How your heart works
Your heart is a muscular organ about the size of your fist. It supplies blood, containing all the oxygen and nourishment you need, to every part of your body. Most people imagine their heart as a pump but it’s actually two pumps with four separate chambers. The upper two chambers are called the atria. The lower two are your ventricles. The atria receives the blood returning to the heart and pushes it to the ventricles, the larger chambers of your heart.
Your right atrium receives the blood from your body that’s delivered most of its oxygen to the muscles and organs. It passes it to the right ventricle which pushes it to your lungs where it picks up oxygen. Blood returning from your lungs then arrives in your left atrium, which pushes it down to the left ventricle. Being the larger, stronger ventricle, it pushes oxygen-rich blood out of your heart to circulate through your entire body. Blood circulates in an endless figure-eight loop.
What causes CVD?
There are a number of factors that lead to cardiovascular disease many of which are lifestyle factors such as weight, smoking and diet. There are many effective treatments for cardiovascular disease and your GenesisCare team can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Lifestyle choices can make a difference
Prevention is better than cure. You can reduce many of the risks linked to cardiovascular disease by making changes to your lifestyle.
- Eat well – eating a healthy, balanced diet has a positive impact on your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Be more active – regular moderate exercise is beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
- Maintain a healthy weight – reaching a healthy weight and maintaining it decreases your risk of CVD and a host of other health problems.
- Stop smoking – being a non-smoker is one of the best ways you can protect your heart.
- Manage your blood pressure – have regular check-ups to monitor your blood pressure, follow your doctor’s advice and take prescribed medications.
Diet, cholesterol, heart disease and statin therapy
If you are prescribed statins, find out the truths and misconceptions around diet, cholesterol, heart disease and statin therapy.