by Beth Munoz
Posted on Monday 20th of October 2008
There are many genetic factors that plague families. Some families have Alzheimer's disease running in their family. Other people have breast cancer (yes, it can affect some men too). However, heart problems are among the most prevalent genetic problems that a family might have to face.
Of course, when you think about heart problems, you probably think about clots and heart attacks – both of which are caused by calcium build up. To understand heart disease, the first component that you need to understand is high cholesterol, because calcium build up is directly linked to that.
Cholesterol is the amount of fat that is present in the blood. This fat can come from a variety of different factors, but the main one is fatty food. Things like French fries, and indeed fried foods in general, are the main culprits. That being said, there is good cholesterol too, which can be gotten by foods rich in Omega 3.
You've probably heard various commercials about plaque in the arteries. This plaque is caused by that dreaded calcium build up. If the calcium build up completely clogs the artery, then that is how a heart attack happens. In essence, the calcium stops the blood from reaching the heart, so the heart has to pump double-time in order to make up for it, which leads to a heart attack when the heart becomes overtired.
So, these are reasons enough for you to start taking charge of your health and the amount of calcium that is present in your veins. Begin by cutting out any fatty foods, as well as foods that are high in sugar. Now, do not be too upset, you can still eat some of the foods you love, just not nearly as often, and in smaller amounts.
Another thing you are going to have to do is start exercising. Part of the reason the cholesterol and heart disease have become so problematic is because you are eating more calories than you are burning off. When you exercise, you are not only toning muscles, you are also burning calories. Thus, the combination of a healthy diet and exercise can dramatically reduce the amount of calcium that is present in the arteries.
However, some people are not that lucky – the calcium might have gotten to a point that simply cannot be exercised or dieted away. In this case, an angioplasty might be needed. In this procedure, a balloon-like device is inserted into the artery to dislodge the calcified plaque, and thus unblock the artery.
Probably the most drastic situation would involve a triple bypass. In this serious surgical procedure, the arteries, which are beyond repair, need to be replaced by other veins. Believe it or not, these veins are often gotten from a pig! However, veins from the legs are also sometimes used. In order for this procedure to be successful, all the vital processes of the body need to be shut down during the surgery. Scary, right? Well, hopefully that knowledge is more than enough for you to realize how important it is to keep calcium levels down, and your heart healthy!
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