What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease kills a lot of people in the United States of America and stands as one of the top causes of death in this country. Over half a million people in America die of heart disease every year and at least 100 million are currently diagnosed with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease (https://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/medicine/diseases/pathology/heart-disease) is the number one killer of Americans, ranking even higher than gun deaths, traffic accidents and suicides. This statistic holds true across all racial and ethnic groups.
Someone dies of heart disease in America every 30 seconds or so. That is a truly staggering death rate and it can be almost directly linked to the terrible diets of Americans. American people eat a lot of fattening, greasy and unhealthy foods that slow down our hearts and make us one of the most obese populations in the world. When you think of American food, what do you think of? Hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, carbonated beverages and ice cream are the standard bearers for what most people think of when they think of American food.
Why Do People Get Heart Disease?
Did I just mention a single vegetable? What is an American vegetable, anyway? Okra, which is beloved in the Southern states, comes directly from Africa and was brought to America by enslaved Africans. Most of the deep fried food traditions come from White Americans offering the lowest, least appetizing portions of the meat to their African-American captives, who were forced to create “soul food” in order to make the food palatable and edible. In so doing, African-Americans created a battered and deep fried food tradition that masked the horrible taste of the worst parts of the meat.
When these food traditions were created, African Americans were called upon to continue on in cooking this way because they were able to transform horrible food into delicious delicacies. Therefore when they were forced to cook for their enslavers, they had to be inventive and brought their cooking traditions with them into the homes of white Americans as well. Macaroni and cheese, for example, was prepared by an enslaved person who worked for Thomas Jefferson’s wife, who took credit for the recipe in her cookbook and never gave the person she enslaved any of the glory. You can learn more about the various ailments and symptoms of heart disease patients by clicking here where you will see these food traditions discussed as well.
Heart disease in America is also linked to smoking. For a very long time, American cigarette producers and tobacco companies were able to lobby the United States government to downplay the adverse effects of smoking cigarettes containing nicotine laced with numerous carcinogens. These companies would even pay off American doctors to prescribe cigarettes to their ailing patients, all while negating new research that suggested that cigarettes were bad for your health. In so doing, tobacco companies created powerful lobbies that many titans of industry have followed throughout the years.
Car companies, for example, followed their lead when trying to avoid the invention of the seat belt, the wind shield wiper, and many other incredible inventions that would make driving much safer for all human beings, not just Americans. This is the nature of American greed. When you think of someone in a wheelchair, if you are in another country, you may consider that the person has had some sort of health issue that prevents them from walking. In America, it is likely because they are simply too obese to move their legs properly. Many of these people, in addition to suffering from morbid obesity, also have cardiovascular disease.
How Do We Care For Someone With Heart Disease?
When convalescing from surgeries and therapies related to cardiovascular disease, it is critical to make sure you are in a heart disease hospice that specializes in caring for people with the specific needs of such a patient. It is not merely enough to find yourself in any old hospice. A specialized hospice will cater to the needs of someone who is so overweight that they cannot walk properly but still needs to exercise.
Chest pains, constant fatigues, nausea and irregular bowel activity are just a few of the symptoms that someone struggling with heart disease may endure. Many people with cardiovascular issues as a result of weight gain have severe ankle swelling which prevents them from exercising to rectify the underlying causes of their cardiovascular problems. The problem with chronic cardiovascular problems is that eventually, many existing treatments will stop being effective and it will be time to consider moving along to palliative care instead.
As a result, when choosing a hospice for people with heart issues, it is important to select a place that can help you and your family make the difficult decisions. These are the types of decisions that come with helping someone either gain control of their heart issues or focus on bereavement needs instead. It is not simply enough to have the right medical team around you, it is also important to have a group of folks who will be able to support you through the painful and emotionally charged decision making that comes when addressing the needs of someone with heart disease.