Heart-to-heart health

September is dedicated to raising awareness for heart disease risks factors and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle but if these messages are being delivered – they aren’t being heard.

Sthembile Sibisi, who has a disease which affects the normal functioning of the heart muscle, described heart diseases as a “silent killer".

Nine operations

OurHealth spoke to people who are living with heart diseases to find out about the difficulties they face. A 23-year-old man who didn’t want to be named has had a Heart Ventricular Assist Device inside his chest. He finds it stressful to live with the device because he never knows when it will stop working.

“My cardiologist advised me not to do activities which will increase my heart blood flow and blood volume because that might cause the device to stop functioning – so that rules out sport, weight lifting, excessive sex, as well as doing tough jobs."

Happy Cele (42), who has suffered from a heart condition since she was nine, said her condition stole her childhood and she has spent most of her life in different types of hospitals.

“I have had nine operations including the open heart surgery,” she said.

According to the SA Heart Foundation, everyone should take their heart seriously, and said people should be encouraged to reduce bad health habits that increase risks for heart disease, such as smoking, and choose to eat healthy food, like fruit and vegetables. - Health-e News

Image credit: iStock

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