Arteriosclerosis is commonly referred to as vascular calcification. It is characterized by deposits on the inner walls of the vessel, which lead to the narrowing of the veins and finally to their blockage. When arteriosclerosis affects the blood vessels on the heart, the coronary arteries, it is called coronary heart disease (CHD). This condition is by far the most common cause of a heart attack. Even before cancer, cardiovascular diseases in Germany most often lead to premature death.
Chances of success at 80%
In addition to a genetic predisposition and increasing age, it is above all an unhealthy lifestyle, the reasons for the risk factors and causes of diseased and ultimately clogged vessels. It is never too early, but never too late - especially if an intervention has already been made! - to make your own habits healthier. Unfortunately, this is not usually as easy as it speaks or writes. But only those who try it can succeed. Good luck!
Another motivating note in advance: By changing your lifestyle and your eating habits and exercise habits, you can significantly restrict the development and the progress of a CHD. Studies show that a risk reduction of 80% is possible. Even if you have already received the CHD diagnosis, this can still work with the reversal.
Our 12 tips
- 1. Are you running toward a heart attack? Then turn back! A positive effect is scientifically proven for a number of individual measures against the known risk factors.
- Take care to lower elevated blood pressure.10 tips for high blood pressure
- Stop smoking.
- Pay attention to lowering elevated blood lipid levels.10 tips against high blood lipid levels
- Take care to lower elevated blood glucose levels. If you already have diabetes, you should definitely take care of a consistent and successful treatment.10 Tips for Diabetes Mellitus
- Nourish yourself balanced and varied, low in sugar and fat as well as rich in vitality and fiber. Get more access to fresh fruit and vegetables and less to meat and sausage products, white flour products and ready meals. Drink plenty of still water. As particularly favorable for the vascular health is the Mediterranean diet.
- Reduce heavy overweight. Not only do you do something good for your joints, but also for your vessels.10 tips to lose weight
- Take every opportunity for more exercise in everyday life, such as climbing stairs, walking and cycling. Practice targeted physical training regularly to promote endurance, strength and balance. The time period should be at least 30 minutes - if possible daily, but at least three times a week.
- Drink only a little alcohol. It should not be more than a glass of beer or wine a day.
- Start by reducing stress and avoiding it. Many of the risk factors just mentioned, such as smoking, alcohol and nutritional deficiencies, are often an expression of unhealthy "stress management". In addition, the physical and mental stress levels in the long run themselves act as a risk factor.
- 2. Do not take Helmut Schmidt as your role model, but Brad Pitt. At least when it comes to smoking. To stop this is the single most important and effective measure to reverse on the way to a heart attack.
Nicotine, a strong poison for the blood vessels, promotes atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Halving your risk of heart attack by stopping smoking!
The former Chancellor, who is now dead, smoked like a chimney until the end of his life. But he also had a severe heart attack and numerous bypass surgery behind him. Not everyone puts off so well, better said: virtually no one else. Brad Pitt's attitude is far more worthy of imitation. He stopped smoking. For the sake of his children. And in the end, even without any aids, after the experiment with hypnosis did not really work for him.
Incidentally, the nicotine also works at short notice. That's why every cigarette, even one a day, is one too many.
- 3. Stop the air more often! Sit or stand comfortably and upright and inhale slowly into the abdomen. It is best to put your hand on your stomach.When she raises, breathe in properly. Then the air stops and finally exhales very slowly. Then repeat the exercise three or four times. Start with 5 seconds per step and increase the duration to 15 seconds.
By deliberately breathing in and out for several minutes, you create a relaxed situation - or at least the impression of it. This stimulates your brain to release relaxation-promoting messengers. This tip is designed to help you reduce stress. The exercise is simple and applicable almost everywhere. It is also suitable as an introduction to learning relaxation techniques. Their efficacy has been proven in a number of physical conditions, including high blood pressure, circulatory disorders in the limbs (PAOD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).
- 4. Eat more blueberries. Its vascular protective effect has now been scientifically proven. Blueberries, also called blueberries, can counteract the formation of plaque, which leads to the narrowing deposits on the inner walls of the vessel. This is probably due in addition to numerous vitamins, minerals and trace elements, the flavonoids. These plant dyes exert a number of positive effects in the human body. And of course they are not only contained in the blueberry, but also in blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
By the way: When it comes to natural remedies for arterial cleansing, garlic is of course top of the list. Also resveratrol, the ingredient of red wine. More about Resveratrol You will find here.
