No, it’s not the sound of you kicking a soccer ball down a dusty sundrenched lane or a cluttered city street. It’s not the sound of your body crashing to the soft earth as you try to catch that ball as the fine-leg player on the cricket field. It’s not the slow dancing as blue silver ball slings sparking light in a darkened ballroom or dance hall as you think about the joy that music brings. And it’s not the sweet, light drum beating of hands tapping in time on the tambourine as you laugh and sing along during the service at your usual place of worship.

It’s the beautiful sound of your heart beating. It’s the sound of you.

Today, we take a look at cardiovascular disease: cardio, meaning your heart, and vascular, meaning the blood vessels of your heart, brain and all over your body. It is the leading causes of illness and death in the in the world.

This disease of your heart or blood vessels can lead to chest pain (angina), a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, an irregular heart rhythm, or clots, to name a few conditions.

Most commonly, diseases of the heart and blood vessels is caused by narrowed, blocked or stiffened blood vessels that prevent your heart, brain or other parts of your body from receiving enough blood.

Why is it important to love your heart? Because it helps you to do the things I mentioned above, and heart and blood vessel problems can sometimes be found with early and regular examinations. High blood pressure is the “silent killer.” It’s damaging your heart, blood vessels, kidneys and brain, and you won’t know it until it’s too late. Heart problems can come in the form of chest pain, shortness of breath, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness. Symptoms of stoke may be numbness or weakness in your face, arms legs, difficulty talking, walking or smiling.

Some of the conditions that put you at higher risk for heart and blood vessel related disease are: high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, lack of exercise, obesity, high blood cholesterol, poor diet, excessive alcohol use, and high stress, to name a few.

“Prevention better than cure”: As with everything that we do, prevention, early recognition, and early treatment make a difference. So, you should have regular appointments with your health care provider to check, for example, your heart, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Don’t ignore the signs and just say “Cho! Can’t bother!”

Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub…

Take care of your heart, take care of you. Do it for you, your family, and friends. See your health care provider today.

Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub.

Be thankful for a heart for allowing you to walk, smile, kick, fall, dance, clap, sing and laugh.

Cheers to you and your heart!

Want to know more about heart disease? Please visit and always talk to your health care provider about your individual situation.

Gary Rhule, MD, is an author, poet, and former emergency room doctor. He is the author of Sailing on Broken Pieces: Essential Survival Skills for Recovery from Mental Illness. He is working on is second book, yet to be titled. Watch for his monthly column here on a health related topic. To learn more about Gary, please visit,

Remember: this is general information only and does not and may not apply to your individual situation. Please seek advice and help for your particular situation from your personal health provider, doctor, or counselor, about the individual treatment plan that you should follow.