Weight Loss and Its Effect on Your Heart

Every 34 seconds, someone dies of a heart attack in the United States. Coronary artery disease — when  fat and cholesterol plaque build up and narrow your arteries — is one of the primary causes of those heart attacks. It happens when a piece of plaque breaks off and blocks the blood flow to your heart.

Carrying too much weight may put you at risk for coronary artery disease and an eventual heart attack. Losing weight is the obvious solution, but not so fast. The method you use to lose can either help or hurt your heart.

Our expert cardiologists at Phoenix Heart use state-of-the-art technology to evaluate your heart health and accurately diagnose and treat heart conditions and diseases. With a cardiovascular lab on site, we can offer you comprehensive care without sending you to another facility.

You may know that obesity is one of the main contributors to poor heart health. But losing weight too quickly can exacerbate the problem. Our doctors want you to know that both the positive and negative effects of weight loss on your heart.

Positive effects of weight loss on your heart

Weight loss can do wonders for your cardiovascular health. It can also help you avoid the conditions most commonly associated with being overweight, which tend to increase your risk for heart disease.

Losing weight can lower your blood pressure

If you’re overweight, your heart has to work extra hard to pump blood through your body. The harder your heart pumps, the higher your blood pressure, which can cause vision problems, stroke, kidney damage, and heart disease. Losing weight can lower your blood pressure.

Losing weight can lower your cholesterol

Obesity can lead to high cholesterol, and high cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Just being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean your cholesterol levels are high though because genes, hormones, and environmental circumstances all impact your cholesterol levels. However, if you’re overweight and you eat lots of unhealthy foods like processed meats, baked goods, and fast food, you could be at risk. Losing weight could lower your cholesterol, which helps balance the fats in your bloodstream, and helps your heart function normally.

Losing weight could reduce risk of diabetes

While the link between Type 2 diabetes and obesity isn’t fully understood, the connection itself is undeniable. Diabetes elevates your blood sugar levels and puts you at risk for heart attacks and strokes. Losing weight can help manage blood sugar levels, and therefore improves your chances of avoiding heart problems.

Negative effects of weight loss on your heart

Losing weight is good for your heart and your overall health. If you’re overweight, make no mistake: losing weight is better for you than not losing weight. However, losing weight too rapidly can be dangerous. Here are some of the ways losing weight the wrong way can have a negative impact on your heart.

Vigorous exercise may be hard on your heart

While exercise keeps your body in good cardiovascular condition, if you’re not accustomed to a difficult routine and you try to do too much to soon, it may disrupt the way your heart pumps blood and oxygen through your system. It’s best to check with your doctor to determine the proper activities for you so that you can exercise safely.

Crash diets can cause an irregular heartbeat

When you get impatient and try to drop weight too quickly, you can rob your body of essential nutrients it needs to function. Some liquid diets and those that limit calorie intake to the point of starvation are extremely dangerous. Poor nutrition can lead to many health conditions, including arrhythmia, loss of heart muscle mass, and ultimately heart damage.

These negative effects of weight loss can be prevented with a sensible diet and appropriate exercise routine. Our experts at Phoenix Heart can help you lose weight safely while strengthening your heart and your overall health. Call one of our six offices in the greater Phoenix area or use the online booking feature to make an appointment.

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