Many of us will often listen to various stories from neighbours as well as from our well-wishers about how we may best improve our health.
Their innocent advices range from —take some garlic and your cholesterol will definitely reduce, eat some beetroot and your anaemia will get better, every day take some ground cinnamon and your blood sugars will improve, if you drink cranberry juice every day you won’t get any urinary tract infections—so on and so forth.
Unfortunately, however, the benefit of such well-intended advice is usually quite limited. In today’s age where everything is really based upon what we call evidence-based medicine, there is very little evidence that any of these therapeutics are really beneficial.
Now, the question that arises is what exactly is evidence-based medicine?
Well, it simply means that they are multiple documented studies to show that over thousands of people one intervention in one group of people is compared to one intervention in another group of people over time which shows benefit.
For one, there is simply not enough studies on any natural product available to really show that it does give a benefit.
So, what are well proven methods in medicine to prevent you from having your first heart attack? Here are the top 6 methods:
- Control your blood pressure:
According to new guidelines as initiated by the joint national commission for hypertension control; for those who are 65 and under, we try to aim for a blood pressure off under 140/90. Salt control does show some limited benefit. If you are able to tolerate medications, and your average blood pressure can be reduced to 120/80 your risk for initial heart attack or stroke is greatly reduced.
- Control your diabetes:
If you are diabetic, then diabetic control is off utmost importance. Goal A1c should be for those who are 65 under 7. If you’re above 65, then goal A1c should be at 8.
- Control your cholesterol:
As opposed to just trying to bring numbers down, we try to focus on the individual as a whole including the multiple risk factors. Usually this means for males that are above 50 and with ongoing hypertension and diabetes, the initiation of a cholesterol statin medication is usually vital. For those that are younger with minimal risk factors, you still have a chance to try and control your numbers via diet and exercise. For those above however, you should really talk to their doctor about initiation of their cholesterol statin medication and side effects.
- Take a baby aspirin:
For prevention of your first heart attack or even prevention of a second one, the humble aspirin provides a good measure of prevention. For those adults that are between the age group of 50-60 and are able to take aspirin for at least 10 years, they are huge benefits. However, there is always a small risk of bleeding. Again, talk to your doctor about the risks of benefits of aspirin initiation.
- Daily exercise:
Exercises are a huge benefit for those that can engage in exercise at least 10 to 15 minutes a day. We try to aim for a heart rate of at least 70% of your maximum, which would be 220 minus your age. Even this little bit of even 10 minutes a day can make a big difference in your overall health.
- Stop smoking:
Forget the top five guys. If there is one thing that you can do to prevent any future cardiovascular event via a heart attack or stroke, this is the single most important lifestyle change that you can make. The combined effect of 1 to 5 may still not be as strong as the one lifestyle change that you can make for your own health. Do whatever you have to do to start the process of tapering down and set that quit date!
So, there you have it folks. The top six ways to prevent yourself from getting a heart attack or stroke. More than ginger or garlic or the right spices these are evidence-based ways that we have shown in thousands of people that have really made a difference and what your doctors are looking for. However, any type of therapy or even exercise comes with the risks. Aspirin or statin medication benefits and risks should be discussed with your doctor including any exercise program to make sure that you can tolerate the exercise. Please discuss the above with your doctor and hope you will continue to read on this channel.