Dr. Noel Peterson, MD FACC
252-757-3333 or 252-758-3000
Eastern Cardiology PA | 2090 W. Arlington Blvd. | Greenville NC | 27834
Dr. Noel Peterson, MD FACC | Eastern Cardiology PA
It’s Not Easy – But It’s Simple
7 Steps for a Healthy Heart
Noel Peterson, MD FACC FASE
Eastern Cardiology, Greenville NC
Director of Women’s Cardiovascular Disease for ECHI
Heart disease is the largest killer of women. Only 25% of heart disease is genetic – the remaining 75% is due to lifestyle and the choices that we make. The good news is that there are ways to make better choices and decrease our risk for developing heart disease.
Define your why you want to make a change. It may be to live your life to its fullest capacity without limitations, or to be able to play with your grandkids, or to avoid the nursing home. Make your plan.
I find that the best way to come up with a plan is to talk to or read about people who have accomplished these goals. If you want to be successful, get advice from a successful person who lost weight, exercised more or quit smoking.
- Become Active
Being physically active increases the longevity and quality of your life. The current goals are a minimum of 30 min of moderate physical activity (such as brisk walking, jogging, riding a bike) 5 days a week. Not only will you feel better, you will decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Make better food choices
Healthy foods provide the building blocks that help to fuel our bodies, and help us fight inflammation and disease. A diet of vegetables, lean protein sources, healthy fats (in limited quantities), fruits (limited quantities), while cutting back on processed meats and added sugar helps your body create the energy needed to thrive and fight disease. Remember, portion control is essential. Even though certain foods may be considered healthy they may still contain a lot of calories (example: nuts).
- Lose Weight
If you have too much body fat – especially at the waist – you are at higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Even losing 5-10 pounds can help to reduce your blood pressure. What to do: Calculate your body mass index. Portion control is essential. Break it down into small portions (5lb at a time) and reward yourself with a non-food treat like a manicure or massage.
- Reduce blood sugar
Our bodies turn the foods that we eat into glucose (blood sugar) which our cells use for energy. We also produce a hormone called insulin which transports the glucose into the cells. If we have too much glucose our insulin becomes overwhelmed and we eventually develop insulin resistance, leading to diabetes. If your fasting blood sugar is under 100, it’ss in the healthy range, otherwise you may have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Diabetes, even when blood sugars are under control greatly increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
What to do: Reduce consumption of simple sugars found in soda, candy, and deserts. Getting regular exercise enables your body to respond to insulin better.
- Manage blood pressure
High blood pressure puts strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys, greatly increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. When you have high blood pressure the blood flowing through your arteries exerts too much force on the walls of the arteries, causing small tears our body repairs, but scar tissue forms, trapping the plaque. White blood cells can form into blockages and blood clots.
What to do: heart healthy diet including reducing sodium, limit alcohol, avoid tobacco smoke, manage stress, get regular physical activity and maintain a healthy weight.
- Get enough sleep
70% of Americans suffer from lack of sleep. Aim to get 7-8 hour per night. Embrace proper sleep hygiene.
What to do: limit caffeinated beverages to before noon, eliminate blue light (from phone, iPad, kindle, etc..) before bed, make sure temperature is cool, keep pets out of the bed.
- Stop smoking
Cigarette smokers have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease. If you are a smoker, quitting is the best thing that you can do for your health. Smoking damages l the vessels in your circulatory system, and causes inflammation in blood vessels. This leads to formation of plaque, blood clots and aneurysms. In addition, cigarettes and cigarette smoke damages your lungs as well as decreasing your bodies levels of good protective hdl cholesterol.
What to do: Utilize resources such as quit now. Remove all the lighters, ashtrays, tobacco products from your house. Make your home and vehicles smoke free.
So, remember to define your why, gather information to help you accomplish your goals, come up with a plan, find an accountability partner to help keep you on track, and utilize resources that are available to you. And remember to Love Your Heart!
Please call to make an appointment. You can reach Dr. Noel Peterson at 252-757-3333 or 252-758-3000. Office information and business hours are listed below
Eastern Cardiology, PA
Park Place Professional Center
2090 W Arlington Blvd., Suite B
Greenville, NC 27834
(Entrance on Hemby)
Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 5pm.
•We know your time is valuable, but sometimes emergencies can cause delays. If we know your appointment will be affected, we will try to notify you.
•If for any reason you can not keep your appointment, please give us 24 hours notice.
•Be certain to bring any medications you are currently taking. This will allow us to accurately record your drugs and dosage.
•Insurance coverage needs to be noted, so please bring any insurance, Medicare or identification cards. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have prior to your doctor visit.