Guest Post

7 Ways to keep your heart healthy- Guest post by Dr. Rahat from Drmommyspeaks.com!

7 ways to keep heart healthy!
7 ways to keep your heart healthy!

The Outpatient department at the hospital was bustling with patients as usual. Pregnant women were being steered in wheelchairs for examinations, kids were waiting patiently on the benches with a terrified look on their faces. I was attending patients in the cabin of medicine OPD when all of a sudden a nurse came rushing into my cabin. Gasping for air, she had barely uttered the words, 

 “25yrs old male in the emergency room with AMI” acute myocardial infarction 

I left the clinic and ran with her. Usually, there are separate doctors in the emergency department and in the clinic but that wasn’t a usual day. My colleague was getting married and we had to cover for him. So myself and another resident doctor were posted in turns to do double duty. Births, deaths and marriages are the only times when a doctor gets a leave. 

My patient was a young male who was accompanied by his parents and his girlfriend who had clearly never visited a hospital. He was in pain. 25 years was a very young age to be having a heart attack. The thing with heart attacks is, 

“Time is muscle” 

In a patient with acute myocardial infarction, the door-to-needle time should be within 30 minutes. It means the time required for the patient to be prepped and taken into the operation theatre for a procedure called thrombolysis should be within 30 mins.  

Obviously this number varies depending upon the various facilities and procedures available at different hospitals. The more delay in starting the procedure of thrombolysis, the more heart muscle will be lost. Once heart muscle fibers die, they cannot be revived in any way. 

Another essential procedure one might come across when dealing with a patient of heart attack is PCI percutaneous coronary intervention where a balloon/ stent is inserted into the vessel of the heart to break or dissolve the plaque. When this is the choice of procedure, then the door-to-balloon time should be aimed within 90 mins, hence the rush! 

The boy underwent a PCI and was stable. The management of a patient with a heart attack doesn’t end there. It involves a detailed analysis of the risk factors that caused the loss of blood supply in the heart. 

Simply put, a heart attack is a condition where the blood supply to the wall of the heart is abolished, because of which the heart fails to pump and give oxygenated blood to the entire body. The bloody supply can be blocked by a plaque made of fat, or a blood clot, or it could be due to a temporary spasm of the blood vessel that led to the narrowing of its lumen. 

The young boy had a lot of risk factors like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, sedentary lifestyle (he used to work at a call center), lack of physical activity. Etc. A week later the boy was discharged with a 2d- ECHO report (ultrasound of the heart, the tells about the heart’s functioning capacity) that said his heart was functioning only up to 25%. He had suffered a major heart attack due to a block in two out of three of his coronary blood vessels that supply the heart.  

Prognostically speaking what this meant for him was, he would have to limit his water intake to about one and a half liters a day, avoid heavy weight lifting, limited activities with only those permitted that do not cause a strain on his weak heart. For a 25-year-old this advice meant a complete change in his lifestyle. In his own words “I cannot enjoy my life anymore” 

7 ways to keep your heart healthy!

7 ways to keep your heart healthy
7 ways to keep your heart healthy

Here are 7 ways in which you can make your heart healthy and add 10 years to your life span. 

  1. Exercise 
  1. Give up smoking completely 
  1. Maintain a healthy weight 
  1. Control your blood sugar 
  1. Eat a diet that strengthens your heart 
  1. Monitor your blood pressure 
  1. Watch your cholesterol 
  1. Exercise 

I know it’s the most cliché advice that a physician can give but did you know that all you need to do is a clock in 20 mins of brisk walking a day or 150 mins of moderate-intensity exercise (if you prefer the gym) to ensure a healthy heart. Physical activity releases hormones that help in increasing the pumping power of your heart. 

  1. Give up smoking completely 

Cigarettes other than having carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), also have a direct toxic effect on the blood supply to the heart which over a period of time, completely abolished the blood supply to the heart. So quit smoking=nj. The best practices to quit are weaned off slowly like any other addiction. If you go cold turkey, there are chances the residual nicotine in your body will cause a rebound urge to smoke and then it will be difficult to quit.  

