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February 2021 Issue - Paisley Prescriptions
Living a Heart-y Life
Everyone wants life to be fun, full and heart-y, which is easy when you’re healthy. But it’s hard to follow your heart when it’s sick. Heart disease is still the No.1 killer for both men and women in the US. However, with a little TLC, many risks associated with heart disease, heart attacks and strokes can be drastically reduced. The heart is our lifeline, without it we cease to be. It’s not difficult to take care of, so why not begin marching to your heart’s beat, and take the easy steps to be heart healthy? A healthy heart gives a heart-y life!
by Dr. Matthew Certain
What’s are the best ways to prevent heart disease?
The number one way to prevent heart disease includes daily exercise and a balanced diet. Maintaining an appropriate weight and avoiding obesity can lower blood pressure, improve LDL numbers and reduce the risk for diabetes. See your doctor regularly to keep tuned into your numbers.
What are the top 5 factors that cause heart disease?
2) High cholesterol
3) Diabetes mellitus
5) Tobacco use
Fatty foods have a bad reputation for causing heart disease, but what is the role of sugar and carbs in high cholesterol and heart disease?
Sugar and carbohydrates play a significant role in exacerbating the effects of a poor diet, which not only affects your heart, but your overall well-being. Eating a well-balanced diet that includes a mix of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, primarily based on fruits and vegetables, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Tell us the good, the bad and the ugly on HDL good cholesterol, LDL or bad cho-lesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure…
First, people should know that the average blood pressure should be ideally close to 120/70 mmHg. And that a lipid panel consists of multiple measure-ments. The total cholesterol on a lipid report encompasses all of the factors that go into your cholesterol number. But the most important things are the HDL and the LDL. The LDL is the bad cholesterol, and doctors want this as low as possible, ideally less than 100. The HDL should be as high as possible. For most individu-als this needs to be well above 40.
How important is cardio exercise in preventing heart disease, and what types of regimens should be followed?
Daily exercise, no matter a person’s weight, is one of the most important factors in reducing overall cardiovascular risk. Maintaining at least 80 minutes of in-tense exercise weekly improves a person’s lipid panel, lowers blood pressure and will help reduce weight.
Matthew Certain, M.D., is with Southeast Georgia Physician Associates-Cardiology, a strategic partner of Southeast Georgia Health System.
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women
We’ve all seen the movie scenes where a man gasps, clutches his chest and falls to the ground. In reality, a heart attack victim could easily be a woman, and the scene may not be that dramatic.
“Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, ” said Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer. “Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure, or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”
Even when the signs are subtle, the consequences can be deadly, especially if the victim doesn’t get help right away. Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu, or normal aging.
“They do this because they are scared and because they put their families first,” Goldberg said. “There are still many women who are shocked that they could be having a heart attack.”
If you have any of these signs,
call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.
• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat,
nausea, or lightheadedness.
• As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
- American Heart Association; heart.org