How to take care of your heart health

How to take care of your heart health

Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia?

Men are particularly impacted, accounting for more than 60 per cent of casualties.

Common cardiovascular diseases include stroke, peripheral arterial disease, aortic disease and coronary heart disease.

Even when heart disease isnt fatal, it places emotional and financial stress on patients and their families.

Unfortunately, a staggering three-quarters of Aussies are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Keeping your heart healthy has never been more important!

Thankfully, most risk factors can be prevented through lifestyle changes related to exercise, diet and stress reduction. Supplementation can also help in cases where there are magnesium, iron, Vit D and other deficiencies.

As always, prevention is better than cure.

Lets talk more about how to take care of your heart.


5 of the best-known risk factors for heart disease

  1. Unhealthy diet:

A diet that contains too much cholesterol, saturated fats and sodium significantly elevates the risk of heart disease. Processed foods, sugary snacks and excessive consumption of red meat contribute to the build-up of plaque in the arteries – a precursor to heart-related complications.

  1. Lack of physical activity:

Sedentary lifestyles have become increasingly prevalent in modern society. Inactivity can cause fatty material to accumulate and block the arteries, which transport vital blood to the organs and tissues. Clogged or damaged arteries can lead to a heart attack or stroke, due to the restriction of blood flow.

Obesity is often (but not always) a result of unhealthy eating and inactivity. Excess body weight can elevate blood pressure and contribute to diabetes and unfavourable lipid profiles – all of which compromise cardiovascular health.

Unfortunately, most Australian adults (66 per cent) are overweight! 

  1. Smoking:

Smoking remains one of the most potent risk factors for heart disease. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke not only damage blood vessels but also accelerate the formation of arterial plaque.

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption:

This often contributes to high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, and irregular heartbeats – all of which significantly increase the risk of heart disease.

  1. Genetics and family history:

Genetic makeup plays a pivotal role in predisposing people to heart disease. Individuals with a family history of cardiovascular conditions face a higher risk. Its important to know your family history to facilitate early detection and proactive management.


Signs of a heart attack or stroke

Its crucial to familiarise yourself with the signs of a heart attack or stroke, so you know to call triple zero for an emergency. Please dont dismiss these symptoms, as immediate medical help saves lives and promotes a faster recovery.

Signs of a heart attack include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Radiating arm pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety or restlessness

Please check out this resource for more specific information about the warning signs.

Signs of a stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in one side of the body
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble walking or loss of balance
  • Severe headache
  • Vision problems

The acronym FAST is useful to remember:

Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 000.

This resource has more information.



How to take care of your heart

  1. Adopt a heart-healthy diet:

Your diet should be filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Prioritise omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, nuts, and seeds. Minimise the intake of saturated fats, sodium, and processed foods.  

  1. Regular exercise:

Engage in regular physical activity – whether it's walking, jogging, swimming, dancing or something else! Can you fit in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week? Physical activity not only strengthens the heart but also helps control weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

  1. Quit smoking and moderate your alcohol intake:

When you stop smoking, you take a crucial step towards protecting your heart. We can provide advice on the best ways to quit, which may include nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum and lozenges).

You may want to ask your doctor about prescription medication that supports quitting tobacco.

There are also prescription drugs that help patients who are dependent on alcohol.

  1. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol:

Pay attention to your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Elevated levels can strain the heart and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Its crucial to consistently take the prescribed medications.

Note: we sell blood pressure monitors at Specialist Clinic Pharmacy.

  1. Manage Stress:

A calm mind contributes to a healthy heart. Incorporate mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga. Participating in hobbies that you love also helps to keep chronic stress at bay.

  1. Get Quality Sleep:

Adequate sleep is crucial for heart health. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Poor sleep patterns can contribute to conditions such as obesity and hypertension, elevating the risk of heart disease.

  1. Heart health supplements:

Targeted supplements can support your cardiovascular health, by aiding in cellular energy production and correcting mineral or vitamin imbalances. However, please consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements, to make sure they serve your needs and dont cause any side-effects.

Metagenics is one of the brands we sell at Specialist Clinic Pharmacy. We stock these quality supplements because they test every ingredient and batch.

Here are some of the Metagenics products that we recommend to customers, on a case-to-case basis.

  • Metapure EPA/DHA capsules: highly purified fish oil for anti-inflammatory support, cardiovascular support and general wellbeing
  • Lipoic Acid tablets: reduces free radicals in the body, while improving detoxification processes in the liver for healthy cardiovascular function.

Book an appointment with one of our pharmacists for advice on heart health supplements

We all have different constitutions and lifestyles, so everyones supplement journey is unique! Were happy to sit down with you to discuss themost suitable heart health supplements for your bodys needs, if you even need to take any.

Specialist Clinic Pharmacy is committed to offering unparalleled service, paired with a wide range of products that support your vitality. We take pride in delivering a personalised service with genuine care for our customers.

Call (02) 4737 3456 or fill out this form to book an appointment.