Heart Facts: 7 Things You Never Knew
Here are 7 interesting tidbits you may not have known about your heart:
1. Clean teeth are good for your heart.
There's a great reason to brush and floss your teeth every day: gum disease nearly doubles your risk of heart disease. Inflammation caused by gum disease may also cause inflammation in other areas of the body, including the arteries, causing damage that can lead to heart disease. Plus, mouth bacteria can enter your bloodstream through damaged gums, where they may get caught in fatty build-ups on the arteries. This can make these build-ups larger and increase the chances of a blood clot, which could lead to a heart attack.
2. You really can have a "broken heart."
Broken heart syndrome, also called stress cardiomyopathy, is a real medical condition where people suffer symptoms similar to a heart attack after experiencing severe physical or emotional stress. People may have chest pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat. But unlike a heart attack, the arteries are not blocked. Instead, it's believed that stress causes the body to release hormones that temporarily damage the heart or narrow the blood vessels.
3. Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day.
The average heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. That adds up to 86,000 and 144,000 beats per day! Your heart may beat even more frequently. For example, if you have atrial fibrillation (also known as AFib, a common type of irregular heartbeat), the average heart rate is 100 to 175 beats per minute, for an astonishing total of up to 252,000 beats per day!
4. Living an active lifestyle may help prevent atrial fibrillation.
One study found that people over 65 who participated in light to moderate physical activities such as walking or gardening had a lower risk of AFib. So find a way to get active today!
5. Not all heart problems cause symptoms - some are silent.
Not all heart problems cause symptoms. For example, while some people with AFib may have symptoms such as heart palpitations or dizziness, others do not experience any symptoms at all. You can also suffer a "silent heart attack" with no noticeable symptoms.
6. A good laugh is great for your heart.
Researchers have found that laughter really can help your heart. They believe that it works by helping to counteract the negative effects of stress on the blood vessels. So go ahead, take a daily laugh break! Your heart will thank you.
7. You can live a normal life with atrial fibrillation.
If you or someone you know has AFib, you may be concerned about how it can limit a person's lifestyle and activities. Fortunately, most people with AFib live full, active, normal lives when they receive appropriate treatment.
The key is to learn as much as you can about the condition and speak to your doctor
to learn more about your