  1. Maintain a healthy weight 

A simple way to know the ideal weight for your height that is used in clinical practice is the BMI (body mass index). It uses measurements like height and weight to determine the ideal weight for a person. Try to keep a BMI target of less than 25 to ensure a healthy heart. 

Here’s how you can calculate the BMI for yourself. 

Body mass index formula
Body mass index formula
WHO classification
WHO classification
  1. Control your blood sugar 

The reason why sugar is bad for your health is it’s toxic. The cells of the body find it difficult to function with excess glucose in the body. They ultimately undergo atrophy or apoptosis (programmed cell death). 

Get your blood sugars monitored every 6 months, and try to aim for a fasting blood sugar level under 100mg/dL.  

Try to avoid white sugar, cakes, confectioneries, bakery items made from all-purpose flour- maida, etc. Switch to natural sugars like Jaggery, Stevia to maintain your blood sugar levels.  

  1. Eat a diet that strengthens your heart 
  • A diet that strengthens the heart is one that contains a lot of antioxidants. Take your pick. Fresh fruits, raw vegetables like salads, fish, whole grains, unpolished rice are all good sources of anti-oxidants. 
  • Keep your salt intake to 5 – 6 g/dL. It’s difficult to calculate but not taking extra salt during meals excluding the amount used for making foods, suffices.  
  • Avoid fried food that is rich in saturated fats. They raise your cholesterol levels that ultimately gets lodged in the blood vessels of the heart and blocks them. 
  • Avoid added sugars. Sugar and added sugars are different.  
Source: Kerry health and nutrition institute

6. Monitor your blood pressure 

  • Get your blood pressure monitored at every monthly health checkup after 25yrs.  
  • Try to keep the values below 120/80 mmHg 
  • Avoid stress, I know it’s easier said than done. But a strong reason why you need to look into the causes of stress in your life is- stress is a major factor responsible for the development of hypertension. 
  1. Watch your cholesterol 

A blood cholesterol level less than 200mg/dL is ideal. Certain lifestyle changes can help in keeping your cholesterol blood levels in check. 

  • Changing the type of cooking oil every three months.  
  • Avoid food items like Margarine, Butter, Cream Cheese, Ice-cream, egg yolks and red meat. 

A healthy heart will help you live a longer life. If you are still finding it difficult to make the switch and rethink your lifestyle pattern, then imagine the 25-year-old boy who couldn’t enjoy his life anymore. Life with restrictions or limitations of any form seems like a burden. It’s time you identify your body’s cues and act accordingly. 

Author bio  

Dr. Rahat Sayyad is a Physician, Author, Host of Doctor Mommy Speaks Podcast (ranked 11th in the top parenting podcasts category) and a mom of two. She believes Parenting is half part instinct + half part “i don’t know what the hell i am doing”.  

She is a video content creator For the Graphy app by Unacademy where has published her video book/ course. She intends to dispel myths and misconceptions around parenting through well-researched articles, Expert interviews on her  podcast (Gynecologist, Paediatricians, Nutritional therapists, psychologist, Parenting coaches, etc) and easy to understand resources that will aid you in raising better humans. 

Her expertise lies in preventive approach to diseases, though she has extensive experience in critical care and emergency medicine. It has helped her understand and propagate the concept of disease prevention via simple lifestyle changes among the general masses.  

You can find more such insightful posts on her website  

https://doctormommyspeaks.com

Find Dr. Rahat’s video book- “ The Secret Society Called Parenting” on the graphy app below. 

https://share.graphyapp.co/GfXh

Tune into Doctor Mommy Speaks Parenting Podcast  

http://bit.ly/38erI6x

You can connect with Dr. Rahat on social media. 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/doctormommyspeaks  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doctormommyspeaks/  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrMommySpeaks  

If you are interested in writing a guest post on my blog, please mail me your details at ritu.prapanna@gmail.com or DM me on instagram @surbhiprapanna.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘#BlogaberryDazzle’ hosted by Cindy and Noor Anand Chawla, and happily SPONSORED BY RRE Studios and SHOWCASE Events.

