Heart Health

Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from Heart Disease1.

High Blood Pressure

Heart disease includes a lot of different conditions that range in severity and treatment. It is important for your heart to function properly because it pumps blood to all our organs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the blood vessels, and the strength with which it does this is called blood pressure. Having high blood pressure means that your heart is pumping with too much force which over time can lead to damaged arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

High blood pressure is a treatable condition; tablets may be taken every day to reduce blood pressure. The tablet and dose will vary depending on each individual. It may be that you need more than one tablet to control your blood pressure.

Irregular Heart Beat

There are various heart conditions, some of which can occur when your heart doesn’t beat regularly (arrhythmia/atrial fibrillation), causing turbulent blood flow and damage to the arteries, or when blood stops flowing to part of your heart (heart attack). There are important parts of your heart that need to function properly in order to prevent more serious conditions such as heart failure.

Medications play a role in helping the heart to beat regularly again, so as to stop the turbulent blood flow. Blood thinners may also be required to reduce the risk of the blood clotting.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol plays a role in heart health. Cholesterol is a type of fat that circulates in the blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, however having too high cholesterol can lead to deposits on your artery walls and over time cause blockages. These clots cause heart attacks, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), depending on where the clot occurs.

A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent cholesterol build up. This includes eating a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, and fibre, whilst limiting the amount of fat, sugar, alcohol and processed foods you eat. Exercise and drinking plenty of water also help.

Cholesterol medications work to lower your cholesterol, prevent your body making more cholesterol and by stabilising the cholesterol that has already been deposited so that it doesn’t chip off and cause a blockage. Our liver produces cholesterol so often we need to take cholesterol-lowering medication as well as maintaining a healthy diet.

Supplements

Some natural supplements can help with heart health. Fish oil supplements are recommended for people at increased risk of heart disease who do not eat oily fish. Examples of people who may be at increased risk include those who have previously had a heart attack, have high blood pressure, smoke or are overweight.

If you are worried about your heart health consult your doctor or healthcare professional. The clinical team at Remadee will also be able to help you with any questions about your medication and help with the right choice of supplements for yourself.

The information contained on this site is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice or advice in relation to the health or care of any person. The information is generalised and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional clinical advice. If you have any questions relating to the information you should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. The information is derived from a number of sources. Remadee has endeavoured to ensure that all information is from reliable and reputable sources.

References

Heart Foundation website: www.heartfoundation.org.nz

NZ Primary Care Handbook 2012

MENU