Take Heart

Heart issues affect millions of Americans each year and account for one in four deaths. February is the month dedicated to raising awareness of heart-related issues, their causes and preventative steps to help avoid heart disease.

High Blood Pressure

One in every three American adults suffers from high blood pressure, and only about half of them have it under control. Learn the signs and symptoms of high blood pressure and what you can do to lower your risk:

Signs & Symptoms

Unfortunately, there aren’t many obvious signs of high blood pressure. The easiest and most efficient way to tell if your blood pressure is reaching dangerous levels is by knowing your numbers. Maintaining a blood pressure reading around 120/80 is optimal for good heart health. Keeping regular tabs on your blood pressure numbers, either through doctor visits or using equipment at home, will keep you aware of any increase that may be occurring.

Preventative Steps

If you’re concerned or at risk for high blood pressure due to family history, follow these steps:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Regularly check your blood pressure

Heart Disease

As the leading cause of death for both American men and women, finding out how to combat heart disease is crucial. How do you know if you’re at risk for heart disease? Watch for these signs and symptoms and take preventative steps to avoid it:

Signs & Symptoms

If you’re experiencing any of the below symptoms, it’s time to call a doctor.

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain or weakness in your arms or legs
  • Lightheadedness/dizziness/fainting
  • A racing heart or an abnormally slow heart rate

Preventative Steps

There are many steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Exercise
  • Eat a diet low in salt
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress
  • Maintain good hygiene
  • Quit smoking

Heart Attack

Every 40 seconds a person in America suffers a heart attack. That adds up to nearly 800,000 people each year. Know the signs and reduce your risk:

Signs & Symptoms

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, call 911 and get to a hospital right away:

  • Tightness or pressure in your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat

Preventative Steps

If you’re at risk for a heart attack, incorporate these preventative steps into your life to reduce your risk:

  • Maintain healthy blood pressure numbers
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Reduce and manage stress
  • Limit alcohol
  • Quit smoking

Heart month is dedicated to improving our knowledge of heart disease and other heart-related issues. Knowing the signs and symptoms, along with how to prevent heart issues, is key to lowering the number of heart-related deaths in America.

Take a minute to share this article with family and friends. That minute of time may help save a life.