The heart is one of the most vital parts of the body. As all other organs need to be looked after and cared for to work correctly, so is the heart.
Checking the state of your heart can be beneficial. The reason is that when its functions are interrupted due to any reason, heart diseases and conditions may occur. These diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
When something like a stroke, heart attack, or chest pain happens, the next thing to do is to speak to a doctor. The doctor will carry out some tests (even blood tests in some cases) to know how well your ticker is functioning.
Though being concerned about our bodies is not regularly at the top of our minds. However, if we proactively take action before something goes wrong, we could probably enjoy a better quality of life.
With that aside, we’ve listed three simple steps to take to routinely check the state of your heart.
Check your blood pressure
The normal blood pressure for an adult at rest is 120/80 mmHg or less. A reading of 130/80 mmHg or higher signifies hypertension, also called high blood pressure.
Long-term high blood pressure can stiffen and narrow your artery walls which can block blood flow to your heart, causing heart diseases (e.g. heart attack).
Blood pressure fluctuates over time depending on age, medications taken, emotions, heart conditions, and activity. Taking just one reading and seeing that it’s high doesn’t necessarily mean you have hypertension. To find your exact readings, you must measure them at different intervals (especially when resting).
Take blood tests
A doctor may suggest you take a blood test to check your blood’s potassium, sodium, creatinine, and albumin levels. Abnormal levels of any of these tests may indicate problems with organs such as your liver and kidneys, which may mean heart failure.
Also, a blood test can evaluate the levels of your “bad” (LDL) and “good” (HDL) cholesterol. It can even diagnose other conditions like thyroid and anaemia, affecting your heart.
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Check your heart rate
It is essential to check your resting heart rate (or pulse rate). A doctor will feel your pulse to know your heart rate and rhythm. The doctor could even use a stethoscope to check your pulse to hear the opening and closing of your heart valves.
Each pulse corresponds to a heartbeat that pumps blood through your arteries. Telling how fast it beats and if it is regular by feeling your pulse can make you know the state of your heart. The heart rate is the number of beats per minute.
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