Highly recommended is the additional intake herbal active ingredients in the form of dietary supplements.
- 5. Change to dark chocolate if you are a sweet tooth. Some studies have filtered out statistical benefits for dark chocolate. However, the composition, amount and frequency of any "vascular protective" chocolate consumption are unclear. It is very clear, however, that too much sweets make you fat and damage the vessels. Therefore, there is no medical recommendation for it.
- 6. Thoroughly brush your teeth (at least) twice a day. This protects against the development of arteriosclerosis. Sounds funny at first, but is scientifically proven. Anyone who adheres to this frequency, which is also recommendable from the point of view of the teeth, has a significantly lower risk of contracting the blood vessels compared to toothbrush muffles. The background: Inflammation factors are involved in the damage to the inner walls of the vessel. And an unkempt oral cavity often develops into an inflammatory reservoir, recognizable by the bleeding gums. Important: clean properly and also clean the interdental spaces!
- 7. Measure your waist circumference. For women, the upper limit is 80 cm, for men 94 cm. Increased circumference values are an indication of dangerous fat distribution in the body. For values over 88 cm (women) or 102 cm (men), the risk u.a. significantly increased for vascular diseases and their sequelae. The validity of this parameter is even higher than that of the notorious Body Mass Index (BMI). If you can reduce your increased waist circumference by as much as an inch, you are already lowering your cardiovascular risk.How do I measure my waist circumference?
- 8. Move at least 30 minutes every day and become physically active several times a week - with fun and regularity. Endurance sports are at the top of the recommendation list as they do not expose the body to sudden peak loads. So, for example Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. In addition, workouts with stretching, balance and strength exercises are important, whether in the gym, in the break or at home.
Begin with 5 minutes of daily exercise and gradually increase your workload. It is important that you get used to it and integrate the training, as short as it may be, into your everyday life. Incidentally, this applies to all ages. But do not overdo it and make sure that it does not cause injury or pain.Why is the movement so important to vascular protection?
- 9. Enjoy the sun more often. Vitamin D is also likely to play an important role in our vascular health. The main source of supply is sunlight, which allows the formation of this important "vitamin hormone" in the skin. Some experts assume that there is a widespread vitamin D deficiency in Germany. When in doubt, determine your vitamin D status. Maybe a dietary supplement may be useful here.More information about Vitamin D can be found here.
- 10. Ask your doctor for strophanthin. Previously, this drug was prescribed frequently, then it came out of fashion. Maybe wrong. In any case, there are advocates of this well-tried remedy, which continue to praise its positive effect in patients with heart attacks or angina pectoris, for the prevention of heart attack and heart failure. Strophantin lowers blood pressure and is said to have a soothing and often mood-enhancing effect.
- 11. Have the blood coagulation value (Quick value, INR) checked regularly by your family doctorif you have been prescribed a blood thinning medication. In this case, the intake according to instructions is particularly recommended because an uncontrolled interruption of treatment could result in a new vascular occlusion.
- 12. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor reliably. At least you should do that as long as you can not manage your risk factors yourself. The derailed values of high blood pressure, increased blood lipids and diabetes can be normalized relatively well with medication. This reduces three major risk factors for coronary heart disease and their sequelae. With sufficiently high-dose statins (cholesterol-lowering), arteriosclerosis can even regress. Above all, these patients benefit from patients who have already had a heart attack.
But there are two main drawbacks to consider: Firstly, there is also the possibility of unwanted side effects when taking any medication. Second, the medications themselves do not mean healing of the underlying causes, such as a wrong diet and too little exercise. Changing habits brings benefits not just to your vessels but to your overall quality of life.
The long-term goal should always be: learning, exercising and practicing health behavior, reducing risk factors and then reducing or eliminating the medication in consultation with the doctor.
One more tip: We had already mentioned the importance of vital substances for the heart. If you have doubts as to whether you will be able to get adequate intake from your normal diet (whatever your goal should be) then we recommend a special one for your protectionHealth juicewhose effect has been scientifically proven. One spoon per day covers all important nutrients, Vitamins and phytochemicals, so a bottle lasts for about 50 days.
Author: Dr. Hubertus Glaser