Smoking especially when done in a regular basis does not only affect the lungs, but can also severely affect the heart. The longer a patient smokes, the higher the risks he or she has in developing heart diseases that can lead to heart attacks and even death. In fact, studies have shown that a large percentage of patients that die of heart attacks are smokers.
How does Smoking Cause Heart Disease
Items listed below are some facts about smoking and its relationship to heart disease.
- There have been millions of patients especially women who have died prematurely because of smoke-related causes that had affected the functioning of the heart.
- Smoking has been considered as a major cause in developing coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis because of the toxins that it contains which also increases risks of developing other diseases of the heart.
- Risks of developing heart diseases strengthen with the number of cigarettes smoked and length or duration of smoking.
- Those who smoke usually can lose an average of 14 years from their lives because of the development of certain heart diseases.
- Cessation of smoking has been proven to reduce risks of coronary heart disease no matter what the age the patient stops smoking.
How Does Smoking Affect Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis is greatly influenced by smoking. Below are the step by step consequences that picture out how smoking can affect coronary heart disease or atherosclerosis.
- Atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries is the condition that happens when there is build-up of plaque brought about by fatty material and other substances, appearance of scars, and subsequent thickening of the walls of the arteries. This condition is caused by toxins that are brought about by smoking.
- When the body has atherosclerosis, damage of the arteries continues until an inflammation will occur. When this happens, chest pain may often be experienced by patients who often smoke.
- Besides inflammation, blood clots will also be observed because of the condition that is brought about by smoking. The blood clots eventually block the blood flow to the heart.
- When blood that is rich in oxygen does not reach the heart because of the blood clots that developed due to atherosclerosis, the heart cannot survive which can lead to a heart attack.
- Atherosclerosis happens gradually and often enhances the development of heart diseases before blocking the blood flow to the heart which causes it to stop functioning.
- Atherosclerosis can also severely damage the cells that line the heart and the blood vessels.
- The condition also causes the platelets to accumulate and clump together.
Coronary Heart Disease Diet
When you talk about coronary heart disease, the best thing that you can do to help treat and avoid this ailment is through dietary changes. Here are some dietary tips you can follow:
- When you are suffering from CHD, it is best if you minimize or totally eliminate your intake of high cholesterol and high fat foods.
- Try to get used to a low-calorie and low-sodium diet. You should also try to eat more organic and natural substances and eliminate processed foods and junk foods from your menu.
- When you want a healthier menu to avoid CHD, try to include such items in your diet like whole grain cereals and food made from whole grain wheat, fresh fruits like apples and grapes, and lots of green leafy vegetables.
- Try to minimize your intake of red meat and dark meat and increase your protein intake from other sources like lentils, nuts, lean meat, and white meat from poultry.
- Increase your intake of garlic to help flush out the cholesterol that may be building up in your system. You can use garlic capsules or fresh garlic for this.
- Vitamin C rich foods should also be considered part of your daily diet. Vitamin C is said to be helpful when it comes to the tiny breaches that can be found in capillary walls.
Preventing coronary heart disease is possible if you are not born with an ailment that makes you predisposed to the disease. It is also possible if you do not have other ailments that may make you prone to CHD.
- While some risk factors cannot be avoided, like age, other areas of your life can be altered to help you avoid CHD. Some of the areas you should look to change include your diet and your exercise—or lack of exercise for that matter.
- To really try and prevent CHD, you should try to adapt a healthy lifestyle at a very young age. Try to make it a habit that you look after your health, eat things in moderation, eat healthy, avoid taking up bad habits that will lead to an unhealthy body, and start to exercise.
- If you are at an age where the onset of CHD is possible, the only thing that you can do is change your lifestyle gradually to a healthy one. Consider stopping any bad habits you have, particularly smoking and drinking alcohol. You should also consider lowering your cholesterol intake and eating food that will help you live a healthier life.