Foods You Should Avoid When You Have an Aortic Aneurysm

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There are many things that can affect the aorta, but to understand how and why, we wanted to break it down for you below.

A Little About Aortic Aneurysms

Aortic aneurysms are bulges in the walls of your aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in your body. Your aorta moves blood to the rest of your body from your heart. You can have this kind of aneurysm in the walls of any area of your aorta, including the part that goes through your abdomen or the part that goes through your chest cavity. Aortic aneurysms can become life-threatening if they burst or rupture, so it’s important to reduce this risk and seek treatment if needed.

Unhealthy Types of Foods to Avoid and Why

Eating the right kinds of foods and avoiding the wrong kinds can help lower your risk of having an aortic aneurysm become worse. Nutritious foods help keep your blood vessels healthy, while unhealthy foods can have a negative impact on them. For example, some foods can raise your blood pressure, which puts added stress on unhealthy blood vessels.

Popular foods that are bad for your aortic health include the following:

  • Fatty meats, such as red meat
  • Fried foods
  • Refined, white carbohydrates
  • Sugary drinks, such as soda
  • Fatty oils, such as margarine and butter
  • Processed, packaged foods
  • High cholesterol foods
  • Full-fat dairy products

Choose healthier food options for your diet, such as whole grains and other complex carbs, healthy oils, low-fat dairy products, and turkey or other lean cuts of meat. You should also eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits as part of your regular diet.

Other Activities That Can Worsen These Aneurysms

When you have an aortic aneurysm, certain activities could make it worse and raise your risk of complications, such as a rupture. Your doctor can provide you with detailed information on activities to avoid, but some of these are likely to include strenuous exercise or vigorous physical activities, since these can put more strain on your blood vessels. You might also be told to avoid doing any heavy lifting. Smoking is another activity to avoid when you have an aortic aneurysm. You should also work on managing stress and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels.

When to See a Vein Doctor

Keep in mind that you might not experience symptoms of an aortic aneurysm. Instead, your doctor might refer you to a vein doctor if any evidence of an aneurysm is found during a routine physical. If you do have symptoms of an aortic aneurysm, they might include a cough, back pain, chest tenderness or discomfort, or shortness of breath. You should see a vein doctor if you suspect that you might have an aortic aneurysm, so that you can discuss treatment options if needed. If you have symptoms of a rupture, such as breathing problems or sudden pain in your upper back, chest, jaw, or neck, seek emergency care.

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