Hide And Seek: The Heart Health Edition

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This is a contributed post and therefore does not necessarily represent the views and opinions if this blog or its author.

 

When it comes to our health, few things are more pressing than our hearts. We rely on these romanticized organs to keep our bodies ticking over the way they should. Hence, we look after them as much as we can. And, most of us do that by steering clear of some well-known red flags, including –

  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking

And, the list goes on. These are things we all know to look out for. And, for the most part, we’re good at getting on top here. We certainly keep our hearts in mind when embarking on diets and exercise in later life.

But, what if we were to tell you that many of the risk factors aren’t as apparent as you might think? As with any health condition, there are less common causes which don’t get the attention they deserve. Hence why seemingly ‘healthy’ people fall foul to severe issues at times. Of course, good heart health is critical, and you should visit a heart specialist if you’re in any doubt right now. But even if all seems well at the moment, read on to find out the risk factors you might want to consider down the line.

How are your teeth looking?

Yes, you did read that right. Various studies over the years show some correlation between heart and dental health. While exact links are difficult to determine, a recent survey of more than a million people revealed a definite relationship. For the most part, this link is thought to be from viruses such as gingivitis entering the bloodstream. Either way, it’s past time you started brushing the prerequisite two minutes, at least twice a day.

What a large family you have

For a large majority of us, heart health doesn’t get much of a look-in while we’re attempting to conceive. But, a study published in Circulation found that women who had four or more pregnancies were 30-50% more likely to develop a condition called A-fib. This causes an irregular heartbeat and increases the risk of things like strokes. While one study might not be enough to set this in stone, spare a thought for your heart next time things get heated in the bedroom.

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Have you eaten breakfast this morning?

You probably already know that eating breakfast brings all manner of health benefits. It sets you up with energy and even helps to speed metabolism. But, the American Heart Association also believes it can help your heart. Dr. Bauman states that “When you skip this important meal, your risk of diabetes, elevated cholesterol, weight gain, and obesity all increase.” Given each of these can lead to heart disease, skipping a morning meal takes on a whole new dimension. Of course, what you eat also comes into play here. Breakfast will only increase your risks if you eat a fry-up every day. But, healthy options such as fruit and cereal could help your heart stay healthy for a long time to come.