February is American Heart Month, and Riverview Regional Medical Center in Carthage, Tennessee is joining the commemoration by providing tips on preventing heart disease, the warning signs of a heart attack and the promise that every healthy choice you make has an impact on your health.
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the number one killer of Americans and is the leading cause of death for adults worldwide. Heart disease is often referred to as a silent killer due to the slow development that often progresses without obvious symptoms. Blockages in the coronary arteries due to plaque buildup develop over time and are responsible for both heart attacks and strokes. Daily preventative measures are vital to your long-term health.
Preventing Heart Disease
Heart disease can be averted by following a few simple lifestyle changes for the rest of your life and by taking control of your present health conditions.
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Lower your cholesterol numbers
- Keep your blood pressure in the healthy range
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your diabetes
- Stop smoking
- Take medications as prescribed
Living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet are the best armor in fighting heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes:
- Lean protein
- Veggies, fruit and whole grains
- Healthy fats
- Foods rich in fiber and nutrients
- Reduction of sodium
- Control of portion size
Incorporate these tips into your daily menus, and you’ll find yourself eating with your heart in mind. An occasional treat is never a bad thing, just get back to heart-healthy with the next meal.
Signs of a Heart Attack
The proverbial “elephant-on-the-chest” is a fair description of the pressure and pain felt with a heart attack. But it isn’t the only warning sign, and you may not experience it at all. Remember that time is of the essence if you fear you’re having a heart attack. Get to your nearest ER right away if you suffer these symptoms 15 minutes or longer:
- Continuing pain or pressure in the chest
- Pain that travels to your neck, shoulders and down your arms
- Lightheadedness, weakness or fainting
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Nausea and vomiting
- Heavy sweating
The ER at Riverview Regional Medical Center is an accredited Chest Pain Center and provides the highest level of expertise in treatment of heart attack symptoms. Riverview Regional Medical Center also provides our Carthage, TN community with Cardiographics Services that include all heart and lung diagnostics and testing. Call 615-735-1560 for more information. When you or your loved ones need cardiac care, Regional Medical is here for you.