My Heart Problems
Psoriasis is more than dry skin. I had my yearly physical as usual; never miss it. This was the first time my doctor said she heard something and wanted me to see a heart specialist. I went through series of chest X-rays, blood tests, electrocardiogram, cardiac stress test, cardiac CT calcium scoring. I was doing tests that I had never heard of in my life; to tell you I was very scared would be an understatement.
There has been research linking psoriasis to be a warning indicator that there may be something going on with the heart. Research has found that people with severe psoriasis have a 67 percent increased chance of developing an abdominal aortic aneurysm-- a major problem which can be fatal.
Helpful research can also mean we worry!
I began to wonder how much psoriasis is affecting my heart. There are so many other health problems that researchers are linking to psoriasis. These are the kind of things that we as patients need to know. I’m starting to be very proactive in getting my heart checked and doing what I need to do to keep it healthy. Our heart is a major organ and it needs to be taken care of especially as a psoriasis patient. We are already stressed enough, so we don’t need added stress.
Depression and stress go hand in hand. I look at my heart and also my weight. The more weight I keep on the harder my heart has to work. Taking care of parts of our bodies will make things flow smoothly and keep us healthier.
I love being healthy and I do whatever my doctors tell me to do. I looked for warning signs to see if anything is wrong. How can I not take this information to heart? It’s the very core of who I am. I am a patient and these things matter to me and those who share psoriasis.
Take this information to heart
As an advocate, I want everybody who is affected to take heart to this article. It’s more than a heart article, it is your life. It’s a matter of heart and aneurysm. Please take this information seriously. It’s very important to keep your blood pressure levels normal. High cholesterol numbers can affect your heart. Basically, if there is too much fat in the arteries, it can block them and lead to a heart attack. Let's watch our blood sugar as well--it’s vital for those of us with psoriasis. We must regularly get our blood levels checked to get accurate numbers, to see what’s high.
I used a lot of salt on my food. Taking too much of anything is not good for psoriasis or the heart. I have suffered from indigestion a few times and it literally felt like I was having a heart attack. It was not a good feeling. The pressure and gas had basically got trapped in my chest and brought me this very uncomfortable feeling. I have got this under control by decreasing my food intake late at night. Sometimes all it takes is a few subtle lifestyle changes.
Since by diagnosis which has been many years ago (1963) I’ve changed many things because I had to so I could help my body get better. Understanding psoriasis can help you understand your risk of heart problems. Take the risks seriously by pursuing a healthy lifestyle, through eating well, getting daily exercise, and reducing stress. By being aware of the risk factors that come along with your psoriasis, you are already on the road to taking control of your health.
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