35 Comments

  • Alpana Deo

    I have read Dr.Rahat’s blog I the past and I like her topic selection and writing style. Sh has touched upon a very important topic in this blog. Today, people suffer fro heart problems at a very young age. Our lifestyle and habits has a big share in it. The 7 ways Dr.Rahat has mentioned are simple yet very important.

    • shreemayeesdiary.com

      The first half of the article with the incident of the 25 years old man’s heart attack’is so scary. The tips from Dr,Rahat will help us a lot to keep ourselves and our family healthy. Thanks for such a useful article.

  • Abhijit Ray

    A twenty five year old getting myocardial infarction is scary. Then we learn the cause. Sedentary lifestyle, probably works in a night shift screwing up body’s healing mechanism, smoking and drinking all are pure death sentence. I guess his diet must also be full of transfat, and processed cheese. Still twenty five years is too young. It is important to do regular exercise and more so for people that work odd hours. We may not be able to change working hours, without quitting, but we can certainly change our lifestyle. And, change we must.

  • MeenalSonal Mathur

    Dr.Rahat has a very poignant style of advising the tips to stay healthy. One must exercise and eat according to the age. If one follows all 7 pointers in the post then I am sure we will have healthy society.

  • Metamorphosis

    These are some very useful tips my Dr. Rahat. She picks up topics which are need of an hour and if people fellow her tips, it will make whole lot of difference.Thanks Surbhi for sharing this insightful post.

    • Rakhi Jayashankar

      Your post reminded me of my aunt. She was all fine one day. Next day she woke up with breathlessness. By the time she was taken to hospital, everything was over. Your line time is muscle reminded me of her. If she had more time r if she was hospitalized on time… Now we can only regret. I never knew the power of strawberry. Going to have it regularly 💕

  • The Champa Tree

    Health of the heart is very important. And we, with the current lifestyle should not take it lightly. With exercise and diet it could be controlled. You have pointed out some valid points. These are simple points which we tend go forget but it should be again and a fan reminded through posts like yours so that no one would regret later. Thanks for sharing

  • Outset Books

    Health of the heart is something that is lightly taken. We forget that simple mistakes can cost you irreparable losses. Even after so many real life incidents, still smoking is very prevalent. This is a sad situation. May be your post with force someone to think twice

  • timble123

    Heart attack should be a wake call. In today world we need to take care of the heart all the more. Exercise is important. This article is important thanks for sharing.

    • Varsh

      Very well written post and on point. I’ve seen heart issues in my family and have realised that its lot easier to prevent them than curing them. Regular checkups and a healthy lifestyle are a good way to keep our heart healthy.

    • simi sp

      Taking care of heart is really important as we are leading a unhealthy lifestyle … By proper care we can take care of heart… Thank you for wonderful tips…

  • Harjeet Kaur

    Very useful tips shared Dr. Rahat. But does anything really work? My husband was a teetotaler, a non-smoker, vegetarian, exercised daily. I gave him a very healthy diet. His BP and Sugar levels were always borderline. But he had a family history of it. He passed away at 46 due to a sudden painless heart attack in the middle of the night but both his parents who had high BP and sugar levels lived to a ripe old age. I have really lost faith am sorry to say.

