American Heart Health Month 2022
Learn more about symptoms and how to reduce your risk for heart disease…
Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease refers to many different types of heart conditions such as heart failure or heart attacks. This disease can stay silent for a long period of time before symptoms can appear and affect a person’s quality of life.
There is no cure for heart disease, however, by staying active and maintaining a balanced diet, along with a proper diagnosis and health care, together we can slow the progression of this disease.
For many people, the most common type of heart disease is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). CAD is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This results in the blood vessels becoming narrower and blocking blood flow to and from the heart. This can lead to heart attacks, heart failure, or strokes. The following symptoms are common signs of having a heart condition: Chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, feeling weak, dizzy, faint, or light-headed, pain, weakness, or numbness in your legs or arms, fluttering in your chest, swelling of legs or feet, and irregular (fast or slow) heartbeats.
There are many non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors that can contribute to the development of heart disease. Non-modifiable risk factors include age and a family history of heart disease. Modifiable risk factors that can be stopped or actively controlled to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease are high blood pressure and high cholesterol, smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use, obesity, and stress
Lifestyle interventions are important in lowering the risk for heart disease. Apart from taking medications, healthy habits that can be included in everyday routine to manage heart health are to regularly check blood pressure and cholesterol levels, take medications as directed, healthy eating and exercise, maintain a healthy weight, include aerobic and muscle strengthening activity, counseling to decrease anxiety and stress, avoid smoking, and limit daily alcohol intake.