or to drink too much, which in turns damages your heart.
Yoga keeps you moving. And mobility keeps your heart functioning properly. Immobility and a sedentary lifestyle can damage your heart. If you are physically inactive, your chances of developing heart disease increase significantly. It is a risk factor that can be reversed. Some exercise is always better than no exercise. If you cant, do aerobics, or strenuous exercises, yoga is the best option for you. If we change our lifestyle today, we can benefit our heart and decrease the loading on the heart. By practising yoga, you live a healthy and active life.
Yoga has a positive impact on your mood. Good mood keeps your heart healthy. Increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABBA (a chemical in the brain) after yoga sessions are responsible for improving your mood. Seratonin and oxytocin, the ‘feeling happy’ hormone levels also increase by practising yoga.
Stay happy stay healthy!

Five Lifestyle Changes for a Healthy Heart

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You can greatly improve your heart health by these lifestyle changes. They are not difficult to implement. You just have to get out of your comfort zone and work for a healthy future and long life. A healthy heart is a key to life, and these five lifestyle changes are crucial to achieving it

Physical activity:

Getting out of a sedentary lifestyle is very important if you want to improve your heart health. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major lifestyle factors that lead to cardiovascular disease. Physical activity has a positive impact on all the systems of your body and not just the heart. The heart is a muscle, and physical activity strengthens the heart muscles. It improves the heart’s ability to pump blood and efficiency of the heart is greatly improved. Blood flow all around your body increases, and it helps supply oxygen properly to every cell of your body. Exercising can also eliminate other major risk factors for heart disease, such as weight and blood pressure. Exercise keeps your weight within normal limits and prevents blood pressure from getting high. At least 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3 to 5 days per week is recommended for all. If you can’t do more, you can at least try this. Doing this greatly reduces your chance of having a cardiovascular event. Heart attack symptoms in women are different than men, so they should be monitored wisely to avoid any mishap. Physical activity also helps in reduction of chances to rheumatic heart disease like rheumatic fever, coronary collapse, symptoms of heart problems and infectious heart conditions.

Healthy eating:

You have heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. Yes, that’s true. If you eat healthy foods, you are going to be healthy. If you eat unhealthily, you will be unhealthy in your life. Controlling your diet helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases, promoting heart health and living a healthy life. Some healthy foods to eat for a healthy heart are fruits and vegetables because they have more minerals and vitamins, and they have fewer calories. Limit your intake of sweets, bakery products, sodas, saturated fat, Trans fat, sodium and red meat. Instead go for whole grains, salads and homemade foods. Physical activity and healthy eating also help in the reduction of chances to rheumatic heart disease like rheumatic fever, coronary collapse, symptoms of heart problems and infectious heart conditions.

Avoid Smoking:

Smoking is a very unhealthy habit. It affects every organ of the body and not just the heart. Cigarettes are made up of numerous harmful chemicals that affect our heart badly. Smoking can make your arteries sticky, so the fatty material sticks to the time to time, and when an artery is blocked by this fatty material ultimately, it can prove deadly. For example, if this blockage happens to the artery that carries blood to the heart, a heart attack occurs, and if it happens to the artery that carries the blood to the brain, it causes a stroke.  It is a preventable cause of heart diseases. Avoid tobacco smoke if you want to keep your heart healthy and live longer with a disease-free life. The best way is never to start smoking. If you do, stop right away. It doesn’t matter if you have been smoking for years, quitting can still benefit you in many ways and its always better to quit than to continue damaging your body. 

Managing stress:

Stress affects your heart in a negative way. By managing stress levels in your body, you can keep your heart healthy and prevent it from diseases. Make your life simple and adopt coping abilities. Stress can also lead to unhealthy habits too like over-eating, smoking and less physical activity. Stress management techniques are crucial to getting your heart on track.

Routine checkup:

Getting your blood pressure, lipid profile and glucose levels checked regularly is the key to early detection of heart-related issues. These are the risk factors that should be monitored regularly by routine checkup. Even if you have any of these problems, managing them with doctor’s advice and taking your medicines as prescribed can prevent cardiovascular events from happening.

