Symptoms of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among South Africans. Avoid becoming a statistic by learning about lifestyle changes that will help you have a healthy, happy heart.
Medical issues to look out for:
- Are you overweight or obese?
- Do you have high blood pressure?
- Is your cholesterol higher than it should be?
- Do you have diabetes, or are you at risk of developing diabetes?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, you should visit your doctor to learn how to manage these health issues before they put extra strain on your heart.
Did you know?
Men are more likely to suffer from heart disease than women are.
What other symptoms should I look out for?
- Chest pain when exercising
- Fainting episodes
- Becoming short of breath easily and while sleeping
- Swollen feet or ankles
Did you know?
Heart disease is known as the ‘silent killer’ because the symptoms can remain undetected until the heart is already damaged and beginning to fail.
5 lifestyle changes you can make to keep your heart healthy and happy:
- Stop smoking. Every cigarette you smoke increases your risk of a heart attack by 6%.
- Eat healthy foods. Avoid salty, fatty, and fried foods, and opt for water instead of sugary, carbonated drinks. Make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables every day, and opt for low-fat proteins like chicken and fish.
- Get moving. Daily exercise improves your health and strengthens your heart. It also helps manage other health issues like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Cut down on alcohol. Men shouldn’t have more than two units, and women shouldn’t have more than one unit of alcohol per day. A unit is a small glass of wine, a can of beer, or a single shot of spirits.
- Visit the doctor regularly. A weight and waist circumference screening along with a blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol test should be done at least once a year to assess your risk of heart disease.