In lieu of Valentine’s Day last week, let’s talk about the importance of cardiovascular health and the brain. Many people have heard from their physicians that they need to watch what they eat, do more exercise, maintain their blood pressure, etc. Patients often get annoyed being told this or question “how will this actually make a difference?” The answer is simple: prevention is better than treatment.
Treatment of hypertension with lifestyle modifications, even prior to starting pharmaceutical therapy, is an efficient way of preventing chronic disease later down the line. Countless times, we have seen patients and operated on patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, hemorrhagic stroke, or aneurysms due to uncontrolled hypertension. While this is not the only cause of these scenarios, they are often preventable.
Fun fact: nearly 20% (potentially more) of your cardiac output goes to the brain. Not the head, just the brain. For a fairly small, yet mighty, organ that’s a lot of blood with each contraction of your heart! So, the two really go hand in hand in terms of maintenance. By taking care of your cardiovascular health, you ensure the efficiency of your brain and simultaneously ensure your own safety while reducing your chances of developing catastrophic head bleeds.
I don’t want to make this sound like a lecture so I’ll keep it short. Serious medical conditions like stroke, subarachnoid bleeds, and aneurysms are often preventable with routine maintenance of your health with proper diet and exercise. What we do on a daily basis can make a world of a difference in the long run for preventing life-threatening or at the very least, life-altering situations. Protect your heart and your brain!
For more information on how your heart health is important, you can visit the American Heart Association.