Connection of High Blood Pressure with Anger

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In this article, we are going to find out the connection between anger and high blood pressure. It is commonly observed that people with high blood pressure tend to get angry quickly or when people become angry their blood pressure increases. It is real or just a coincidence! What does medical science say about this? We will have to take a more in-depth look at its physiology. Firstly, we should know what high blood pressure and anger really are in terms of science.
Anger is a fundamental human emotion, and it can not be removed from our personality. It is a very reasonable and healthy emotion. Anger has many benefits for us, and it helps in our survival too. Problems arise when it gets out of control. To protect ourselves with its dangers, we have to learn how to control this emotion. Otherwise, it will affect not only our mental state but also our bodies physically. The anger impacts our personal as well as our work lives. Sometimes it turns out to be destructive for both lives. You should learn to control anger; otherwise, it will control you and leave you with regrets for life. Anger is basically an emotional state that varies from mild to severe.

Blood Pressure
Arteries are the vessels that carry blood throughout our body. Blood pressure is the force of the blood against these arteries. The push that blood exerts on the walls of arteries when it is pumped through the body is measured in terms of blood pressure.
Normal value: 120/80mmhg
At-risk value: 120-139mmhg
High blood pressure: 140/90 mmHg or higher
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a severe condition, and if it remains untreated, it will cause harm to our bodies in many ways and ultimately leads to heart diseases and death.

Physiology behind anger
Anger comes along with physiological and mental effects. How it affects our bodies physically in terms of it’s functioning can be called as physiological responses of anger. It is a compelling emotion and usually unpredictable. It mostly comes suddenly. Anger is generated in a part of our brain, known as the amygdala. This part of the brain warns us about threats and makes us respond to them effectively. It is necessary for our survival. The quick response is to save us, but because it is so quick that we cannot correctly think before we act in anger.
Fight or flight response generated
Stress hormones flood up
Heart rate increases
Breathing becomes faster
Blood pressure increases
Body temperature rises
Mind becomes alert
Muscles tense up

The connection!
Anger is an emotion that occurs in response to something unwanted, irritating, or extremely unacceptable. It is in the form of aggression. When this type of unwanted event occurs, our body goes into a ‘fight or flight situation.’ That means our sympathetic nervous system becomes active. It causes the rush of different chemicals from the brain to our bloodstream. These chemical are known as hormones (esp. stress hormones).  Adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol are some examples. This outpouring of stress hormones causes our heart to beat faster, and our breathing accelerates. As a result, blood pressure increases. This spike is usually temporary and harmless if it occurs once in a while and for the short-term. Because when the stressful event passes, the blood pressure and other changes go back to normal within a small amount of time. The danger increases when there are repeated episodes of anger, or our body is in a chronic state of stress. In this case, anger can prove deadly. With constant high blood pressure and rush of stress hormones in our blood due to anger, our arteries, which are generally elastic and flexible, becomes narrow, less flexible, and hard. Our blood tends to clot quickly, and these changes can lead to a heart attack.
Managing Your Anger
Anger management is critical if you want to keep your blood pressure healthy and prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular events. First of all, you should know on which level your anger lies.
1.       Mild irritation
2.       Facial flushing
3.       Redness of eyes
4.       Yelling and crying
5.       Throwing objects
Anger itself is not bad. How we respond to it makes the difference. If we have command on our emotions, we can live freely. If our emotions overpower us, then we will always be their slaves. How your body deals with certain emotions such as anger also depends upon your genetics. Responding to different chemicals in our body, for example, stress hormones, depends on your genes at some level. But there are personal and environmental factors too. To control your anger, you have to work on your body from inside. Clear your mind from negativity. Try to calm yourself. Think before you respond to any situation. Joining health and fitness programs have a good impact on your overall health, and they help you manage anger and keep your blood pressure within normal limits. Knowing what triggers your anger can help you plan accordingly. Stepping away from those situations or circumstances that makes you lose your temper is also a good option. It doesn’t mean you have to suppress your anger but to express it in a healthy way!


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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

High-intensity interval training also called HIIT is the group of exercises which are more intense jogging, swimming and even sprinting. These types of exercises burn 10 METs per minute. Mets are the markers of calories burnt by any exercise. Most famous Tabata workout is also a type of HIIT. However, this article will discuss the benefits of HIIT on cardiac health and the details of HIIT will be covered in a separate article.

