Power Your Life!

Power your life, the theme for the 2016 World Heart Day reminds us of the role the heart plays in living. The good book refers to the heart as the place ‘from where issues of life proceeds’ which needs to be guarded diligently while the medical personnel refer to it as a muscular organ which pumps blood through the blood vessels and provides the body with oxygen and nutrients. The heart of a thing is anywhere life proceeds from; this could take the form of blood or very important decisions. Therefore, the best we can do for this source from which life flows is to power it, maintain it and nurture it.
Power, a physical science term, is defined as the rate at which work is done. It is also the ability to have great influence over something, vigor, might etc. ‘Power your life’ is a call to adding vigor to life, to the heart – the source of life.
The heart is very important in the existence of any living thing, especially human that at the 3rd week after conception, it is formed.  Its development continues afterwards till the 8th week when the four chambers are properly distinguished. British researchers have shown that at the 20th week after conception, the heart is observed as a fully organized muscle tissue. Any inability to form correctly within the first 8th weeks could result in a congenital heart defect. These congenital heart defects which may be dependent on the mother may range from simple to complex defects. Upon development, the heart requires maintenance to keep it working effectively.
Atherosclerosis is the bedrock of various heart diseases (cardiovascular diseases) or complications. This is a condition that develops when plaques build up in the walls of the artery, narrowing them and making it difficult for the flow of blood. Cardiovascular diseases are ischaemic heart disease (coronary heart disease, angina etc), hypertensive heart disease (aneurysm, high blood pressure etc) and inflammatory heart disease (pericardial heart disease, cardiomyopathy etc). Others include cerebrovascular disease and rheumatic heart disease. Complications which may arise from heart diseases may be life threatening and may result in medical emergencies. These complications include:
      ·         Stroke
      ·         Cardiac arrest
      ·         Heart attack
      ·         Peripheral artery disease
      ·         Heart failure
      ·         Etcetera.
The time to ‘Power your Life’ is now. Most heart diseases form over a long period of time but the complications may come up suddenly and may have irreversible effects on the victims. The time to act is now
      Ø  Eat more vegetables and fruits. Cut down on sodas, high sodium, fatty and sugary foods. 
      Ø  Drink sufficient water daily.
      Ø  Be physically active
      Ø  Know your heart status
      Ø  Manage stress

By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi


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