Three Surprising Ways to Forecast and Thwart a Heart Attack
Posted Nov 29 2009 10:00pm
There are a variety of intricate medical tests your doctor can prescribe to determine your heart health. However, did you know that there are three easy ways to predict and even prevent heart attacks? They are relatively simple and there should be no reason why they cannot be followed by you with ease. One can be accomplished with your eyes closed while another requires taking the temperature of a finger. A simple blood test prescribed by your doctor can also help.
Vitamin D Levels
Low levels of vitamin D can lead to inflammation of your arteries as well as an increase of blood pressure, two common factors that contribute to heart attack risk. Over 75% of adults do not have enough vitamin D stores in the body. With a simple blood test, checking your vitamin D levels is easy. The test can let you know whether you have a vitamin D deficiency. Optimal levels of vitamin D for adults are around 40 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). However, some doctors believe that 50 to 60 ng/mL is best.
If your blood test reveals a vitamin D deficiency, there are several ways to boost your levels. Soaking up some sunshine without applying sunblock can help. Consuming vitamin D fortified food and drink like salmon and orange juice is important. Taking vitamin D supplements is also an option.
If you feel tired and drowsy during the middle of the day, you are compromising your heart health and increasing your risk of a heart attack. Sleep deprivation discharges stress hormones which end up causing inflammation and constriction of the arteries. Each extra hour you can add to your evening snooze reduces your risk of calcification of heart arteries by one-third. If you have insomnia, try changing your bedtime routine to include light reading, no television or even a hot bath. When your significant other complains that you snore, you might want to determine the cause as the solution will help you reduce your heart attack risk.
Taking your Finger Temperature
The blood vessels in your body are covered by a fine layer of cells called the endothelium. These cells manufacture chemicals which affect the function of the blood vessels from dilation to clotting to constriction. Years before you show symptoms of heart attack risk or disease, these endothelium cells will exhibit negative changes that can easily be detected through a temperature test.
Your index finger has these endothelium cells and is quite easy to test. A blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm while the index finger of the same arm is rigged with a temperature detecting device. As the doctor inflates the cuff, blood flow to the fingers is reduced and temperature will drop. After several minutes, the blood pressure cuff is released. The faster your index finger returns to a normal temperature, the healthier you are. This test can even be conducted while you are on medications. It is a great gauge to determine how well the medications you take to lower heart attack risk works too.
If your family has a genetic history of heart disease or you are simply concerned about heart health, these surprising tests to help predict and prevent heart attacks can work for you. The good news is they are easy to do and are fairly accurate at giving you a great picture about your heart health.