According to Health Canada, cardiovascular disease (disease of the heart and its blood vessels) is the leading cause of death in Canada. The heart supplies us with oxygen and pumps blood to all the parts of our bodies. So it is very important to keep it healthy.
Cardiovasculaire disease is the narrowing or blockage of the arteries and vessels that supply oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the heart. When the blood flow to the heart is blocked, the heart lacks oxygen, which results in a heart attack.
If you experience any of the symptoms described below, call Info-Santé, dial 911 or call the emergency room closest to your location and make yourself comfortable until help arrives:
Let’s begin by looking at the risk factors that can make you susceptible to cardiovascular disease:
It is possible to reduce risk factors by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Below are a few suggestions from the publication Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, published by Health Canada, to help you improve your diet.
Being active is essential to maintaining or achieving a healthy weight and strengthening your heart. Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Living can provide you with tips about how to increase your physical activity.
It can be found at www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/paguide/index.html
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your heart. There are many smoking cessation products to help you succeed. Your pharmacist can provide you with the information and advise you regarding the best products for you.
When your blood pressure is high (hypertension), your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which puts a strain on it and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
These values can vary according to the type of patient, so your health care professional will be able to tell you what your ideal blood pressure should be. Treatment is sometimes necessary to maintain optimal blood pressure. Your doctor can prescribe the appropriate treatment for you and your pharmacist can follow up with you on a regular basis.
Cholesterol and other blood fats such as triglycerides are necessary to help your body function properly. A healthy lifestyle can help achieve appropriate levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Medication can also be prescribed when necessary.
Stress is a normal part of daily life, but if left unmanaged, it can lead to physical problems. It can lead to coronary heart disease, hypertension, chest pain or even irregular heartbeat. Recognizing when you are experiencing stress and managing it can greatly improve your quality of life.
Stroke (Balise H2)
Strokes are also caused by problems in blood flow to the brain and are considered a form of cardiovascular disease.
If you experience any of the symptoms described below, call Info-Santé or dial 911:
The Heart and Stroke Foundation can provide you with more information about cardiovascular disease and stroke.
When your heart doesn’t pump nutrient-rich blood to the various parts of the body effectively, you can suffer from heart failure. It occurs when the heart is not strong enough to circulate blood, especially during physical activity and stressful periods.
Warning signs of HF
You should contact your doctor or health care professional if you experience any of these symptoms:
Your doctor can recommend medication, surgery or a lifestyle change such as improving your diet and exercising. These recommendations can also include taking at least 1g of omega-3 each day.
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation
After your doctor has made a diagnosis, your pharmacist can help you monitor and maintain your target blood pressure and cholesterol levels. He can also advise you about how to achieve a more healthy lifestyle.
To download the PDF brochure, click here.