Written By: Press Release Posted by David Elliott Published Date: 02-03-2022
February shines the light on heart disease to raise awareness of the number one health risk we face.
American Heart Month also serves to empower us all to take control of our health and be aware of our individual health needs while communicating with a health provider to assist in living our best life.
How can you help? Educate yourself and others. Commit to making healthy lifestyle choices so you can live healthy and feel good.
It’s critical for people to take time for themselves and physically move around throughout the day, which particularly pertains to all of the current remote workers who may have had an active lifestyle that has changed due to moving from location work or remote work.
Additional healthy practices include meditation, reading and walking to aide in alleviating stress while promoting body circulation. Mental health is also important to keeping a healthy heart. Several factors where heart health and mental health intersect are:
- Stress increases body hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
- Adrenaline and cortisol can impact blood pressure and heart rate.
- Fatigue from stress can prevent exercise, movement and circulation.
- Inactivity contributes to low blood function to the heart.
- Habits such as smoking, drinking and overeating may occur due to stress and mental health.
Speak with your health provider and identify what risk factors for heart disease impact you the most. Providers can assist in not only risk identification, but they can also assist you developing an individual plan that works just for your needs. A yearly wellness visit also allows your provider the opportunity to stay on top of changes that your body could be experiencing that could impact your overall health. It’s important to have good communication with your provider, be it for mental or physical health, so that proper resources, assistance and a solid plan can be built for you.
Discuss your risk for a heart attack with your doctor. Has a parent or a sibling had a heart attack? Did it happen before age 55 in women or 65 in men? If so, your own odds are likely above average for having one too. Do you have uncontrolled high cholesterol or blood pressure? Do you smoke? These risk factors also boost your chances of a heart attack, increasing your need to prepare for the possibility. That way, you’re less likely to be caught off guard if you do experience symptoms.
Prepare your family and trusted friends. If you’re at risk of a heart attack, sit down with those close to you and discuss the symptoms and what to do in case of emergency. Family and friends should be educated about your cardiac condition, including the warning signs to be familiar with.
Know the potential symptoms of a heart attack: chest pain that may include pressure or a squeezing sensation, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, pain in the arms, neck, stomach or jaw, or other pain or discomfort that is unexplained.
Know how symptoms of a heart attack in women may be different. Women’s heart attack symptoms were measured against typical symptoms in men. In the past decade or two research has shown that women’s heart attacks are not always identical to their male counterparts. These differing symptoms might include: dizziness, fainting, palpitations (when your heart rate is too high or irregular), or numbness and tingling of the chest, left jaw and left arm.
Seek help immediately. If you even think you might be having a heart attack, call 911 right away. The faster you get treated, the less damage your heart will suffer. Time equals heart-muscle preservation. It’s advised that if you are experiencing heart attack symptoms that a friend or family member aid in taking you to the hospital.
Seek help ASAP even if you think it’s heartburn. Sometimes a heart attack feels like heartburn and it’s not always easy to tell the difference. Play it safe. Call 911.
If able, chew some aspirin while you wait for the ambulance. Heart attacks occur when a clot forms and blocks the flow of blood to your heart. Aspirin works quickly to counter those clots to help blood flow more easily. After you’ve called 911, chew, do not swallow whole, four baby aspirins (81 mg) or one adult (325 mg) aspirin. Chewing assists the aspirin to get into your bloodstream quickly so that it can start to work. Keep in mind: You should avoid aspirin if you are allergic to it or your doctor has advised you never to take it. Consider asking your doctor if you are safe to take aspirin in case of an emergency. This is why communication between you and your provider is important.
Communicate with your doctor, educate yourself and others on heart health. Russell Regional Hospital has providers you can meet with and services available locally that can assist you in identifying your risks and how you can prevent any further risk or damage to your heart. Contact the Physician’s Clinic today at 785-483-3333 to schedule an appointment with one of their caring providers. Celebrate American Heart Month simply by taking a moment to take care of you and your heart.
(Information courtesy RRH.)