Effects on Coronary vessels:

The blood vessels which are responsible to supply blood to the heart are called the coronary vessels. The heart is the main organ for blood circulation throughout the body. It supplies blood to every crucial organ of the body including the brain. The main source for nutritional exchange for the heart is also the same blood of our body. So, it is highly essential to increase the capacity of coronary vessels to maintain the proper blood supply to the heart and thus to every organ of the body. HIIT training clears the coronary blood vessels from plagues of cholesterol. These types of exercises lead to the increased flexibility of cardiac blood vessels. This increased endurance of coronary vessels leads to the increased blood supply to heart which is essential for the proper working of the heart.

Effects on Oxygenated blood:

Oxygenated blood is rich in oxygen and nutrients which are supplied by arteries. Lungs purify the deoxygenated blood to convert it in more oxygen-rich type. HIIT leads to increased oxygenation of the blood and it also leads to more healthy blood production from the spleen. This highly oxygenated blood leads to more nutrition for heart and thus it increases the endurance of cardiac muscles.

Effects on cardiac muscles:

Our heart is a muscular organ. It is made up of specialized types of muscles called the cardiac muscles which have specific characteristics. HIIT positively affects these types of muscles by increasing endurance and flexibility of these muscles. Increased cardiac endurance and strength lead to decreased chances of cardiac arrest and early fatigability.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Heart disease symptoms depend on what type of heart disease you have.
Symptoms of heart disease in your blood vessels (atherosclerotic disease)
Cardiovascular disease symptoms may be different for men and women. For instance, men are more likely to have chest pain; women are more likely to have other symptoms along with chest discomfort, such as shortness of breath, nausea and extreme fatigue.
Symptoms can include:
  • Chest pain, chest tightness, chest pressure and chest discomfort (angina)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed
  • Pain in the neck, jaw, throat, upper abdomen or back
You might not be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It's important to watch for cardiovascular symptoms and discuss concerns with your doctor. Cardiovascular disease can sometimes be found early with regular evaluations.
Heart disease symptoms caused by abnormal heartbeats (heart arrhythmias)
A heart arrhythmia is an abnormal heartbeat. Your heart may beat too quickly, too slowly or irregularly. Heart arrhythmia symptoms can include:
  • Fluttering in your chest
  • Racing heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting (syncope) or near fainting
Heart disease symptoms caused by heart defects
Serious congenital heart defects — defects you're born with — usually become evident soon after birth. Heart defect symptoms in children could include:
  • Pale gray or blue skin color (cyanosis)
  • Swelling in the legs, abdomen or areas around the eyes
  • In an infant, shortness of breath during feedings, leading to poor weight gain
Less serious congenital heart defects are often not diagnosed until later in childhood or during adulthood. Signs and symptoms of congenital heart defects that usually aren't immediately life-threatening include:
  • Easily getting short of breath during exercise or activity
  • Easily tiring during exercise or activity
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles or feet
Heart disease symptoms caused by weak heart muscle (dilated cardiomyopathy)
In early stages of cardiomyopathy, you may have no symptoms. As the condition worsens, symptoms may include:
  • Breathlessness with exertion or at rest
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heartbeats that feel rapid, pounding or fluttering
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting
Heart disease symptoms caused by heart infections
Endocarditis is an infection that affects the inner membrane that separates the chambers and valves of the heart (endocardium). Heart infection symptoms can include:
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Swelling in your legs or abdomen
  • Changes in your heart rhythm
  • Dry or persistent cough
  • Skin rashes or unusual spots
Heart disease symptoms caused by valvular heart disease
The heart has four valves — the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves — that open and close to direct blood flow through your heart. Valves may be damaged by a variety of conditions leading to narrowing (stenosis), leaking (regurgitation or insufficiency) or improper closing (prolapse).
Depending on which valve isn't working properly, valvular heart disease symptoms generally include:
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting (syncope)
When to see a doctor
Seek emergency medical care if you have these heart disease symptoms:
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting
Heart disease is easier to treat when detected early, so talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding your heart health. If you're concerned about developing heart disease, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce your heart disease risk. This is especially important if you have a family history of heart disease.
If you think you may have heart disease, based on new signs or symptoms you're having, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Risk factors
Risk factors for developing heart disease include:
  • Age. Aging increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and weakened or thickened heart muscle.
  • Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. However, women's risk increases after menopause.
  • Family history. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).
  • Smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels, and carbon monoxide can damage their inner lining, making them more susceptible to atherosclerosis. Heart attacks are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers.
