01 September 2019
There really isn’t any argument - our lifestyle choices have a massive effect on our health!
But those choices can be changed, and small changes can make a big difference, according to health charity The Circulation Foundation.
Now, as part of Vascular Awareness Month, which runs throughout September, the Foundation is urging people to take a serious look at their diets, exercise regimes and alcohol consumption.
And they stress that stubbing out the cigarettes is one of the major steps towards healthier arteries.
Vascular disease is the collective term for diseases of the veins and arteries and, according to the Foundation, accounts for 40% of deaths in the UK every year.
The main risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet, lack of exercise and obesity which can all cause the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries.
“The most frustrating thing is that many vascular-related deaths can be prevented,” said Mr Martin Claridge, a Consultant Surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull, near Birmingham. “Just simple changes to your day-to-day life choices can dramatically reduce your risk heart attacks or strokes.
“I don’t mean you have to sweat it out in the gym or starve yourself on the latest ‘fad diet’. I am talking about sensible changes – go for a walk, or better still go for a swim. Cut down on the booze while increasing your fresh fruit and vegetables intake.
“And stop smoking. I know it can be tough but the health benefits from stubbing out the cigarettes are almost immeasurable – not just for your veins and arteries but for your entire body!”
“While surgery is an option available to treat the problems caused by vascular disease, looking after yourself can help prevent them developing in the first place. Even if you have been diagnosed with a vascular disease moving to a healthier lifestyle can, in many cases, help reverse the symptoms.”
Q: How quickly could I have a consultation and how much would it cost?
A: It depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted to see, but we pride ourselves on getting you fast access to diagnosis and you can often get a consultation within 24/48 hours. Initial consultation fees vary by consultant, but around £175 is a reasonable guide.
Q: If I need surgery, how quickly could I have it?
A: We have no waiting lists at Spire Parkway, but again, it depends on the availability of the consultant you wanted, but as a guide, and subject to your pre-operation assessment, between one and two weeks.
Q: I don’t have health insurance, can I self-pay?