February is American Heart Month. No better time to celebrate than the month where love is in the air. Even one of the symbols for valentines day is a heart. See how it goes together so nicely. Heart disease in the US is at epidemic proportions and is now the leading cause of death for both men and women. The CDC estimates that 715,000 people suffer a heart attack each year however only 27 percent of people recognize chest pain as a symptom.
Heart disease is both preventable and controllable. A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood through an artery that feeds blood to the heart. It causes permanent damage to the heart muscle unless it is treated quickly. The most common cause of heart attack is atherosclerosis and can include very low blood pressure, a tear in the heart artery, drug use or small blood clots or tumors that form in the body and travel to the heart.
Chest pain, shortness of breath and pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, arms or jaw are common signs in men of a heart attack. In women common signs are severe chest pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, inablity to sleep and breaking out in cold sweat. However, every case is different and if one is experiencing any symptoms like indigestion, chest pain or fatigue you should seek immediate medical treatment. Factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and lack of exercise are all risk factors. Early recognition of a heart attack can greatly reduce long term damage.
First and most important tip is to always call 911 if you are experiencing any heart attack symptoms. False alarms are understandable.
Some life changes you can do to limit your risk of heart attacks are monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol, getting plenty of exercise, putting a good dose of omega 3 fatty acid in your diet. Celebrate American Heart Month by getting your numbers checked and being proactive about one of the most important muscles in your body.
Good for Your Heart Sloppy Joes