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy for cancer. Some chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Poor diet. A diet that's high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.
  • High blood pressure. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can result in hardening and thickening of your arteries, narrowing the vessels through which blood flows.
  • High blood cholesterol levels. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease. Both conditions share similar risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure.
  • Obesity. Excess weight typically worsens other risk factors.
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of exercise also is associated with many forms of heart disease and some of its other risk factors, as well.
  • Stress. Unrelieved stress may damage your arteries and worsen other risk factors for heart disease.
  • Poor hygiene. Not regularly washing your hands and not establishing other habits that can help prevent viral or bacterial infections can put you at risk of heart infections, especially if you already have an underlying heart condition. Poor dental health also may contribute to heart disease.
Complications of heart disease include:
  • Heart failure. One of the most common complications of heart disease, heart failure occurs when your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. Heart failure can result from many forms of heart disease, including heart defects, cardiovascular disease, valvular heart disease, heart infections or cardiomyopathy.
  • Heart attack. A blood clot blocking the blood flow through a blood vessel that feeds the heart causes a heart attack, possibly damaging or destroying a part of the heart muscle. Atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack.
  • Stroke. The risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease also can lead to an ischemic stroke, which happens when the arteries to your brain are narrowed or blocked so that too little blood reaches your brain. A stroke is a medical emergency — brain tissue begins to die within just a few minutes of a stroke.
  • Aneurysm. A serious complication that can occur anywhere in your body, an aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of your artery. If an aneurysm bursts, you may face life-threatening internal bleeding.
  • Peripheral artery disease. Atherosclerosis also can lead to peripheral artery disease. When you develop peripheral artery disease, your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (claudication).
  • Sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is the sudden, unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness, often caused by an arrhythmia. Sudden cardiac arrest is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, it is fatal, resulting in sudden cardiac death.
The tests you'll need to diagnose your heart disease depend on what condition your doctor thinks you might have. No matter what type of heart disease you have, your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and ask about your personal and family medical history before doing any tests. Besides blood tests and a chest X-ray, tests to diagnose heart disease can include:
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). An ECG records these electrical signals and can help your doctor detect irregularities in your heart's rhythm and structure. You may have an ECG while you're at rest or while exercising (stress electrocardiogram).
  • Holter monitoring. A Holter monitor is a portable device you wear to record a continuous ECG, usually for 24 to 72 hours. Holter monitoring is used to detect heart rhythm irregularities that aren't found during a regular ECG exam.
  • Echocardiogram. This noninvasive exam, which includes an ultrasound of your chest, shows detailed images of your heart's structure and function.
  • Stress test. This type of test involves raising your heart rate with exercise or medicine while performing heart tests and imaging to check how your heart responds.
  • Cardiac catheterization. In this test, a short tube (sheath) is inserted into a vein or artery in your leg (groin) or arm. A hollow, flexible and longer tube (guide catheter) is then inserted into the sheath. Aided by X-ray images on a monitor, your doctor threads the guide catheter through that artery until it reaches your heart.
The pressures in your heart chambers can be measured, and dye can be injected. The dye can be seen on an X-ray, which helps your doctor see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels and valves to check for abnormalities.
  • Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan. This test is often used to check for heart problems. In a cardiac CT scan, you lie on a table inside a doughnut-shaped machine. An X-ray tube inside the machine rotates around your body and collects images of your heart and chest.
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For this test, you lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine that produces a magnetic field. The magnetic field produces pictures to help your doctor evaluate your heart.
Heart disease treatments vary by condition. For instance, if you have a heart infection, you'll likely be given antibiotics. In general, treatment for heart disease usually includes:
  • Lifestyle changes. These include eating a low-fat and low-sodium diet, getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.
  • Medications. If lifestyle changes alone aren't enough, your doctor may prescribe medications to control your heart disease. The type of medication will depend on the type of heart disease.
  • Medical procedures or surgery. If medications aren't enough, it's possible your doctor will recommend specific procedures or surgery. The type of procedure will depend on the type of heart disease and the extent of the damage to your heart.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Heart disease can be improved — or even prevented — by making certain lifestyle changes. The following changes can help anyone who wants to improve heart health:
