Cardiovascular Awareness – “How’s your pump and pipes?”: Warriors Wellbeing Article
This year the team at Regional Men’s Health is focusing on Cardiovascular Awareness and encouraging blokes in Regional WA to have a think about their “Pump & Pipes”.
It’s no surprise that when we combine disease associated with the heart (pump) and blood vessels (pipes) it’s our biggest killer, largest health problem, and places a great burden on our economy and health system. This of course is without even considering the issues around grief, loss of function and care requirements that can also impact individuals and families.
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the major cause of death in our country. It kills one Aussie every 12 minutes, which equates to just over 45,000 deaths (2015). It affects one in six of us (4.2 million) and was the main cause for 480,548 hospitalisations and a contributing factor in a further 680,000 in a single year (Heart Foundation Aust).
WHY PUMP & PIPES?
If you think about a pump moving water through a series of pipes, over time sediment can slowly build up and slow the flow of water or even cause a blockage. Most blokes would understand this would result in the pump having to work harder which can cause it to eventually fail or blow a hose.
This is no different to (coronary heart disease) which occurs through the build-up of fatty deposits (plaque) in the arteries that feed the heart. Narrowing reduces the supply of blood and oxygen to your heart and if this becomes too narrow it can cause angina (pain/discomfort in chest) or if a blood clot causes a complete block then this can cause a Heart Attack. This is similar to when a clot occurs in blood vessels to the brain causing a Stroke.
Factors that contribute to CVD include family history (which we can’t change) but some of the other risks we can manage by making healthy lifestyle choices:
- maintain a healthy diet;
- do regular exercise;
- reduce our alcohol intake (take a couple of days off a week);
- monitor our body weight;
- don’t smoke;
- reduce our salt intake; and
- look after our mental health & wellbeing.
It’s important we acknowledge that a lot of CVD is preventable but it’s essential that we understand our individual risk factors that may impact on us developing diseases associated with our heart and blood vessels. The onset of other health issues such as diabetes, obesity, poor health, even erectile dysfunction can be an indicator that our pump and pipes could be under pressure.
So just remember like any good piece of machinery, there are some basic Operating Tips to keep things running at optimal performance!
Gauge your guts
Regulate your risks
Make a service visit…talk with your GP
Terry and the Team