Heart to Heart

Over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared February to be American Heart Month. The tradition of Heart Health Month has continued on as we raise awareness about the various risk factors, symptoms, treatments, and most importantly lifestyles that contribute to either heart disease or heart health. Whether you are just starting to think about the importance of heart health or are in need of more information to live a healthy lifestyle, here are just a few things you should know this Heart Health Month.

Risks and Factors
One of the most important things you can learn this Heart Health Month is your personal risk factors for heart disease. These are the conditions, circumstances, behaviors, and inherited traits that could increase your likelihood of experiencing a heart attack or encountering cardiovascular problems. Some of these factors can be mitigated, reduced, or eliminated with lifestyle changes, medication, or treatments. The best thing to do to calculate your risks is to talk with your doctor. He or she will help you evaluate your lifestyle and genetic predisposition and consider the factors that are more severe than others. To get started with your personal assessment, see the American Heart Association’s list of Risk Factors.

It’s crucial to understand the signs of a heart attack especially if you have high risk factors. The AARP reminds us that the best thing to do if you think you are having a heart attack is to contact 911 and chew an aspirin. For now, make yourself aware of the symptoms so that if you or someone you know begins to show signs you can be prepared to act. Chest pain is the most commonly associated symptom. It may be present, but it may not be. Other symptoms might include trouble breathing or feeling dizzy. Common symptoms that sometimes go unnoticed include pain in around the left arm, nausea, fatigue, and jaw pain. If you or your loved one have high risk factors, talk with your doctor about specific symptoms and remember to act immediately if you experience any of these.

For more information on Heart Health Month, please click on the following link: http://lotsahelpinghands.com/blog/heart-health-month/

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