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially atherosclerosis. Quitting is the best way to reduce your risk of heart disease and its complications.
  • Control your blood pressure. Ask your doctor for a blood pressure measurement at least every two years. He or she may recommend more frequent measurements if your blood pressure is higher than normal or you have a history of heart disease. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, as measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
  • Check your cholesterol. Ask your doctor for a baseline cholesterol test when you're in your 20s and then at least every five years. You may need to start testing earlier if high cholesterol is in your family. If your test results aren't within desirable ranges, your doctor may recommend more frequent measurements.
Most people should aim for an LDL level below 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). If you have other risk factors for heart disease, you should aim for an LDL below 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L). If you're at very high risk of heart disease — if you've already had a heart attack or have diabetes, for example — aim for an even lower LDL level — below 70 mg/dL (1.8 mmol/L).
  • Keep diabetes under control. If you have diabetes, tight blood sugar control can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Move. Exercise helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure — all risk factors for heart disease. If you have a heart arrhythmia or heart defect, there may be some restrictions on the activities you can do, so talk to your doctor.
With your doctor's OK, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
  • Eat healthy foods. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugar — can help you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease. A BMI of less than 25 and a waist circumference of 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) or less is the goal for preventing and treating heart disease.
  • Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice techniques for managing stress, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
  • Deal with depression. Being depressed can increase your risk of heart disease significantly. Talk to your doctor if you feel hopeless or uninterested in your life.
  • Practice good hygiene. Stay away from people with infectious diseases such as colds, get vaccinated against the flu, regularly wash your hands, and brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep yourself well.
Also, get regular medical checkups. Early detection and treatment can set the stage for a lifetime of better heart health.
Coping and support
You may feel frustrated, upset or overwhelmed upon learning you or your loved one has heart disease. Fortunately, there are ways to help cope with heart disease or improve your condition. These include:
  • Cardiac rehabilitation. For people who have cardiovascular disease that's caused a heart attack or has required surgery to correct, cardiac rehabilitation is often recommended as a way to improve treatment and speed recovery. Cardiac rehabilitation involves levels of monitored exercise, nutritional counseling, emotional support, and support and education about lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of heart problems.
  • Support groups. Turning to friends and family for support is essential, but if you need more help, talk to your doctor about joining a support group. You may find that talking about your concerns with others with similar difficulties can help.
  • Continued medical checkups. If you have a recurring or chronic heart condition, regularly check in with your doctor to make sure you're properly managing your heart condition.
Preparing for your appointment
Some types of heart disease will be discovered without an appointment — for example, if a child is born with a serious heart defect, it will be detected soon after birth. In other cases, your heart disease may be diagnosed in an emergency situation, such as a heart attack.
If you think you have heart disease or are worried about your heart disease risk because of your family history, see your family doctor. You may be referred to a heart specialist (cardiologist).
Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.
What you can do
  • Be aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet. You may need to fast before a cholesterol test, for example.
  • Write down symptoms you're experiencing, including any that seem unrelated to heart disease.
  • Write down key personal information — including a family history of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure or diabetes — and major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
  • Take someone along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you can help you remember information you're given.
  • Be prepared to discuss your diet and your smoking and exercise habits. If you don't already follow a diet or exercise routine, talk to your doctor about getting started.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For heart disease, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What tests will I need?
  • What's the best treatment?
  • What foods should I eat or avoid?
  • What's an appropriate level of physical activity?
  • How often should I be screened for heart disease? For example, how often do I need a cholesterol test?
  • What are alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How do I manage them together?
  • Are there restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there brochures or other materials that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you questions, such as:
  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or other serious illness?
What you can do in the meantime

It's never too early to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating healthy foods and becoming more physically active. These are primary lines of defense against heart disease and its complications.

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