It's Heart Month, and no, we don't mean Valentine's day. February 14th may indeed bring with it flowers, cards and gifts for your loved ones, but this month is also an opportunity to reflect on the way you treat your heart, and to educate yourself on the ways you can improve your lifestyle to care for the amazing and precious organ that keeps us alive. American Heart Month are suggesting you wear red on Feburary 5th, whilst the British Heart Foundation are focussing on the small changes you can make to improve heart health and prevent heart disease.
There are many terms thrown around when discussing heart disease and heart conditions, so what do they all mean? Heart disease is sometimes used as another term for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This is the most prevalent of heart problems, causing 1 in every 7 deaths each year in the USA. There are several conditions that are all considered part of CVD, and most of them can be avoided or delayed by good lifestyle choices. However, heart disease is also used as an umbrella term for all problems people can develop with their heart. This includes hereditary and unavoidable issues like faulty valves, irregular heartbeats and a weak heart muscle. For heart month this year, however, both the UK and USA are focussing on the more common CVD conditions that are highly affected by your lifestyle and diet. CVD is essentially a restriction of the blood flow to and from the heart and around the body. This can be caused by a blood clot, but is usually caused by a build up of fatty deposits in your arteries and around the heart, causing the space for blood to flow through to become thinner, which in turn causes excess strain on the heart. If blocked off completely, you may experience a heart attack, where the heart stops pumping blood around the body. Blockages and build up of fat can happen in different places in the body, causing differerent CVD conditions:
If you suspect any issues with your heart, or think you may be unwell, put your symptoms into the Isabel symptom checker:
Jason is the CEO and Co-founder of Isabel. Prior to co-founding Isabel, Jason spent 12 years working in finance and investment banking across Europe. His daughter, Isabel, fell seriously ill following a misdiagnosis in 1999 and this experience inspired Jason to abandon his city career and create Isabel Healthcare Ltd.