20 September 2018
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 Simon Payne, a Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.
"Just simple changes to your day-to-day life choices can dramatically reduce your risk of 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 alcohol 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.”
For further information about vascular disease and to take part in a ‘RiskChecker’ survey visit www.circulationfoundation.org.uk
Find out more about Mr Simon Payne, Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon practising at Spire Portsmouth Hospital.
The content of this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the professional medical advice of your doctor or other health care professional.