  • Urvashi Nenawati

    The story about the 25 year old having an attack and the family completely ignorant of what to do is very relatable for me. some years back my father in law had a surgery and the hospital experience was traumatic and left us feeling helpless. I really like how Dr Rahat presented the issue in the story and shared ways to take care of our heart. wonderful contribution and nicely articulated post

  • MommyShravmusings

    These are the important tips from Dr. Rahat. Infact this is what even Saurav Ganguly recently tweeted post this Angio. I think we all should keep these points at the back of our mind and start leading a healthy lifestyle.
    #mommyshravmusings

  • Archana

    Very essential pointers Dr. Rahat has shared to keep the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. I have read her many blog articles where she throws light on many health issues and their solutions. And as always her experience with a 25 years old boy having heart attack, came as an eye opener for all of us. High time to keep health at priority.

  • Priyanka Nair

    Very informative post by Dr. Rahat. This is not only a vital information for all of us but also a reminder to take care, with so many incidents happening around us. We really need to take precautions and complete charge of our life by following these steps.

  • Sonia Madaan

    Well articulated Post. Current life style is the main reason. An eye-opener incident of 25 year old guy having heart attack is something we should keep in mind. Now I am worried because I hardly follow any exercise routine or sugar intake. For the rest points I will pat my back. Thanks for sharing.

  • Vasumathi

    A very informative article. We all get so busy ‘enjoying’ life that we forget to take care of our health. I have come across similar instances in youngsters these days with excessive drinking, smoking or just unhealthy eating of junk food. Add to that the work-hours of the 20th century. In fact I knew a young budding pilot, who was married for just over a year and not even 30 and lost his life due to a heart attack. Articles like this serve as an eye opener and reminder to start taking care of our health.

  • Shail Thosani

    Your post is very detailed and informative. Even I have a sedentary work life and I am always looking out for such posts. I am a bit on the heavier side but I make sure to walk and do yoga as often as I can.

    • Doctor mommy

      Thank you for the opportunity dr. Surbhi. I hope this article serves as a reminder for us to take care of the one body part that is beating incessantly from the time we were conceived in our mother’s womb.

      • TripleAmommy

        Very important and informative guest post. It is true that heart disease is now affecting much younger people now and hence it becomes very important to manage our lifestyles in a balanced easy. Moreover regular health checks are also very important.

    • myworldwitheira

      Heart issues even within you younsters have become so common. We lost 2 people in our known circle who were newly married and another had a 4 year old kid. Such young age and such heart-breaking incidents. The pointers that Doctor Rahat has mentioned can bring a great deal of change in one’s life and reduce the risks at a great level.

  • Abha Mondal

    Very informative article. 7 ways she shared are important for healthy lifestyle. I think we all should seriously consider yearly health checkup to monitor our health status. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post by Dr Rahat.

  • Neha Sharma

    This is the harsh reality that we have to face because of our lifestyle choices. It was not long ago when I heard a news where a young man in his late 20s died due to a heart attack, it was shocking. This post is an eye opener and I hope it reaches the right audience who need to read this. Brilliant write up by Dr. Rahat!

  • Payal Scribbles

    Thank you for this post. Our fast paced and irregular lifestyles have brought us to this level where we hear of such incidents all the time. Looking after your health and well being should be a priority all the more now.

    • mummatalks

      The lockdown had messed up nearly everyone’s eating habit n the inevitable weight gain after that…. as Dr Rahat as rightly said eating right and working out a bit is important for a healthy heart.

  • Supriti

    A 25 yr old going through so much is nothing less than a nightmare. We all know the facts yet we are never serious enough to Follow a healthy lifestyle. It is only after we lose the better part of our life, do we realise the importance of health. Stories like these need to be circulates more often to increase awareness. Tips from the doctor ate sure to help us.

  • Srishti Rajeev

    Today’s lifestyle is taking a toll on everyone’s health, balance is the key. Youngsters going through this is difficult to to digest, But this is the reality, time to take big steps and change. Your post is an eye -opener, we all know the problem, lets start.

  • Harjeet Kaur

    Well researched and listed by Dr. Rahat. But most heart attacks i have seen seem to have no reason, like Saurav Ganguly recently went for Angio. Hope that young people exercise and eat healthy.

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